The Senate yesterday ordered the removal of multiple roadblocks mounted along major highways in the South East geo-political zone.
The upper chamber mandated its Committee on Works to take a tour of federal roads in the zone to ensure compliance with the directive without further delay.
The resolution followed the adoption of a motion presented by the Senator representing Abia North, Mao Ohuabunwa, on matters of urgent national importance.
Ohuabunwa said the proliferation of roadblocks in the area was affecting the free flow of people, goods and services in the zone.
He wondered why multiple roadblocks would be mounted in an area that does not necessarily need them.
According to him, the roadblocks are seen by the people as instrument of intimidation and harassment.
Senator Victor Umeh, (Anambra Central), who seconded the motion, said the roadblocks have become a huge embarrassment to the people of the zone.
Umeh said: “The proliferation of roadblocks in the South East by security agencies is becoming a huge embarrassment. It is killing businesses in the region. Our people who are business oriented can no longer ply their trade.
“In the South East, we are not in any imminent danger. I don’t see the need why we should have more road blocks in the area. Sometimes, you have roadblocks in a distance of about 300 metres.
“Security is important. But it should not be abused. Our people are complaining and we need to correct this. Our people now spend more time on the road because of these unnecessary roadblocks.”
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, asked the Committee on Police Affairs and Army, to visit the affected areas and report back to the Senate for further legislative action.
Meanwhile, the Senate has summoned the Inspector- General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to brief its Senator Abu Ibrahim (APC Katsina South)-led Committee on Police Affairs on the circumstances behind the Monday killing of seven police officers at Galadimawa Junction in Abuja.
In addition to the seven police who were killed along one civilian by unknown gunmen stationed at a Police Post at the junction of Galadimawa Roundabout after Sun City Estate, on the way to the airport, the committee will also investigate the circumstances that led to the killing of two other police men at Abaji.
Information on the death of two additional policemen at Abaji was raised on the floor of the Senate by the Senate Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda, PDP, FCT.
Ibrahim, while responding to enquiry by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki on the gruesome murder of the security agents during plenary, yesterday, said that the police chief has been invited to appear before the committee on Tuesday next week.
He said: “The Committee on Police Affairs invited the IG to brief us on these killings and what happened in Maiduguri and it is going to be on Tuesday”.
Saraki, who condemned the killing of the security officers by unknown gunmen, thereafter mandated the Chairman of the Committee on Police to report back to the Senate next week.
The Senate President, who noted that the National Assembly was also expected to pay attention to those who lost their lives in active service while also discussing the inaction of others, said: “While also talking in that light, I observe that we have not taken this issue of the SARS police officers that were killed on Monday in Galadimawa Junction.
“I think as a National Assembly, as much as we pay attention to ordinary citizens that lose their lives either by one action or inaction of the police, we all should be seen to also protect and be there for those that protect our lives.
“I will like us to please find out what happened as regards to these seven police officers that were killed, the circumstances and how we can also show our commiseration with the families as well as whatever needs to be done so that police officer and all of them know that we do care and appreciate what they are doing. Please let us have a report by next week”.
It will be recalled that some gunmen shot seven police officers on the heads in Abuja on Monday at the Galadimawa Junction, off the international airport road.
The Federal Capital Territory, FCT Police Spokesperson, Anjuguri Manzah, confirmed in a statement that ‘men of the underworld’ were responsible for the attack.
Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja
390,676 Civil Servants, 559 MDAs Captured In IPPISS, FG Confirms
A total number of 390,676 civil servants in 559 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been captured on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPISS) platform as of January 31, 2021, the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, has said.
She made the disclosure at a press briefing in Abuja as part of activities to kick-start the 2021 Nigeria Civil Service Week, yesterday.
The Federal Government had in 2006 introduced the IPPIS to weed out ghost workers from the civil service and automate salary payments for transparency and accountability in public expenditure.
In October, 2019, the Federal Government directed workers in its MDAs to enroll on IPPIS.
Recalled the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had last year gone on strike over the Federal Government insistence that its members enroll in IPPIS
Only last week, the salaries of 331 civil servants cutting across all were suspended over their failure to update their records on IPPIS despite repeated directives to do so.
According to Yemi-Esan, 390,676 staff across the 559 MDAs have now been captured on the platform.
She added that the figure excludes the army, paramilitary, police, and universities.
“As of 31st January, 2021, a total number of 559 MDAs with 390,676 employees have been captured on the IPPIS platform. This figure excludes the Army, para-military, police and universities.
“Accordingly, several activities have been initiated and carried out by the office towards driving, implementing and deployment of the Human Resource module of IPPIS.
“With full deployment of the HR Module of IPPIS, human error would be minimized through streamlined data, cost reduced based on available accurate data, financial and manpower resources efficiently and effectively utilized and planned for; while storage of data collected on employees of the Federal Public Service is secure and only accessible to authorized officers.”
Speaking further, Yemi-Esan said the civil service took advantage of Covid-19 to accelerate the digitalisation of its processes to enable it “continue to function effectively as the backbone of government within the new normal”.
Yemi-Esan also disclosed that the process of reviewing the nation’s Public Service Rules was almost completed, saying it is ready for the approval of the Federal Executive Council.
“The office, in the last one year, has finalised the review of the PSR and it has presented to the 2020 National Council on Establishment in Lagos which approved the revised document in principle.
“The office has produced the final draft for onward transmission to the Federal Executive Council for approval,” she said.
According to her the government has spent N2.4billion in settling 594 families of deceased civil servants while outstanding death benefits will be paid soon.
Yemi-Esan added, “Sometimes last year, the Ministry of Finance released N2.5billion to pay backlog of death benefits to the next of kin of deceased officers.
“As of today, out of N2.5billion, N2.468billion has been expended to settle 594 beneficiaries.
“The others that are outstanding will be completed once the office receives the requisite bank’s attestation.”
Yemi-Esan said a committee would soon be set up on the Steve Orasanye report on rationalisation of government agencies.
“As regards the Orosanye report, the SGF and I have planned to set up two committees to look into the report.
“We are going to look at what happened before the Oransanye report and after the Oransanye report,” she said.
Nigerian Law School, PH Campus’ll Be Ready In Six Months, Wike Vows
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has received a formal letter of approval from the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, for the establishment of a Nigerian Law School campus in Port Harcourt.
The letter was presented to the governor by the Director General of the Nigerian Law School, Prof Isa Huyatu Chiroma, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Wike said it was gratifying that the Council of Legal Education and the Attorney General of the Federation have graciously given approval to the Rivers State Government to assist in the establishment of a Law School in Port Harcourt, an offer which was initially rejected by the immediate past administration in the state.
The governor commended the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, for his statesmanship and commitment to the growth of legal education in Nigeria.
“This is devoid of any political affiliation. I must commend him for this show of sportsmanship, for this show of leadership, that at the end of the day, it is Nigerians and Rivers people that will benefit from the establishment of this campus in Port Harcourt.”
Wike explained that construction work had already commenced at the site approved by the state government for the Port Harcourt campus of the Nigerian Law School.
According to him, the campus will be ready in the next six months and the Certificate of Occupancy for the school is ready.
“The six months that we have given is not six years. Six months is six months. Even if any other project will be suspended, let it be suspended. This project must be finished within six months. And I also urged you to appoint a deputy DG who should move down to Port Harcourt immediately.”
The Rivers State governor explained that some corporate organisations, including banks, have expressed their readiness to build hostels and library in the campus, pending the approval of the authority of the Nigerian Law School.
The governor urged the Nigerian Law School management to graciously immortalise the former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice for the Federation, Justice Nabo Bekinbo Graham-Douglas, SAN, by naming the Port Harcourt campus after him.
The Director General of the Nigerian Law School, Prof Isa Huyatu Chiroma, said the process for the establishment of a Law School campus in Port Harcourt started on the June 4, in Yenagoa when Governor Wike threw a challenge that if given an opportunity, Rivers State Government was ready to construct and deliver a new campus of the Nigerian Law School in Port Harcourt within six months.
He explained that afterwards, the Council of Legal Education met and unanimously agreed to accede to the request of the Rivers State Government and this was also endorsed by the Attorney General of the Federation.
The Attorney General of the Federation in this letter to Governor Wike which was read by Chiroma, said immediately he received the letter from the Rivers State Government to assist in the establishment of a new campus in Port Harcourt, his office forwarded same, via Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary for consideration by the Council of Legal Education.
“I am delighted to convey to you the acceptance of your offer by the Council of Legal Education at its meeting held on June 18, 2021. A copy of the approval letter and a draft Memorandum of Understanding to guide or govern the conduct of the partnership project is hereby forwarded to you for your kind consideration and further action.
“While appreciating the kind gestures of the Rivers State Government in the promotion of legal education in Nigeria, please accept the assurances of my best regards and high esteem as always.”
In his remarks, the Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof Zacchaeus Adangor, said the Law School campus in Port Harcourt will stand out as one of the most iconic achievement of the Governor Wike’s administration.
The Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Simeon Amadi, commended the Attorney General of the federation and the Council of Legal Education for the approval and assured that the state will construct a befitting campus in Port Harcourt.
Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Onueze C.J. Okocha, SAN, said though the new campus is in Port Harcourt, it will be for the benefit of all Nigerians and the legal profession.
The chairman, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Port Harcourt branch, Prince Nyekwere applauded the approval, and urged the Federal Government to devolve some of its obligation in the Executive List to the federating States.
Buhari Off To London For Medical Check-Up, Today
President Muhammadu Buhari will on Friday travel to London, for a scheduled medical follow-up.
The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Buhari, Femi Adesina, confirmed this in a statement, yesterday.
Adesina said the President is expected return to the country in the second week of next month.
“He is due back in the country during the second week of July, 2021,” the statement said.
It would be recalled that on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, Buhari had visited London to receive medical attention from his physician.
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