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Police Has Bad Image Before Most Nigerians, Says IGP

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The Inspector General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, has directed officers and men of the force to, henceforth, declare their assets.
Adamu gave the directive in Abuja when members of the Board of Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), led by its Chairman, Prof. Mohammed Isah, paid him a courtesy visit, yesterday.
Adamu noted that declaration of assets of public officers was compulsory, and failure to do so was against the law.
“We are aware that declaration of assets is mandatory for all public officers, and not doing so means you are breaking the law.
“We want to assure you that we will assign an office to be responsible for that, and they will make sure that all our officers and men comply with this directive.
“This will ensure that we have one channel so that whenever you want to check, it will be easy.
“So, officially, the office that will be responsible for this is the office of the Commissioner of Police, Research and Planning while the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Research and Planning will oversee their activities,” he said.
The IGP added that the collaboration of both organisations (CCB and Police) was important for them to discharge their respective duties effectively.
Earlier, the Chairman, Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Prof. Mohammed Isah, had noted that the assistance of the police was required to enforce the code of conduct on all public officers.
While commending the IGP for declaring his assets, he added that the bureau could not execute court orders on its own.
“The Code of Conduct Bureau has the investigative powers but this power cannot be achieved alone.
“We need to cooperate, share information and collaborate to achieve our mandate,” he pleaded with the IGP.
Speaking further at another event, the IGP said the Nigeria Police Force has bad image in the eyes of most citizens.
Adamu stated this, yesterday, in an address he presented at the opening ceremony of the Police Public Relations Officers’ Conference at Agulu, Anambra State.
The conference was themed, ‘Public Relations Strategies and Communication Skills.’
Represented by an Assistant-Inspector General of Police, Baba Tijjani, the IGP said it was in realisation of the bad image of the force that his administration was embarking on image laundering activities to re-position the police.
His statement reads in part, “It is s my pleasure to welcome you all to this very important occasion which is the opening ceremony of a four-day intensive capacity building workshop for Police Public Relations Officers in Nigeria, comprising the Police Public Relations Officers from the 36 States of the Federation, the FCT, 12 Zonal Police Public Relations Officers as well as Staff Officers of the Force Public Relations Department, Force Headquarters, Abuja.
“The workshop is part of my administration’s commitment to the enhancing the capacity of officers whose primary responsibility it is to manage the image and information dissemination process towards re-positioning the Nigeria Police and changing the uninformed perceptions and faulty narratives about the Nigeria Police Force.
“This is with a view to rebranding the Force,” Adamu added.
He noted that experts have asserted that there is an “intertwining relationship” between public perception and the effectiveness of the police to attain its internal security mandate.
“The import of this is that our ability to win over public trust and confidence as a pathway to crime management is precedent on the capacity of you, the officers, to rebrand the police and project it positively to the citizens.”
However, anger is building up within the ranks of police officers, which may snowball into a protest due to the stalling of promotions and retirements as a result of the face of with the Police Service Commission (PSC) over the recruitment of 10, 000 constables, it has gathered.
Following a meeting of the management of the PSC with the Joint Staff Union of the commission over the recruitment imbroglio, the union had demanded the suspension of all promotions and recruitments and other activities as it pertains to the police until all the issues are resolved.
A source in the commission said, yesterday, that the development had led to the stalling of many promotions and retirements, which were still being processed thereby creating feelings of disaffection among those affected.
The source said: “The staff union of the commission insisted that the commission must suspend all activities that concern the police until the matter is resolved.

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Senate Bars Media As MDAs Defend Budgets

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The Senate, yesterday, defended its committees’ decision to shut out the media from covering the budget defence session it is currently holding with the ministries, agencies and departments of the Federal Government.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, justified the action of his colleagues during an interactive session with journalists.
The Senate panels had last Wednesday, started the process of scrutinising details of the 2020 budgets of the MDAs, with most of the sessions held behind closed doors, contrary to the usual practice.
Adeyeye said the Senate would not deny journalists the necessary information the public needed to know about the budgets of the MDAs.
He said the committees’ decision to shut out the media was actually to avoid unnecessary distractions.
He explained that the various committees would still brief the journalists after the budget defence sessions.
He said, “On secret meetings with MDAs, I have said that we shall liaise with relevant committees of the Senate to make sure that they allow proper coverage of their activities.
“I just finished a meeting of another committee on budget defence and honestly we held that meeting but the venue couldn’t accommodate all of us, even a lot of the staff have nowhere to seat.
“It isn’t that they want to conduct budget defence in secrecy but serious issues of budget defence, looking at figures, ratify them, adjusting them don’t necessarily have to be open to the media.
“What I am saying is that there is no secrecy but they need to do serious work.
“If I want to write a paper now, I want to do serious intellectual work; will I be doing it in the full glare of camera? No!
“I want us to believe that it is a serious matter. We want to discuss the issues seriously, genuinely, factually.
“The press can be called in but sometimes the Committee needs their privacies to do their jobs.
“They can at the end of the day call the press to say, “This is what we have done.” If they can do their job without the searchlight of the cameras, they can get the job done.
“This is what they have done, it isn’t secrecy. Do you want the committees to do everything in your presence? I don’t think it is proper.
“Were you there when the Executive was preparing the budget, but the president came here to present it.
“The budget defence can be done behind closed door but then whatever has be done, the best thing is to release it to the public and I think that’s if fair enough.”
He assured the media that his committee would liaise with the other Senate committees to make their findings available to the public.
Adeyeye said, “There is nothing secret about this thing, they are looking at it item by item they couldn’t have released it to the press.
“I am going to pass information to chairmen of the various committees to do the same on their report.

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Wike Tasks Advisory Council On Safer Roads

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To reduce the menace of road crashes across Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike has inaugurated the Rivers State Road Safety Advisory Council (RSRSAC) to drive the implementation of the Nigerian Road Safety Strategy in the state.
Wike said the inauguration of the advisory council was apt, having recently sworn in the Rivers State Road Maintenance Agency to ensure safe and drive-able roads for the good people of the state.
The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Tammy Danagogo, in Port Harcourt, last Wednesday, said, the council was to advise the state government and the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) on measures to improve road safety management, safer vehicles, safe road users, post-crash care, amongst others, according to the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy.
He advised members of the council, who are to serve as technical working group, to ensure best practices by swinging into massive awareness campaign on road safety to reduce carnage on roads, having been drawn from different ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
In his remarks, the Sector Commander of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr David Mendie, said the advisory council was necessary to join synergy with the rest of the federation in ensuring safety of road users and proper emergency management.
The state advisory council is chaired by the Secretary to the State Government while the alternate chairman is the Sector Commander of FRSC.
Other members include representatives drawn from ministries of transport, health, justice, information and communications, education, finance, the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA), Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

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Why FG Is Borrowing Fresh $3bn From World Bank -Minister

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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed has said the $3billion loan being sought by the Federal Government from the World Bank would be deployed for reforms in the power sector.
She said this during an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the World Bank/International Monetary Fund meetings holding in Washington DC, United States.
Ahmed, who is leading the Federal Government’s delegation to the meeting, said she would be holding further discussions with the management of the Bank to present how the fund would be disbursed for the project.
She said based on the plan of the Federal Government for the power sector, the loan would be used for the development of transmission and distribution networks to enhance the delivery of electricity.
Ahmed also said the loan would be used in addressing some of the challenges that the country is currently facing in the power sector.
She said, “There is a proposed $2.5billion to $3billion facility for the power sector development programme in Nigeria and this will include development of the transmission networks and the distribution networks as well as removing the challenges that we currently have now in the electricity sector.
“We are going to have a full meeting to discuss the power sector recovery programme and back home we have been working a great deal with the World Bank to design how this programme will be implemented.
“So, we have an opportunity now to have a direct meeting with the leadership of the bank and to tell them the plan we have and how much we need from one to five years.”
The finance minister explained that the government would be pushing for the disbursement of the $3billion facility in two tranches of $1.5billion each.
When asked to comment on concerns being raised by the IMF about Nigeria’s debt which stands at N25.7trillion the finance minister insists that Nigeria does not have a debt problem.
She said what the government needed to do is to increase its revenue-generating capacity in order to boost the revenue to about 50 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.
She said with Nigeria’s current revenue to GDP ratio standing at just 19 per cent, it’s underperformance is significantly straining the government’s ability to service its debt obligation.
The minister said, “Nigeria does not have a debt problem. What we have is a revenue problem.
“Our revenue to GDP is still one of the lowest among countries that are comparable to us. It’s about 19 per cent of GDP and what the World Bank and IMF recommended is about 50 per cent of GDP for countries that are our size. We are not there yet. What we have is a revenue problem.
“The underperformance of our revenue is causing a significant strain in our ability to service debt and to service government day-to-day recurrent expenditure and that is why all the work we are doing at the ministry of finance is concentrating on driving the increase in revenue.”
When asked why the Federal Government decided to increase the revenue projection in the 2020 budget to N8.9trillion at a time when government revenue performance is less than 60 per cent, she said a lot of measures are being put in place to correct the anomaly.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government is considering introducing excise duties on carbonated drinks, according to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.
Ahmed gave the indication in an interview with newsmen, yesterday, on the sidelines of the ongoing World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in Washington DC, United States.
She said the idea was one of other areas, besides the proposed increase in VAT, that the government was looking at to broaden its revenue base.
The minister explained that the government was working hard to ensure efficiency in existing revenue streams while searching for new ones.
She said the government would consult with all stakeholders on the proposal in line with standard policy formulation process.
“Any tax that you are introducing will involve a lot of consultations and also amendments of some laws or introduction of new regulations,” she said.
Carbonated drinks include soft drink brands such as Coca Cola, Sprite and Fanta, while excise duty is a tax levied on locally produced goods.
Ahmed said her ministry was working with all the agencies to ensure that collaboration was strengthened in revenue generation.
“The government is trying to ensure that the work of the agencies is complementing each other as opposed to the past where everybody is working in silos.
“Efforts are ongoing to improve the monitoring performance of the revenue generating agencies, especially government-owned enterprises.
“We have now in place rigorous monthly reconciliation of revenues and that is ensuring that the leakages are minimised.
“There is several cost cutting measures in the SRGI and a number of cost cutting measures initiatives such as innovation and automation as well as capacity building of our people,” she said.
The minister reiterated government’s resolve to sanction revenue generating agencies that fail to meet their targets.

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