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N189bn Election Budget: Senators, Reps’ Meeting Ends In Deadlock …INEC Boss To Appear Before Lawmakers, Today

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The meeting between Senators and members of the House of Representatives over budget for Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday, ended in a deadlock. INEC is seeking budgetary approval of N189 billion to conduct 2019 general elections.
The meeting came to a stalemate as the lawmakers could not agree on the figures presented to both chambers of the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari and that of INEC chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu.
Against this backdrop, the lawmakers have summoned the INEC boss to appear before the joint committe of the Senate and House of Representatives today to throw light on the grey areas that had been discovered in the budget proposal. While Buhari requested N143 billion for the commission, Yakubu’s was N189 billion.
According to the chairman of the Senate Committee on INEC, Senator Suleiman Nazif (Bauchi North), the joint committee will make its position known in a statement at the end of today’s meeting.
Addressing journalists, yesterday, in Abuja after the meeting, which started 3.30 pm and ended 4.30 pm, Nazif assured Nigerians that as lawmakers, they would ensure that INEC conduct credible, free and fair elections in 2019.
He said: “As we are all aware, Wednesday, we invited the chairman of INEC, who was in the National Assembly to address the House of Representatives as well as the Senate. And today (yesterday), our duty and responsibility was to try to harmonise what transpired between both houses and ensure that we cross the t’s and dot the i’s.
“The whole meeting was called consequent upon the letter of Mr President requesting supplementary and virement for the general elections of 2019.
“We have done what we needed to have done. And we have realised that there are a little bit of differences.
In view of that, it is the opinion of members of this joint committee that we invite the chairman of INEC for further clarifications tomorrow (today) at11am.
“From there, this committee will make a press statement and we will inform Nigerians of our position. I want to use this opportunity to assure Nigerians that this joint committee is committed to ensuring credible, free and fair elections for 2019.”
But the disparity led to a stalemate when the committees at a joint sitting wanted to approve the budget estimates, as some of the members argued that approval should be solely based on request by the President, while others argued for N189 billion approval INEC sought. Consequently, they resolved to summon the INEC boss for more clarifications on N189 billion budget proposal.

 

Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja

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Missing National Light Newspaper’s Journalist, Mathew Onwuasoanya, Found

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Anambra Newspapers and Printing Corporation (ANPC),  publisher of the National Light group of Newspapers, Awka has announced that one of their reporters, Barr Mathew Onwuasoanya who went missing for more than  a month has been found.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Media House, Sir Chuka Nnabuife, Editor of the newspaper, Mrs Rose Oranye, along with Chairman, Anambra State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists ( NUJ), Sir Emma Ifesinachi and the Council’s Secretary, Mr Emma Udeagha, on Thursday, July 9, 2020, met with Mr Onwuasoanya and members of his family.
During the meeting, Barr Onwuasoanya narrated his ordeal within the five weeks of his surprised absence. He explained how he was taken from his residence on May 30, 2020.
 He confirmed that he was picked up by some security men as reported but he got released thereafter.
After the shocking encounter with security agents which left him rattled, he promptly sought medical attention to attend to the traumatic experience.
 He disclosed that he received treatment all the while until he returned home while expressing his regret for his inability to reach

out to anybody given that he lives alone and had lost his phones in the process.
This reporter recalled that in a terse statement released earlier by the MD, a brother to the journalist, Mr Oliver Onwuasoanya had said that neighbours told him “that about 2am on May, 30, some vehicles, comprising a white Hilux truck and a Highlander with some gun – bearing men dressed in what looks like security men’s uniform came and whisked him away”.
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Rivers Scholar Wins 2020 Cambridge Outstanding Learners Award

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An Egi-born indigent scholar from Showers Christian Schools, Port Harcourt in Rivers State has won the British Council high recognition and outstanding Cambridge Learners Award for 2020.
The teenager, Ike Holy, scored 94 per cent in Combined Science (O Level) in the Cambridge International Examinations in the November 2019 diet. This is said to be the best result in three sessions in the subject.
This achievement has also position him as the second person since 2017 from Showers Schools to win such recognition in the Cambridge examinations.
The Tide gathered that four Showers students made distinctions (A’s) in the same subject, Combined Science O levels, in top grades: distinctions (A*-A), also in Mathematics, and  A’s in English Language.
The Learners Award acknowledges exceptional Nigeria-based learners’ achievements in Cambridge examinations taken by students around the world through the British Council.
Showers Proprietress, Mrs. Ekama Emilia

Akpan in reaction to the award, said: “Again, we thank God, Total E&P Nig. Ltd, the parents, and our committed, hard working teachers, who in spite of all, supported and believed in the dreams of the management, to train and graduate students in a sustainable manner devoid of examination malpractice
Ike hails from Amah in Egi Community and was admitted at 11 years of age to Showers Christian High School.
According to the CEO, “His entry performance was below average, but with the schedule of teaching in place, he made a great improvement to warrant the success in the examination.
Akpan, who is also top member of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), said Ike is one of the scholars of “Catch Dem Young Educational Support Programme” initiated by Total E & P Nigeria Limited since 2007, to support indigent students chosen from thirteen (13) Egi Communities of Rivers State.
“Showers International School was given the mandate by Total E& P to teach the students

to the level to be competitive with the best in Nigeria.”
Speaking further, Mrs Akpan commended the Rivers State Government for providing the enabling environment for indigent students to achieve such a noble academic award, in times like this. She believes there are many hidden and unrecognized talents in the State that are waiting to be discovered and groomed to excel, but more support is required to be able to develop such talents to seize the opportunities to achieve more  global academic accolades.
Responding to the award, lke said, “The school jealously guards its policy on examination malpractice, which has drilled us to understand that nothing good comes easy, and that quality does not come by chance but by hard work. Showers group has  a philosophy that says if you fall, you pick yourself up and try again until you get it right.
“I particularly appreciate my parents for their consistent love, belief in me and encouragement, in spite of their own financially challenging circumstances.
“The International Learners Award means a lot to me.  I believe this achievement will also challenge other students in and outside my school to strive to work harder to merit such awards.”
Lilian Peters
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NPA Empowers Three Rivers Communities With Working Tools

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As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, CRS, the  Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman has empowered three host communities to Rivers Port Complex, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State with various working tools valued millions of Naira.
Usman said the empowerment is aimed at sustaining the cordial relationship between the Port and the communities.
NPA empowered Bundu-Ama with 35 deep Freezers, Okari-Ama with 80 Grinding machines and Isaka communities with 40 Welding machines.
The Three Rivers communities are in Okrika Local Government Areas of Rivers State.
Speaking during the official presentation of the items to the communities, Managing Director  NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman said  it aimed  is to ensure peaceful co existence in its operational areas.
Bala Usman insisted that without the existing peace and unity between the host and the Port, business would not strive at the complex
Represented by the Port Manager, Rivers Port

Complex, Engr. Yunusa Ibrahim  Anji, Usman,  thanked the communities for its Co-operation with the management of the Rivers Port Complex over the years and assured the host that NPA would improve in its CRS in years ahead.
“We appreciate your cooperation with the Port Management and that is why we are doing these things to your communities, we no longer have crisis in the complex, Usman said
“This is parts of our CSR to your communities, NPA would improve in years ahead to your communities” She said.
Usman admonished the communities to make judicious use of the working tools donated by NPA for the benefits and the growth of its people.
Recieving the items, Chairman, Okari-Aka Community, Mr. Ezekiel Okari thanked the  Managing Director of  NPA, Ms Bala Usman for her prompt attention to the need of his community by empowering his people with 80 Grinding machines.
Okari assured the management that his community would make judicious use of the

items.
He noted that the working tools would help at empowering the youths of his community.
Also speaking,  Chief  Willam Addoh of Bundu-Ama community lauded the management for empowering his community with 35 deep freezers.
Addoh said the gesture would ensure cordial working relationship with the Port and empower the youths for a better living.
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