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THE STATES

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Ekiti

 

Ekiti State government has declared its intention to inject about N196 million into the resuscitation of the Ire clay products company limited, Ire Ekiti.

The State Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, Taiwo Olatunbosun, who disclosed this  while addressing journalists, said the moribund Ire Burnt Bricks Company was being resuscitated by the state government in collaboration with the Odua Investment Company and a foreign technical partner, Messrs CERATEC from Belgium.

Olatunbosun said the project, estimated to cost about N350 million, has reached an advanced stage, adding that it would soon join the league of dead companies that were resurrected by the state government for the benefit of the people.

The Information Commissioner said the state government has also approved the appointment of Tajudeen Bamidele Jimoh as the new Olosan of Osan-Ekiti in Moba Local Council of the state.

According to him, the selection of Jimoh was done with strict adherence to all relevant provisions of the law to fill the stool of Olasan, which became vacant in July 2006.

 

Ogun

 

The Ogun government has denied making illegal deductions from the local councils’ statutory allocations.

The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Aare Tunde Alabi, who spoke at the weekend in Abeokuta, described those spreading such rumoUr as  “mischievous people.”

He said thAt at present, all the councils in the country couldn’t sustain themselves due to insufficient funds, urging the federal government to increase funds meant for the councils.

Alabi, who spoke after the state joint Allocation Committee’s meeting, said he invited traditional rulers as well as representatives from the retirees, local government and teachers union, among others, to the meeting so as to lay the card before them to know that the government has nothing to hide.

According to the commissioner, there had been insinuations concerning the local councils allocations and to prove that the government has nothing to hide, “we invited all stakeholders to convince them that no dime is being deducted from the allocation.”

 

Lagos

 

A Federal High Court, Lagos, presided over  by Justice Mohammed Liman has restrained the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) from conducting a re-run election in Osun state East senatorial District.

It also restrained the electoral body from conducting polls to fill the Osogbo local council seat in the state House of Assembly slated for December 12, 2009.

The order was sequel to a motion ex parte brought before the court by the Action Congress party (AC) through its Counsel, Mr. Femi Falana, seeking an order of mandamus  to compel INEC to produce a current voter’s register.

Justice Liman also ordered INEC to stay all actions and avoid doing anything that is preparatory to the bye-election, pending  the hearing of the motion on notice, which must be heard and determined before December 20.

The court further granted AC leave to apply for an order of mandamus in terms of the reliefs contained in the  statement of reliefs and ground of the application. The Judge then fixed December 15 for the hearing of the substantive motion.

 

Benue

 

Leaders of Benue South Senatorial Districts of Benue State have resolved their difference over the agitation for the creation of Apa State out  of the present Benue State.

Rising from a meeting at the weekend, the movement for the creation of Apa State resolved that paramount ruler of Idomaland Ochidoma, Elias Ikoyi Obekpa, would lead the delegation for the creation of Apa to the National Assembly.

The weekend meeting also approved the appointment of Gen. Ebije Ikwue as chairman of the committee to reconcile all documents aimed at fast tracking the process. Several leaders of the movement called for unity of purpose in the attainment of the objective of the group, as they said there was no reason why leaders of the area should work at cross purposes.

The meeting was seen as an effort to reconcile differing opionions among the leaders of Benue South Senatorial District over the procedures being adopted in the agitation for the creation of Apa State.

The meting became necessary after certain leaders of opposition parties started sponsoring parties and media statements claiming that the agitation was being politicised and they have been left out in the scheme of things.

The resolution of the meeting presided over by the Och’Idoma is believed to have put the agitation back on track.

Agitation for creation of Apa State which dates back to the early 1980’s has always been a victim of internal squabbles between leaders of the zone.

 

Ondo

 

The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) rose from its National Executive Council, (NEC) meeting in Akure, Ondo State capital yesterday with threats of closing down newspaper houses that default in payment of salaries of journalists on their payroll.

The union also decried poor practising journalists and called on operation of the industry to raise the standard of the wages of practitioners to be commensurate “with the enormous task and risk they face in the course of their duty”.

NUJ National president, Mallam Garba Mohammed, who made the comment after the meeting with journalists across the country in attendance, expressed concern that many journalists are being owed many months of salary arrears.

According to him, the matter is more digusting because the proprietors of these media houses are making enough profits to pay regular salaries to workers.

He said: “we have it on good authorities that not more than four newspaper houses for instance, are actually paying salaries of their workers regularly while many had not paid their workers for months.

 

Osun

 

Barring last minute hitches Osun Sate Election Petition Tribunal may resume sitting this week to continue hearing of the suit by Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, against the election of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola and the People Democratic Party (PDP).

The  tribunal had been forced to adjourn sitting indefinitely due to the strike embarked upon on November 2, 2009, by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).

But reprieve came Monday in a statement by the stinking onion, which indicated its readiness to waive  its position and give access to members of the tribunal to the venue, located within the Osun state judiciary premises so that the panel could continue its duty.

The AC had in a statement recently accused the state government of deliberately refusing to meet the demands of the striking union in order to shut out the tribunal from continuing to hear the petition.

The party also wrote a petition to the national head quarters of JUSUN, urging the union to allow members of the tribunal to continue their assignment despite the ongoing strike to enable the panel complete its assignment in good time.

The statement by Osun State Branch Secretary of JUSUN, Mr. Iyanda Sikiru Bola and public Secretary. Oladumi Akinyemi said the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the union had directed that the tribunal be allowed to continue its job unhindered. “Osun State branch of JUSUN hereby directs the secretary of the election tribunal sitting in Obogbo, Osun State to re-open for continuation of the ongoing election petition on retrial,” the statement said.

Stressing that the action was taken to facilitate the rule of law, good governance and democratic principles the union noted that “the tribunal should not be disturbed by our members while the ongoing strike of JUSUN persists.

 

Katsina

 

The family of president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua said yesterday that it would not hesitate to institute legal action against any media house that continues to report the president’s health maliciously. A statement signed by the President’s. Sister,” Hajia Maro Musa Yar’Adua in Katsine on hehalf of the family said its attention has been drawn to the false, malicious and obviously sponsored media reports that suggested that the president’s mother, Hajia Dada Habib Yar’Adua asked Mr. President to resign from office on account of ill health.

The reports, according to Hajia Mairo insinuated that Hajia Yar’Adua is disagreeing with the president’s wife. Turai, who the newspapers claimed was urging the president to sit tight, saying there was no time that the president’s mother suggested so.

To put the records straight the president’s mother has never spoken to the media.

She engjoys a cordial relationshion with her daughter-inlaw, Turai The president’s mother contrary to media reports, is supportive of Mr. President’s foray into politics and had always encouraged him to render selfless services to the good people of Nigeria, the family said. The family also said that instead of the media turning itself into malleable tools of a blackmail by disgruntled politicians” it should rather “cross check facts before going to press” most especially at this critical stage of the nation’s development.

Sequel to this, Hajia Mario Yar’Adua has instructed all the media houses “responsible for these falsehoods to retract the misleading report and apologise to the family or face legal action.”

FCT

 

The Natioknal Working Committee (NWC) of the People Democratioc Party (PDP) has summoned a meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party to discuss the health of president Umaru Yar’Adua, who is currently in hospital in Saudi Arabia. Also on the agenda of the NEC meeting expected to hold Thursday, December 10 at the National Secretariat of the Party, Abuja include deberative on the expected mid term convention by the first quarter of next year.

The party also called on the Inspector General of police to investigate the out come of the bye-election  in Ondo State, where it accused the Labour Party of rigging the out come of the Akoko South-East/Akoko South West federal constituency polls.

According to a top source at the PDP National Secretariat,”the aim of the meeting is for the party to inform members of the NEC of the health of the president and urge members of the party to pray for the quick recovery of the president.” This NEC meeting is a follow up to the Session for the President. When some ones is sick, the best hyou can offer to that person in to show empathy and prayers,” the source said.

Since the admission of the president is a Saudi hospital there has been strident calls for his resignation, but both the party and the federal Executive council have opposed such calls, stating that there is no vacancy in the presidential Villa as there is nothing to suggest that the president cannot perform his official duties. But some politicians and civil society groups have called on the president to resign,  claiming that the absence of the president has caused dislocations in the Nigerian economy.

 

Adamawa

 

Former Vic President, Atiku Abubakar, United Nations under-Secretary General, Prof. Ibrahaim Gambari and President, Nigerian Bar Assocation (NBA), Rotimie Akerodolu, have submitted that Nigeria must conduct credible elections in 2011 as a cardinal milestone in the country’s march towards nation hood.

Abubakar and Gambari spoke in Yola, Adamawa State, during the  weekend at the founders’ Day of the American University of Nigeria, while Akeredelu delivered a paper in Abeokuta, Ogun State, at “Sanyaolu Memorial lecture” organised by the state chapter of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors in honour of their late chairman, Adefemi Sanyaolu.

In his keynote address entitled: “The persuit of excellence in the task of nation-building,” Gambari maintained that “free and fair elections are what we want to see in Nigeria next year. Anything short of that will not take us anywhere and will draw the hands of our development backward.

“Except you (the electorat) give leaders their mandate, there is no way you can tell them to be transparent.”

 

Kaduna

 

Amid persistent demand for President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s exit from office on health grounds, his younger sister, Hajia Binta Kuraya, says the Nigerian leader, if given the opportunity can still rule the country for another 16 years.

Although the  1999 constitution allows a four year tenure of two terms, Mrs Kuraya told journalists in Kaduna that the health of the President was not as poor as his opponents had portrayed it to most Nigerians.

But the Minority leader of the House of Respresentatives, Mohammed Ali Ndume, has appealed to the president to make a “very sincere assessment” on his state of health before deciding whether to quit or remain in office.

To the Catholic Bishop of Ilorin, Rev. Father Ayo-Maria Atoyebi, the President’s situation requires a spiritual approach an not constitutional means while (Yar’Adua’s classmates) under the aegis of Kefi Old Boys’ Assication (KOBA) decribed calls for his exist as callous and mischievous.

Hajia Kuraya said those calling for his brother’sw resignation to have the fea of god at heart in the interest of the nation’s democracy.

Kuraya, who incidentally was a one-time woman leader for the Atiku Abubakar campaign Organisation said she was embittered with the rumoured death of the President, saying that Yar’Adua would soon bounce back and resume work.

She said no matter the pressure, Yar’Adua “cannot be removed from office by anyone,” asserting that if Yar’Adua was given the chance, “the President has the ability and capacity to lead the country for another 16 years.”

 

Zamfara

 

A slight cabinet reshuffle has been effected by the Governor of Zamfara State, Mahmud Aliyu Shikafi.

The exercise affected about six commissioners and four speciall advisers, accordint to a statement made available to journatlists and signed by the Director of Press to the governor, Adamu Sani Katuru said those affected by the development include Dr. Na’Allah Isah Mayana who was moved from Ministry of Lands and Survey to Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning.

Isiyaka  Zurmi awas moved from the finance Ministry to that of Local Government and Ehieftaincy Affairs while Engr. Kabim Marfa was moved from Water Resources Ministry to the of Education.

The statement equally indicate tht Bashir Madaro, who hold forth at the Education Ministry before the reshuffle, will now be in charge at the Ministry of lands and survey and Tukur Dangaladima has been moved from Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs to that of Water Resources.

It said Allassaw Shinkafi, who was recently cleared by the state house of assembly, will assume duty as the new Commissioner of Finance.

Similary, Aliyu Admau Tsafe, who was in charge at the Budget and Economic Planning Ministry, will be given a new schedule of duty in due course.

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EFCC Re-Arrests Fani-Kayode

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A former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has been re-invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following investigations into alleged document falsification
Fani-Kayode alongside a former Minister of State for Finance, Nenandi Usman, is standing trial on alleged N4.6billion money laundering, before Justice Mohammed Aikawa.
Other defendants are Yusuf Danjuma, a former chairman of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and a company, Jointrust Dimensions Nigeria Ltd.
They are facing a 17-count charge of money laundering preferred against them by the anti-graft agency.
They had each pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted bails.
The trial had begun before Justice Aikawa and witnesses were still being led in evidence until Aikawa was transferred out of the Lagos division.
The charge was consequently, re-assigned to a new judge, Justice Daniel Osaigor, and the defendants were scheduled for re-arraignment on October 27.
Meanwhile, at the last adjourned date, FaniKayode was absent from court and the defence counsel who appeared on his behalf, Mr Fred Ajudua informed the court that he was on admission at Kubwa General Hospital in Abuja.
He had prayed for an adjournment on that ground on behalf of the second defendant
But, the EFCC prosecutor, Mrs BilikisuBuhari, informed the court that the same tactics had always been adopted by the defendant whenever he does not want to attend court.
After going through the court’s records, Justice Osiagor noted that it was clear that the defendant had issued a similar letter of excuse five times.

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Abiodun Presents N350.74bn 2022 Budget To Ogun Assembly

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Governor Dapo Abiodun has presented the 2022 appropriation bill of N350.74 billion to the Ogun State House of Assembly.
Abiodun, yesterday, presented the bill, tagged ‘Budget of Restoration’ to the lawmakers at the Assembly Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
Addressing the assembly members at a ceremony presided over by the Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo, Abiodun reiterated his determination to give priority attention to the completion of existing projects, projects with revenue potential and projects that can enhance employment generation.
According to the governor, the total state funding is estimated at N350.74 billion in 2022.
This, Abiodun said, “includes Ogun State Internal Revenue Service (OGIRS) estimates of N56.30 billion and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) estimated at N96.87 billion totaling N153.17 billion. Statutory allocation (i.e. FAAC and VAT) is expected to be N73.01 billion while the capital receipt is estimated at N124.56 billion (i.e. Internal and External loans including Grants and Aids etc).”
On planned expenditure, Abiodun explained that “the aggregate expenditure of N350.74 billion is proposed for the State Government in 2022.”
Under recurrent expenditure, a total of N75B is to be expended in paying salaries and allowances in MDAs; N28b on debt service obligations and N51b on total overhead costs of MDAs and government-owned enterprises.
For capital expenditure, Abiodun said N170 billion is budgeted, being an increase of N10 billion over the 2021 approval of N160 billion.
He added that a total sum of N7.7billion is provided for transfers to the Stabilization Fund to insulate and position the State towards unprecedented activities or economic shocks.
Of the entire budget, Education gulps N56,071.21b, representing 16 percent; while Health takes N35,073.51b, being 10 percent.
Infrastructure takes the largest share of N77,775.77, which is 22 percent of the budget.
The Assembly is expected to legislate on the appropriation bill and return a clean copy to the governor for his assent.
The Speaker assured Abiodun of a speedy and thorough legislative process on the proposed budget with a view to sustaining the tradition of its passage on record time to comply with the January to December cycle in line with the international financial standards.

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ICPC Uncovers N20bn Project Duplication, Personnel Budget Fraud In MDAs

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) says it has uncovered gross abuse of personnel budget as well as duplication of projects by some federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) amounting to over N20.138 billion.
The duplication and padding occurred in the implementation of the 2021 budget and involved about 257 projects, the anti-corruption agency said its review shows.
The anti-graft agency said it is investigating the Ministry of Labour and the University College Hospital Ibadan as well as corrupt staff members in other MDAs suspected of massive illegal recruitment.
ICPC chairperson, Bolaji Owasanoye, made the disclosure in his welcome address at the 3rd National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Service and Presentation of Public Service Integrity Award on Tuesday.
Themed, ‘Corruption and the Cost of Governance: New Imperatives for Fiscal Transparency’, the event was held at the State House Conference Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Many dignitaries including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, were in attendance.
In his address, Owasanoye said ICPC, through its projects tracking, found out that skyrocketing personnel in many MDAs was attributable to massive budgetary scam, including illegal recruitment, unilateral increase in wages, indiscriminate travels, among others.
“The high cost of governance and rising personnel budget in Nigeria is as a result of illegal recruitment, illegal and unilateral increase in wages and remuneration by some MDAs, indiscriminate local and international travels, unreasonable demands by some political appointee board members of MDAs without regard for extant circulars on cost management; procurement fraud, budget padding, etc,” he said.
“This has continued to reflect in the huge wage bill on personnel and operational cost standing at about 70 per cent of annual budget”.
According to Mr Owasanoye, the “malfeasance” the anti-graft agency uncovered in the recruitment process by some MDAs including the labour ministry is perpetrated with the connivance of some staff members of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS). He noted the cases and officials involved were under investigation.
“At another level, a syndicate of corrupt individuals within the service corruptly employ unsuspecting Nigerians, issue them fake letters of employment, fraudulently enrolling them on IPPIS and post them to equally unsuspecting MDAs to commence work”.

 

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