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Lawmaker Alerts On Kom Kom Explosion, Berates NNPC

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Lawmaker representing Oyigbo State Constituency, Hon.Nwankwo Promise has presented a petition from his constituents from Kom Kom community in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State where pipeline explosion killed scores of people a fortnight ago.
Presenting a petition on the floor of the House on Thursday, Nwankwo said the petition was signed by Chief S. N Azu and Atkins Okere on behalf of the community.
The lawmaker lamented that since the incident two weeks ago, economic, physical, and social life of the people.
He however lamented since the incident occurred the community had been sidelined by the owner of the pipeline, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and other agencies responsible for rehabilitation of the people and facility.
Nwankwo challenged NNPC and all agencies responsible to act fast and intervene, as it frowned at the attitude of the federal agency over the plight of the indigenes.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani has referred the petition to the House Ad hoc Committee to investigate and make recommendations on the matter.
The Adhoc Committee is headed by Hon. Igwe Aforji of Eleme Constituency.
Other members include, member representing Tai, Matthew Dike, and Hon. Adonye Diri of Opobo/Nkoro and that of Oyigbo, Hon. Nwankwo.
The Speaker relied on order 22 as he urged the committee ascertain the damage on aquatic and other physical means of livelihood of the people.

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Govs Charge NASS On Hate Speech Bill

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The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has advised the National Assembly to hold public hearing on the hate Speech Bill before it to ensure that views of Nigerians are captured in the passage of the bill.
NGF Vice Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal gave the advice while fielding questions from newsmen at the end of the forum meeting held on Wednesday night in Abuja.
He advised the federal lawmakers to respect the views of Nigerians on the bill.
”I am not sure I have heard any governor come out to say he is in support of death penalty for hate speech.
“I believe the National Assembly should hold a public hearing on that bill, so that due process of lawmaking is followed, so that the views of Nigerians not just the governors will be well captured on that bill.
“They should respect the views of Nigerians in whatever may be the direction of debate and the eventual passage or otherwise of that bill,” Tambuwal said.
Asked of the governors’ position on the Finance Bill submitted to the NASS by President Muhammadu Buhari  to increase Value Added Tax (VAT) from five to 7.5. per cent, Tambuwal appealed to Nigerians to show more understanding with the  Federal Government.
He said that the governors were in support of what would improve the revenue generation drive of both the federal and state governments.
”We are appealing to those who probably have no proper understanding of the contexts of those bill to kindly have a rethink of them and reflect on quantum of work ahead of us.
” As a country and states, we need a lot of resources to turn around infrastructure, to invest in education, healthcare and every sector of our national life.
”There is urgent need of more revenue in Nigeria. So, I appeal that we should should show more understanding with the  Federal Government in that regard,” he said.
On the December deadline for the implementation of minimum wage issued by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to state governors, Tambuwal said the various states were engaging labour  unions on the issue.
“I am sure it is work in progress. Before December all the states must have finished working out the details on the issue of minimum wage across the federation.
“We are very much committed to the welfare and wellbeing of our workforce and therefore we shall continue to ensure we do our best on what needs to be done.”
Tambuwal said the forum received update on the outcome of its meeting in the US with Aliko Dangote Foundation, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on Human Capital Development with focus on Primary Health Care (PHC).
He said that at the meeting, the governors and the two Foundations expressed commitment to the Seattle Declaration aimed at promoting collaboration to transform PHC at the subnational level in Nigeria
This according to him include full implementation of PHC Under One Roof and meeting the requirements of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund.
“To improve efficiency gains across governments and economic activities at the household level, the NGF committed to initiatives to advance value added activities in agriculture, access to finance and women economic empowerment.”
Tambuwal disclosed that the governors also received update on the World Bank State Fiscal Transparency
Accountability and Sustainability  (SFTAS) programme and discussed modalities to ensure its smooth and accelerated implementation.
“Following a presentation from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation on the SFTAS Annual Performance Appraisal (APA) mission to States, members committed to working with the Independent Verification Agent (IVA) to ensure that the APA process does not experience delays.
“The  forum also held a preliminary consultative session with the World Bank Country Director, Shubham Chaudhuri and his team on the new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Nigeria for the period of 2020 to 2024.
“This also include  a planned Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment Program.
“Governors promised to hold a dedicated session to reach a consensus on what matters most for States and a common agenda to improve the wellbeing of all Nigerians.”

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NASS Edo Caucus Backs Oshiomhole, Blasts Obaseki

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Members of the Edo State caucus in the National Assembly have backed the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, in the battle between him and Governor Godwin Obaseki.
The caucus, which addressed journalists in Abuja last Thursday, blamed the crisis on Obaseki, asking the governor to issue a fresh proclamation for the proper inauguration of the Edo State House of Assembly.
The lawmakers also accused the Deputy Governor, Mr Philip Shaibu, of displaying “shameful acts of indiscipline and political rascality.”
The Deputy Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Peter Akpatason, who spoke on behalf of the caucus, said, “It was at this point that we decided, as responsible parliamentarians duly elected by our constituents, to speak out and restate the following:
“That we, the APC caucus in the National Assembly, hereby, without hesitation, express our undiluted and absolute confidence in the sterling and patriotic leadership of the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, who has been doing excellently well and won two tough elections.
“We advise Governor Obaseki and his management to appreciate the damage they are doing to the state and party with their undemocratic and unorthodox political actions and to retrace their steps.
“The Governor should issue another proclamation as stipulated in the Constitution and have all the 24 elected members properly inaugurated so they can duly represent their constituents and make invaluable contributions to the growth and development of the state.
“To stop forthwith all forms of intimidation and harassment of elected officials, appointees and perceived enemies.
“Allow peace to reign in Edo State and work to enhance democratic practices by opening up political spaces.”
The National Working Committee of the APC had set up a high-powered fact-finding mission on the crisis.

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INEC Presents Certificates Of Return To Lyon, Deputy

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), yesterday presented Certificates of Return to Bayelsa State Governor-elect, Mr David Lyon and his Deputy, Senator Degi Eremienyo.
INEC National Commissioner in charge of Rivers, Bayelsa and Edo States, Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu, presented the certificates at a ceremony in Yenogoa.
Agbamuche-Mbu expressed gratitude to all stakeholders including the police, army, traditional rulers, women groups and the youth for abiding by the electoral law to record the most violence free- poll in the state.
Speaking after receiving the certificate, Lyon dedicated his victory to the people of the state, whom he said made it possible for him to win the poll.
Lyon also commended the Nigeria Police Force and the Department of State Service (DSS) for living up to their responsibilities during the election.
“I thank INEC for its commitment towards the election in spite of pressure to do otherwise.
“To all the people of Bayelsa, this is the time to come together to build our dear state; my victory at the poll is for the people and I am assuring you, my people, that I will not fail you.
“The APC led administration will be for a total change which Bayelsa is going to be witnessing in the next few months; my belief in this context is that, everyone is a winner.
“Let us come together and ensure that the state is developed and there will be security for investors,” Lyon said.
Lyon polled 352,552 votes to defeat his closest rival and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Duoye Diri, who scored 143,172 votes in the Nov. 16, governorship poll.

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