The National Assembly has expressed its determination to pass the N16.3trillion 2022 budget presented to it by President Muhammadu Buhari penultimate Thursday before lawmakers would proceed on their Christmas break on December 16.
This is as the House of Representatives, yesterday, passed for second reading the 2022 Appropriation Bill after a two-day debate on the general principles of the national budget.
The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege gave the assurance, yesterday, when he hosted his former classmates from the Nigerian Law School, Class of ’86 (The Centennial Class) led by ‘Class Captain’ Oladipo Okpeseyi SAN in Abuja,
According to Omo-Agege, early approval and signing of the appropriation bill into law will ensure planning, bring about enhanced productivity and efficiency in the management and application of the nation’s resources.
He explained that Nigerians are the ultimate beneficiaries of the return to the January to December budget cycle, stressing that this will guarantee full implementation of the economic, infrastructural, social investments and other developmental programmes contained in the budget.
“The budget process is ongoing. In the next 30 days, we will conclude it and pass it before we go on Christmas break, sometime on December 16,” he said.
On the request for the completion of a moot court at the Nigerian Law School Headquarters, Bwari, Abuja by the class, the Delta Central lawmaker promised to assist in completing the project.
He was excited that his class had taken on such a laudable project.
Speaking on a bill sponsored by his colleague that seeks to increase the number of law school campuses in Nigeria from six to 12, the federal legislator emphasised the need to reach out to all stakeholders to determine its acceptability or otherwise.
He said: “I want to thank you for the initiative you have taken on this moot court. It’s a great idea, especially for trained advocates. I really don’t see how you can hone your skills if you are not given the opportunity and privilege to have facilities like that.
“I am not surprised that this initiative is coming from ’86 Class. We are the most innovative in every respect. I appreciate what you have done. I have your back. Any assistance I can render, I will be available. I am also here in case of any legislative intervention that the class believes ought to be made.
“We have stepped in so many times to assist the Judiciary as much as we are able to by way of improvement in their welfare, especially with the FCT courts, trying to provide adequate funding to expand the court and provide facilities. And for most of us who come from the judicial family, I know what my own Dad went through using long-hand to do most of the work as opposed to what obtains abroad.
“I keep telling the judges who come before us here for confirmation that I am sure that if people like my Dad had such benefits, it would have added 10 years to his lifespan. Any assistance you need, you can always count on us”.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives, yesterday, passed for second reading the 2022 Appropriation Bill after a two-day debate on the general principles of the national budget.
The lawmakers had taken turns to criticise the internal and external borrowings by the Federal Government, the huge budget deficit and failure by the ministries, departments and agencies to generate adequate revenue to finance the budget, among other issues.
The budget is titled, ‘A Bill for an Act to Authorise the issue from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, the total sum of N16,391,023,917,692 only, of which N768,276,616,043 only is for Statutory Transfers, N3,901,952,981,550 only is for Debt Service, N6,829,015,483,446 only is for Recurrent (Non-Debt) Expenditure while the sum of N4,891,778,836,654 only is for Contribution to the Development Fund for Capital Expenditure for the year ending 31 December, 2022.’
Buhari Seeks Return To Family Values In Rebuilding Nigeria …Wike, Tambuwal, Other Govs Attend Ikpeazu’s Son’s Wedding
Buhari said this, yesterday, at the wedding of Mr. Jachimike Ikpeazu, son of Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu at the International Conference Centre in Umuahia, Abia State.
At the event, the groom wedded his heartbeat, Miss Thelma Chidinma.
The wedding was also attended by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, Sokoto State Governor, Hon. Aminu Tanbuwal, and several other dignitaries.
Others present at the wedding service that was conducted by the Seventh Day Adventist Church were Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel; Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki; Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri; Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed; Ebonyi State Governor, Engr. David Umahi; and Enugu State Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.
Also at the event were the immediate past governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; and National Secretary-elect of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Sam Anyanwu.
Buhari, who was represented at the occasion by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Uche Ogah, decried the situation where parents and guardians who should have paid greater attention in inculcating good character in their wards, have abdicated that responsibility.
He sued for a collective effort across tribes and regions towards restoring family values and giving it its rightful place.
“Marriage is family value, character. The reasons why there are issues in the society, today, is because families are broken. When values are enshrined in families, the entire society will be good.”
Buhari charged the couple to build their family on the word of God, have a regular family altar of prayers, and give good attention to building enduring character.
Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, who was represented by wife of the Ebonyi State Governor, Mrs. Rachael Umahi, told the couple to know that marriage is where love is celebrated.
She urged them to continue in the training given to them by their parents, and learn to love themselves more so that their home can be a blessing and impact positively on others around them.
In his sermon, Pastor B. E. O. Udoh, admonished the couple not to allow their love for each other to diminish.
He further urged them to be tolerant, support each other to become their best, build and cultivate goodly character.
In his remarks, Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu said it was delightful to watch his son take a wife to himself, and prayed God to make their union fruitful.
Ikpeazu expressed gratitude to Buhari and his wife, his brother governors, political associates and friends who attended the event, for honouring him with their presence.
Insurgents Planning To Attack Military Bases, DSS Alerts
In a letter signed by the State Director of Security, Ogun State Command, M.B. Abdullahi, DSS warned that it has intelligence that the insurgents were plotting to attack military bases in border towns.
The DSS also advised customs and other security agencies in the country to put counter-measures in place to frustrate the plot by the insurgents.
The letter titled, ‘Plans by insurgents to launch attacks on military bases in various border communities’ read, “Available intelligence indicates plans by insurgents and criminal elements to carry out simultaneous attacks on military posts and bases in various border communities across the nation anytime from now.
“In view of the foregoing and the likelihood such attacks not limited to the military personnel only, all law enforcement and security agencies with operational bases at border communities are advised to take note of the above threat and emplace countermeasures with emphasis on personal security of operatives to frustrate the planned attack.”
PAP Partners NNPC To Sustain Peace In N’Delta
The agreement was reached when PAP’s Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) led a delegation to visit the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari, in Abuja, over the weekend.
In a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media to the Acting Administrator, Mr Neotaobase Egbe, PAP said the meeting was strategic and in line with the objective of programme to partner with all relevant stakeholders for the full implementation of the amnesty programme.
He said PAP was courting willing partners to have robust synergy to drive the Niger Delta Recovery Plan (NDRP) to fruition.
The statement noted that though PAP was executing its own role in reintegrating 30,000 ex-agitators captured by the Presidency, there was a need to strengthen partnership between sister agencies of government for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta.
He said the NNPC like other institutions of government had roles to play in oil assets redistribution, infrastructural development and environmental remediation.
Dikio said that there was a need to control disruptions in oil production, saying destructive energies could be channelled into productive ventures through re-orientation and sustained advocacy.
He also said that PAP had made efforts to cut down irrelevant trainings and had become intentional about successfully empowering its delegates.
He said trainings over the years had become contractor-driven and were not meeting the beneficiaries’ needs.
Dikio maintained that the PAP was targeting functional businesses that had the capacity to train, employ and mentor delegates into becoming successful business owners.
He said: “For instance, if we have someone that has a commercial poultry farm and we partner with them to train our delegates, they will be employed after their training. In the course of two years and five months they will be taken through the ropes of poultry farming before they are sent out to start their own poultry.
“It is a win-win for everybody. We did the research and we discovered that the cassava plant in Bayelsa needs about 20,000 metric tons of cassava daily, so there is ample opportunity for our delegates to go into that kind of business.
“Again, palm oil when sold in international markets is above $1,000 a ton, and here, we are in the region only focusing on oil and gas”.
Dikio further said there were arrays of businesses the PAP was looking to inject delegates into, adding that exceptional graduates under the PAP scholarship scheme had more opportunities for employment.
In his remarks, the NNPC GMD, Mele Kyari, commended Dikio for the efforts to ensure peace in the Niger Delta, and emphasised the need to sustain the peace through accommodation and inclusiveness of Niger Delta youths.
He bemoaned the inability of the oil industry to fulfil its obligations to the region over the years, saying that it was one of the reasons the amnesty programme had prolonged.
He said: “As we speak today, we have seen a number of increasing incidents of unrest; cases that remind us of the past we don’t want to recollect again.
“Therefore, everything you have said points to the fact that inclusion, support and empowerment for young people particularly in the Niger Delta will bring peace and development to the Niger Delta. No amount of resources available to you will give you peace except there is alignment with the respective players in the space”.
Kyari said the award of licences to investors to begin production on about 57 marginal oil fields within Niger Delta in 2022 was designed to support businesses that originated from the region because most of the beneficiaries from the marginal field programme were indigenes of the Niger Delta.
He said working together would bring lasting peace to the region, explaining that the number of experienced technical people produced from the programme, would easily fill employment opportunities.
He said: “Once you create opportunities and investments return, more employment opportunities will come. I think it is a good thing that we work together, both the amnesty programme and all other actors in this space to bring the lasting peace to the Niger Delta and across our country, where people can benefit because ultimately if we cannot give, there will be nothing to show in another five to ten years, that is the reality that we are in.”
By: Akujobi Amadi
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