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Senate Exposes Job Racketeering At FCC …Vows To Bring Perpetrators To Book

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The Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character Commission, Danjuma Tella La’ah in Abuja, yesterday, exposed a job racketeering was going on at the Federal Character Commission (FCC).
Speaking with journalists in his office, the member representing Kaduna South Senatorial District, Danjuma Tella La’ah said, the matter was being investigated to unravel those involved in the racket.
According to him, there were reports from Nigerians that cartels within the fold of FCC sell jobs to Nigerians at a price that is highly dependent on agencies of choice of the applicant.
He explained how he got a text from a younger Nigerian who got appointment with the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) for N3million.
He described the situation as a terrible one that shouldn’t be tolerated.
He said: “Well, thank you for bringing the issue of job racketeering at the Federal Character Commission.
“The Senate Committee on Federal Character Commission has been investigating and we are doing everything possible to unravel those behind sales of jobs there.
“I got reports from different people on sales of jobs going on at the Federal Character Commission (FCC).
“Appointment into government offices for sales at the Federal Character Commission is real.
“Someone has forwarded to me a text which is in my phone that he purchased Nigeria Ports Authority job from the Federal Character Commission at N3million.
“This is shocking. It makes my heart bleed, am so sad and I am going to take drastic action in this case. If the committee finds out that this is what they have been doing, we are not going to take it lightly with them.
“No stone shall be left unturned in telling the whole country that the FCC is involved in job racketeering.
The lawmaker lamented how some elements were involved in underhand dealings in the agency, because of the pressure of unemployment among Nigerians.
“There is high unemployment rate in Nigeria. People finish school and there is no job anywhere only to be busy selling jobs. Does it make sense? It’s an embarrassment to the society; it’s an embarrassment to the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The President had earlier made a statement that he wants to make everybody enjoy his administration whatever it will take and that hundreds of thousands of undergraduates will be given appointment.
“If the investigation we are doing confirms it to be true, we are not going to take it lightly. We are gradually closing in on them.
Similarly, the House of Representatives, yesterday, threatened to issue a warrant on government agencies that fail to appear before its Public Account Committee to answer questions on why they failed to submit their audited account to the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts, Rep. Oluwole Oke, who issued the threat, said such agencies have something to hide, stressing that the House was determine to unravel the reason for their refusal.
Specifically, Oke ordered the managing director of the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority to appear before the committee, today or risk arrest.
Oke issued the threat at the resumed sitting of the committee just as its members was told that 14 years after its closure, some workers of the Nigeria Mining Corporation have been receiving salaries from government.
Oke also directed that the Minister of Solid Minerals and Steel Development, the Minister of Water Resources and the Director General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises should cause an appearance before the committee to answer questions relating to agencies under their supervision.
The Minister for Solid Minerals and Steel Development as well as the Director General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises are to appear before the House Committee to explain why the agency that has been closed down since 2006 was still drawing salaries from the public funds.
The Assistant General Manager, Finance of the Nigeria Mining Corporation, Dauda Ibrahim Gambo, told that House Committee that agency was closed for privatisation and that they were asked to collaborate with BPE for a successful privatization of the place
However, about 24 former workers of the Lagos International Trade Fair, who were sacked when the agency was concessioned and absolved by the parent ministry are still collecting salaries from the organization.
The committee, however, placed all River Basin Development Authority on status enquiry, saying the House wants to get that root of the non-rendition of audited account to the office of the Auditor General of the Federation by treasury funded and partially funded agencies in accordance with the law.
The Anambra Imo River Basin Development Authority, Lower Benue River Basin Development Authority, Cross River Basin Development Authority, Sokoto Rima Basin Development Authority, Lake Chad Basin Development Authority, Benin Owena River Basin Development Authority, Lower Niger River Basin Development Authority were all placed under status enquiry by the committee.
Also placed on status enquiry was the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA), while the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had its representative turned back.
A Deputy Director in the agency, Gbenga Yewande, had informed the committee that the director general could not attend the sitting because she was attending an international event at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja.
Oke was particularly not happy with the office of the Auditor General for failing to issue constant reminder to agencies even when they are aware of default by the agencies.
Meanwhile, an Executive Director with the NIRSAL Micro Finance Bank, Dr. Lawrence Akande, who appeared before the committee inform them that even though the bank was established to help drive small scale investment in the country, there is no single kobo from public fund invested in the bank.
He said the only fund the bank was using for its operations was the share of the equity paid by the Bankers Committee who own 60 per cent of the bank equity.
He said the vision of the bank was to have branches in the 774 local government areas of the country, stressing that at the moment, they have only 53 branches and hope to complete another 60 before the end of the year.

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Banigo Felicitates With Justice Wike On Her Birthday

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has felicitated with the wife of the State Chief Executive Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom Wike as she celebrates her birthday on Saturday, 23rd May, 2020.

 

In a statement from the Government House in Port Harcourt on Friday, 23rd May 2020, Dr. Banigo described Hon. Justice Wike as a humane and God fearing woman who is a great pillar of strength to our amiable Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.

 

While wishing her many happy returns the Deputy Governor prayed the Almighty God to continue to protect and bless Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzzette Nyesom Wike.

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Former Nigeria President Jonathan Loses Foster Dad.

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The family of former Nigerian President,Goodluck Jonathan and the Otuoke community of Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa state has been thrown into mourning as the News of the sudden demise of Chief Nitabai Inegite,the former president’s foster father reached them.

Though no official reports have reached us as to the cause of his death,The Tide learnt that the septuagenerian has been briefly ill shortly before his demise.
The former President, who visited the residence of his late foster father the early hours of Wednesday has not made any official statement regarding funeral arrangement.
Chief Inegite,popularly called ‘holy’ by his admirers and friends was initially reported to have been responding to treatment in an undisclosed health facility where his health later deteriorated before finally giving up  the ghost  at about 11:00 pm,Tuesday 19th day of May,2020.
You would recall that the late Chief Nitabai Inegite was twice reported to have been kidnapped some time between 2014 and 2016 respectively.
The late former president’s foster father was survived by his wife,biological children,grand children and numerous relatives.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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Nigerian Senate Considers Bill For Ensure Food Security

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…seeks establishment of Food Reserve Agency
The Nigerian Senate, in a seemingly proactive stop to forestall anticipated food shortfall  in the country ,  on Tuesday, commenced legislative work on a critical bill to ensure food security in Nigeria through  the establishment of  Food Reserve Agency to plan and implement policies for adequate food production and storage.
The bill  sponsored  by Senator Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa West), scaled second reading at plenary , on Tuesday.
Leading debate on the bill, Senator Adamu noted that Nigeria as a nation needs to develop its Agricultural sector to ensure not only alternate economy but also food security .
He further emphasised that this requires  an vibral  agency to drive all attending policies for the growth and sustainability of the sector.
According to the lawmaker, the Food Reserve agency when established, would be responsible for storing food grains and other food commodities for strategic purposes.
His words “Agriculture plays a pivotal role in the development and growth of every nation. Any country seeking to diversify its economy, alleviate poverty, create jobs and ensure food security should prioritize agriculture.
“Nigeria recognizing the important role Agriculture plays has made efforts to place the sector at the fore by introducing different intervention programmes and policies backed by enabling laws.
“A further step to be taken to ensure food security in our country at all times is to formulate enabling laws that will address food insecurity,”
“The agency will implement the overall National Food Reserve Policy to ensure a reliable supply of designated commodities in the country.”
The lawmaker recalled that, “the recent mandate of the President during the COVID-19 pandemic to distribute 70,000 metric tons of grains from the Grains Reserves shows clearly how important it is for a country to have a Food Reserve Agency.”
 Stressing the importance of food security ,he linked the current Covid 19 situation and its Nigeria’s readiness to  ensure the nation don’t wind up in food crises as well.
According to Senator Adamu, with the Agency in place, Nigeria will be taking the right step in the right direction as replicated in other African countries such as Zambia and Tanzania.
“With the existence of the Agency, emergency food crises will be taken care of especially in the period of a pandemic.
“There will also be a reduction in post-harvest losses as silos, warehouses, equipment, ancillary facilities and other suitable storage facilities will be installed and maintained.”  the Senator explained.
After the debate, the President of  the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan referred the bill to the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development chaired by the sponsor of the bill Adsmu Abdullahi.
The Committee  is given four weeks  to report back to the Senate.
Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi.
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