Members of the Anambra State House of Assembly have reportedly rejected Toyota Prado SUVs from the state government as their official vehicles.
The lawmakers described it as a waste of state resources for the executive arm of government to think in that direction in an austere period.
Our correspondent gathered that the Speaker of the House, Uche Okafor, who was the first to be offered the jeep rejected it, saying he would not drive it until a collective decision of the house was reached and obtained on the matter.
Some of the lawmakers who spoke with journalists said it would gulp the state about N1bn to procure the vehicles for the 30 members of the house.
One of the lawmakers said, “We are complaining of delay in the provision of our statutory allowances and other entitlements by the state government and somebody is contemplating the purchase of Toyota Prado Jeeps to the tune of almost N1bn.
“This is an unnecessary waste of funds when a similar vehicle produced by INNOSON Motors Limited would cost less.
“Other governors of the South-East and South-South have been patronising the local car manufacturing company and our governor, Willie Obiano is not keen on patronising the company.”
The chairman, southeast conference of 2019 APC House of Assembly candidates, Afam Ezenwafor said, “We are addressing you all on behalf of the lawmakers because of its implications on the All Progressives Grand Alliance Lawmakers who are in the vanguard of encouraging locally made goods so that they do not become victims of witch-hunting by the power above in Awka.
Ezenwafor added, “The market price for 2018 model of Prado Jeep for the 30 members of the state Assembly is about N33m each.
“We wonder why about N1bn of Anambra state fund will be taken outside the state instead of using it to purchase Innoson IVM SUV Jeeps for the House members.
“You can’t be talking of ‘Think home philosophy’ without patronizing our local investors.”
When contacted on the telephone, the Deputy Chief Press Secretary to Governor, Emeka Ozumba said, “There is no cause for alarm”.
He added, “The executive and legislative arms of government have continued to enjoy harmonious relationship.
He asked the public not to panic about the situation, adding that more often such stories were false and unfounded.
FG Approves Final Evacuation Flight From US
The Federal Government has approved the ninth and last evacuation flight for Nigerians stranded in the United States due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
This was announced by the Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen, in a statement dated August 10, 2020, on behalf of the country’s missions in the U.S.
According to the statement, the flight is scheduled to convey the evacuees from New Jersey on August 20 to both Abuja and Lagos.
This would come after the seventh and eight evacuation flights scheduled for August 15 and August 19, respectively, from Houston, Texas, to Lagos.
The government had so far evacuated 1,739 stranded Nigerian citizens in six special flights from the U.S. which is witnessing a second wave of Coronavirus infections.
That country’s Covid-19 tallies as at Monday stood at 5,044,864 infections with 162,938 deaths, according to data compiled by the John Hopkins University of Medicine.
Wike Decries Encroachment On Government Land …Moves To Restore Foremost Academic Institutions
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has decried the encroachment of government land in the state.
He described as unfortunate the excuse by residents to encroach on the land owned by Government Comprehensive Secondary School, Borikiri, Port Harcourt.
The governor made the observation, yesterday, when he visited the school to see the extent of encroachment there.
“It is most unfortunate that our people will always want to encroach on school land believing that nothing will happen. This is not acceptable. I pray that this does not continue.
“This is because another government can come up tomorrow and bring down such illegal structures. People will then bring ethnic colouration to it.
“I have endorsed the redesign of the Government Comprehensive Secondary School, Borikiri in order to restore its former glory.
“The school, which had made the state proud and produced eminent Nigerians cannot be allowed to die.
“I believe that this is one school that has made name for us. Nigerians and Rivers people should know that we cannot kill it.
“We will do everything we can do to bring it back to its lost glory. We may not demolish all the structures because of those erected as historical symbols,” he stated.
Wike applauded the Old Boys Association of the school for showing interest in restoring the glory of the school that made them to be responsible citizens, and also commended them for setting up a technical committee to achieve their goal.
“I am happy with their concerns. If Old Boys of other schools can show the kind of support these ones are showing to their school, I think we will go a long way.
“The Old Boys Association has agreed to set a technical team. They will do a redesign of the entire school based on the available land because there was too much encroachment.
“We are going to give them all the necessary support to achieve maximum result. They will also supervise the construction work themselves to ensure that they get the quality they want,” he added.
President of the Old Boys Association of the School, Noble Abe, thanked the governor for supporting the vision of the association.
He said almost fifty percent of land belonging to the school has been illegally taken over by residents but they are willing to make use of what is available in restoring the school.
“Close to 50 percent of the land owned by the school has been encroached upon. The governor in his magnanimity has decided that we should restore as much as what is left,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has approved the dissolution of the State Task Force on Illegal Street Trading and Motor Parks with immediate effect.
Consequently, the Special Assistant to the Governor in charge of the Task Force, Mr. Bright Amaewhule has been relieved of his appointment.
A statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, directed members of the task force to return the operational vehicles and Identity Cards of the body to the Office of the Secretary to State Government not later than 4p.m today.
“They will be paid their salaries as they return the vehicles and Identity Cards. Government will reconstitute the Taskforce after proper orientation and training”, the statement added.
You’ve Failed Nigerians, Catholic Bishops Tell Buhari
For the umpteenth time, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has expressed their worry over the insecurity ravaging parts of the country.
In the face of this concern, they have declared 40 days of joint prayers against terrorism and banditry.
The Bishops, in a statement issued in Abuja, yesterday, also decried the pervasive corruption in the land and the nation’s dampening economic outlook.
They, therefore, passed a verdict, saying the Federal Government had failed to keep its core campaign promises of security, corruption eradication, and economic growth.
The statement signed by CBCN President, Archbishop Augustine Obiora, on behalf of all the bishops reads: “We, the members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria have been following the recent events in Nigeria closely.
“We continue to hear of increasing insecurity and unabated acts of terrorism in Northern Nigeria. So, we are all tired of this situation.
“We do not want any politician to politicise the killing of Nigerians. There should be one response from everyone, and that is; the killings must stop.
“Our hearts are bleeding, and we are more troubled when we hear of the massacre presently going on in Southern Kaduna. We want all the people suffering the incessant attacks in Southern Kaduna to know that all Catholics in Nigeria are praying for them.
“We call on the Federal and the Government of Kaduna to bring a complete stop to the killing of innocent people. The loss of the life of any Nigerian does not help to further the agenda of any religious ideology or the ambition of any politician.
“The perpetrators of the killings must be brought to justice. Where there is no justice or justice is not seen to be done, there cannot be peace. Where there is no peace, there cannot be development.
“Any Government, State or Federal that wants peace must work for justice for everyone. There will never be sustained development built upon the bloodshed of innocent people brutally murdered by religious fundamentalists without any recourse to justice for the victims.
“We need not remind Nigerians that the present Federal Government came to power, promising Nigerians, the eradication of corruption, a guarantee of security to life and property, and rapid growth in the economy.
“The creation of jobs, and an enabling environment that engenders growth of the private sector; a significant increase in the supply of electricity to Nigerians, affordable and quality health care to Nigerians, and the revamping of the educational sector were the promises the Government continues to make.
“Many Nigerians, irrespective of political party affiliation, will affirm that these promises have remained a far cry. We strongly appeal to Nigerians to unite together in calling the Federal Government to give priority to these areas of our lives.
“To all Catholics, we request that you join in praying for forty days, starting from August 22, 2020 and ending September 30, 2020, the eve of Nigeria’s Independence Day.
“On Independence Day, let us join in praying to start from 12noon. We appeal to each Bishop to encourage the faithful in his Diocese to participate fully in this prayer for God to save Nigeria.
“Finally, as we pray, we know that God wants us to do what is humanly possible to ensure that there are prosperity and freedom for every Nigerian.
“Let us not harbour hatred for anyone. We must be instruments of forgiveness and reconciliation. We must be on the part of justice for all and peace in Nigeria.
“May God grant eternal rest to all who have lost their lives to the violence in Northern Nigeria and other parts of the country. May God give us the courage to work for justice and peace in Nigeria.”
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