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60% AU Funds From Nigeria – Rep.

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About 40% of the funds accruing to the African Union (AU) from member nations come from Nigeria, while the nation has not domesticated many treaties and protocols arising from such International Assemblies.

Disclosing this to The Tide in an interview in Abuja, a member of the Pan-African Parliament, Hon. (Mrs.) Betty Apiafi wondered why Nigeria is spending much but seems to be reaping little from such organisations like the AU because of her failure to be up to date in domesticating treaties and protocols which the nation is a signatory to.

Hon. (Mrs.) Apiafi who is the only female member of the Pan-African Parliament from Nigeria and member of the Nigerian House of Representatives described Nigeria’s failure at domesticating treaties as a shame’.

“It’s really a shame because there are treaties and protocols – documents that Nigeria has not domesticated. The African Charter on Democracy, Election and Governance, for instance, is a major AU (African Union) Instrument towards the realization of the AU democracy agenda in the whole of Africa, and Nigeria has not domesticated it – So many other countries have!”, she said. 

“It is sad (that) we are reviewing the constitution without this document being domesticated”. Articles 3, 4, 6 and 7 of the Charter talks about Principles of Democracy, Respect for Human Rights, and Adhere to the principle of rile of law, holding of regular free and fair elections, prohibits unconstitutional charge in government etc. while Article eight (8)  is on the eliminations of all forms of discriminations”, Hon. Apiafi added. 

She continued that the Green Tree Agreement which actually ceded Bakasi (Peninsula) which is part of Nigeria to Cameroun was never domesticated”, regretting that even in the case of the Child Rights Act which bothers on the rights and welfare of all children, only 18 states out of 36 have domesticated it whereas Child Rights Act was passed for long – 2003 – in the National Assembly.

Her words: The Green Tree Agreement which ceded Bakasi (Peninsula) which is part of Nigeria to Cameroon was not domesticated. Constitutionally, the ceding of Bakasi is illegal”, adding that the Child Rights Act was facing constitutional challenges unless more States domesticate it to meet the constitutional provision.

The Hon. member of the House of Representatives and African Parliament noted that  this reviews a lot of inconsistency in the country’s foreign policy, lamented that it is unfortunate the National Assembly could not domesticate any of these documents till now.

Hon. Mrs. Apiafi explained that the signed copies of these documents are  domiciled in the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs, adding that she has written these Ministries on the issue without receiving any reply.

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FG Appeals To Youths To Shelve Protest

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President Bola Tinubu, yesterday appealed to Nigerian youths to shelve their plans to carry out protests.

Alhaji Mohammed Idris, Minister of Information and National Orientation, disclosed this while addressing State House correspondents after a meeting with the President.

According to Idris, the President does not see any need for protest, he has listened to them, and asked them to await government’s response to all their pleas.

“Mr President has asked me to again inform Nigerians that he listens to them, especially the young people that are trying to protest.

“Mr President listens to them, he takes what they say seriously and he is working assiduously to ensure that this country is good not just for today but also for the future,” he said.

He said the government was doing a lot of things to cushion the hardship experienced by Nigerians.

“Today, the National Assembly has expeditiously passed the bill on National Minimum Wage. You can see how the President is working, it was transmitted only yesterday and today it has been passed.

“A lot of other interventions that the President has put in place are also going to be looked at expeditiously in the interest of Nigerians.

“So, there is no need for protest, the young people out there should listen to the President and allow him more time to see to the realisation of all the goodies he has for them,” Idris said.

The minister said the highlights of other policies to cushion the effect of the hardship Nigerians were feeling included distribution of grains and rice by the Federal Government to state governments.

“Like I said that time it is just the necessary first step. Government is going to continue in that direction, assuring that whatever intervention the Federal Government has put in place will go to those that should benefit.

“The Federal Government is looking at strategies that every intervention will go directly to those who benefit from those interventions not middle men intercepting them along the way,” he said.

He added that another important intervention by the Federal Government was the students loan.

“Mr President is very passionate about it, that everyone that should go to school will have the opportunity to do so.

“It is no longer a time for our young men and women who have passed examinations to go to tertiary institutions not to be able to do that because their parents cannot pay for their fees,” said the minister.

He said the government was also perfecting a scheme to support graduates of universities and polytechnics that were not able to get jobs until they got employed.

“The whole idea is that no one is left behind, it is an all inclusive government and the President is determined to ensure that no one is left behind in this attempt to march Nigeria towards progress,” said Idris.

The minister said his meeting with the President was to discuss issues relating to government’s media organisations such as NTA, FRCN, NAN and VON.

“We have discussed all that, we have also arrived at situations that will help their positions as public information platforms of the country.

“They should be in the forefront and we are doing everything possible to make sure that they are being repositioned so that they can serve Nigeria very well,” he said.

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We’ll Deliver Okania-Ogbogoro Road By Dec, Fubara Assures  …Says 90% Drainage Work Ready

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has assured of the timely completion of the 5-kilometer Okania-Ogbogoro Road that will ease movement for both residents and motorists who use that path to avoid the traffic problem caused by the ongoing construction of the Port Harcourt Ring Road in the State.

 

The Okania-Ogbogoro Road is in Akpor area of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the State capital.

 

The Governor also described as fulfilling the expression of joy and excitement by residents of Okania and Ogbogoro communities who are seeing their major access road that was abandoned for about 14 years, being reconstructed with about 90 percent drainage work achieved.

 

Governor Fubara spoke shortly after embarking on a long trek of the 5-kilometer Okania-Ogbogoro road, inspecting culverts, drainages, texture of the surface layers of the road work, and receiving explanations from the Commissioner for Works, Engr Elloka Tasie-Amadi, who accompanied him on the inspection tour on Monday.

 

The Governor said: “You are aware that two months ago, we came here to flag off this project, having considered the importance of this road; knowing fully well what our people are suffering because of the Ring Road we are constructing.

 

“So, we are here this evening to assess the level of work going on here. I think from what we are seeing, it is better than what we met the first time we came here.

 

“The contractor has assured us that they have done 90 percent of the drainage work; and following the raining season, they are expecting to achieve a greater part of the project hopefully within August and September.”

 

Governor Fubara also said: “All things been equal, he has also assured us that by December, if we miss November, we will be coming here to commission this road.

 

“You can see how excited our people are. It is a road that has been abandoned for over 14 years. So, it means this project means a lot to the people living here.

 

“And for us as a government, it also means a lot that we are doing something that is touching the lives of our people,” he added.

 

He urged the people to exercise patience as a good quality road would be delivered for their use very soon, adding that the only thing the government expects from the people is their total support while maintaining peace in their communities.

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ICPC Threatens To Wield Big Stick Against Corrupt Legislators

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has expressed determination to sanction corrupt state Houses of Assembly legislators

Dr Musa Aliyu, the Chairman of ICPC, communicated this in Abuja, yesterday, at the opening of a three-day capacity building workshop for Jigawa State Legislators.

The theme of the workshop is “Transparency and Accountability: Effective Legislative Tools Towards Successful Mandate Delivery.’’

Musa, who expressed concern over the level of corruption in the country, stressed the need for the legislators to live above board and be seen to do so in all their public and private functions.

The chairman pledged the commission’s readiness to partner with the state legislative arm of government to fight corruption.

He said the ICPC would continue to carry out its three-pronged mandate of enforcement, prevention, public education and mass mobilisation within the confines of the law.

“We are ready to partner with the state legislature to advance the fight against corruption as we have done and are still doing with other arms and tiers of government.

“However, we will succeed in wielding the big stick when the occasion demands that we do so.’’

According to him, the relevance of the legislature in democratic governance needs not be overemphasised.

“The oversight function is critical in ensuring that the legislature’s intent in making laws that will improve the living standard of the poor is reflected in the performance of the executive functions.

“As important as its role in government is, the state legislature must endeavour to conduct its oversight functions within the ambit of the law that established the House of Assembly.

“Legislators should live above board and should be seen to do so in all their public and private functions.’’

He said that the interest and unity of the country, as demonstrated by the administration of President Bola Tinubu, should override the personal and collective interests of members of this critical arm of government.

“The principle of separation of powers must be respected and observed; encroaching on the functions of the executive and judiciary undermines democracy and good governance.

“Additionally, the legislature is expected to detect waste, inefficiency, ineffectiveness, corruption and mismanagement of public resources.

“However, these functions can only be effectively discharged by the legislative arm of government if it embraces transparency and accountability in its operations; this is why this workshop is so important,” he said.

The Speaker, Jigawa House of Assembly,  Haruna Dangyatin, who was represented by the Deputy Speaker, Sani Abubakar, said the workshop was very timely and very good for all the members.

He promised the assembly’s collaboration with the ICPC in its fight against corruption making laws to address the menace in every sector in the state.

“I believe that the knowledge we will receive will assist us in delivering our mandate.

“We are going to make very good use of what we are going to learn; in terms of legislation, we will make laws.

“We have to conduct very good oversight to make sure that the money allocated to MDAs is being spent as expected to be spent and ensure proper budget implementation,” he said.

Richard Bello, acting Director, Anti-Corruption Academy of Nigeria (ACAN), said that the academy was working with stakeholders to build capacity to tackle corruption in different sectors.

He described legislative arm of government as a veritable partner in the quest to tackle corruption in the country, and ready tools that could be deployed to fight corruption.

“The importance of working with the legislative arm of government at both federal and state levels in combating the phenomenon of corruption can never be overstated.

“Legislators as direct representatives of the people in the corridors of power occupy a very sensitive position in a democratic setting such as ours in this country.

“The need to communicate the appropriate message down the line has never been more urgent than now.

“The crusade against corruption has moved to a critical stage in recent months and the realisation of the damage that the phenomenon is doing to the nation has made it even more urgent.’’

According to him, naturally, the society expects anti-corruption agencies to lead the crusade against the phenomenon.

“But we must also accept the fact that the anti-corruption agencies cannot alone on their own, fight and win the battle against corruption.

“The agencies need to work with various segments of the population in taking the battle to all corners and all sectors,” he said.

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