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Corruption, Bane Of CGS Programme – Aide

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Corruption has been identified as one of the greatest problems militating against the smooth utilisation of the Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) fund put in place in 2007.  The scheme is intended to contribute towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Nigeria by 2015.

Senior Special Adviser to Governor Sullivan I. Chime of Enugu State, Mr Joseph Ajadike, made the observation in Enugu while delivering a lecture at a one Day Media Roundtable on  Conditional Grant Scheme (CGS) in the state.

It was put together by an Abuja-based Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD) in collaboration with the Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC) based in Enugu and funded by the Coalition for Change.

Mr. Ajadike, who described the CGS grant as a step in the right direction since it was meant to alleviate the sufferings of the people, especially those at the rural areas, however,  expressed regret that corruption had continued to hamper  CGS programme.

   No matter how rigorous your due process is, corrupt officials and corrupt contractors always find ways of cutting corners and end up delivering poor quality jobs and services to the people. To such people, meeting the MDGS is not their concern. What matters most to them is how much money is added to their bank account after each deal,” he said.

According to him, besides the problem of corruption, the issue of Monitoring and Evaluation could also pose a lot of challenges for the smooth operation of Conditional Grant Scheme.

“But I must tell you frankly, the CGS is a step in the right direction. It would no doubt contribute a lot to the achievement of the Millennium Development  Goals in Nigeria by the 2015.

“ I suggest here that more of the debt relief gains should be invested in CGS. Though CGS has a lot of success stories, it has also many challenges that should be addressed for more effectiveness and greater efficiency, he continued.

The governor’s Adviser, who gave a comprehensive analysis of how the CGS issue started in Nigeria, explained that the programme was born following series of negotiations in the metropolitan capitals of Europe and America that culminated in the Debt Relief Deals in 2005.

“Nigeria’s foreign debt was estimated at 29 Million US Dollars, but Nigeria did not benefit from outright debt cancellations for many reasons: Nigeria was highly indebted but was not considered as one of the highly indebted poor countries (HIPC) like Chad, Niger and Central African Republic.

Also, Nigeria   is a major player in the crude oil market as it ranked the 6th largest oil producer in the world and had enough external earnings to adequately service her debt.

Thirdly, Nigeria debt stock was not from multinational institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund but from a group of creditors collectively called Paris Club”.

Mr Ajadike stated that the 2007 Conditional grant scheme was the first experiments to test run all the ideas and activities under the CGS package, adding that the scheme gained ground in 2008.

Welcoming the participants earlier to the event, Director, CDD, Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim, who spoke through the organisation’s programme officer, Mrs. Seno Ngene, explained that the media roundtable was organised to sensitise members of the media on CGS projects in the state.

The CDD programme officer, urged media men in the state to always show interest in the monitoring of CGS projects in Enugu, expressing dismay over non contacting of most communities where CGS projects were cited before embarking on such projects, saying such action was not proper.

“We believe that the media is an important stakeholder. We also believe that the media can help us to monitor these projects”, she said.

Executive Director of CIRDDOC, Mrs. Oby Nwankwo in her remarks through her organisation’s programme officer Mr. Jerry , said the Millennium Development Goals “are set of developments aimed at effecting measurable improvement in the life of world’s poorest citizens”.

She thus expressed the hope that the programme would go a long way in improving the lots of the poor masses of Nigeria.

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South East

Corpse Of Woman Found In Ebonyi Hotel Room

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The police in Ebonyi State say they have discovered the body of a yet to be identified middle-aged woman in a hotel room in Abakaliki, the state capital. The spokesperson of the police in the state, Loveth Odah, stated this yesterday.
She said the body has deep cuts on the chest and neck and has been deposited in a mortuary. According to the spokesman, it was discovered at Crown Garden Hotel located along the ever-busy Afikpo road in the capital city.
Mrs Odah, who said that the victim was found in the pool of her own blood, said the suspect had been identified as one Uchenna Awoke.
She said the hotel manager, Emmanuel Eze, the supervisor, and other workers had been taken to the police station for questioning and accused the hotel management of negligence.
“The manager of the hotel, the supervisor and other staff of the hotel were taken to the station for questioning and I must confess to you that the whole thing is negligence on the part of the hotel management. How can a guest be murdered in a hotel room and days after, the management is not aware of the incident.”
“We will investigate the matter properly and I assure you, the perpetrator of the act must be arrested and prosecuted. All we are asking is for the members of the public to avail the police of useful information that will lead to the arrest of the suspect.”

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South East

Senate Passes S’East Dev Commission Bill

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The Senate yesterday passed the South East Development Commission (Establishment) Bill 2018.
The proposed commission aims at enhancing the infrastructural development of the South East zone, which is grappling with huge ecological challenges.
It also seeks to act as a catalyst for the development of the commercial potential of the zone.
The proposed legislation requires the concurrence of the House of Representatives to become a bill of the National Assembly, and the President’s assent to become a law.
Senators Stella Oduah (PDP-Anambra) and Samuel Anyanwu (PDP-Imo) jointly sponsored the bill read in the Senate on June 22, 2016.
Its passage in the Red Chamber followed the presentation of the report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service by its former Chairman, Senator Emmanuel Paulker (PDP-Bayelsa), on the floor of the Senate.
The bill, after Paulker’s presentation, was considered clause by clause by the committee of the whole, and amendments made by the lawmakers were read for the third time and eventually passed.
In his remarks, presiding Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, commended his colleagues for a job well done.
In his words, “Every morning we pray that God should give us the grace to do only those things that will promote the peace and unity of this country.
“I believe that we have shown today that we are committed to the unity of this country, and it is this unity that will give us faith in this country.
“This faith will in turn help us to pursue peace and progress,” he said.
Briefing newsmen after plenary, members the South East caucus of the Senate, led by Sen. Enhinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia), thanked their colleagues and members of the committee for their efforts.
Abaribe, who spoke on behalf of the caucus, urged the President to sign the bill into law “as soon as we tidy it up and bring to him, in the interest of the unity and progress of Nigeria”.
“This will put to rest the long-drawn agitation in the South East, and the difficulties in the rehabilitation and reconciliation efforts that started at the end of the civil war.
“All things we see always will end up at the negotiating table, which is what we have done,” he said.
The lawmaker said he hoped the House of Representatives would give concurrence to the bill as it went in the Senate.
When established, the South East Development Commission would be the third zonal interventionist body in the country.

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South East

2019: Oyedepo Predicts Peace In Nigeria

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Bishop David Oyedepo, the Founder and Presideng Bishop, Living Faith Church Worldwide, on Saturday predicted that nothing would disturb the peace of Nigeria and its story would change for the better in the year 2019.
Oyedepo made the declaration at the just concluded annual prophetic gathering of the Winners’ family, christened the “Dominion”, in a satellite telecast of the church.
In the telecast monitored in Abuja, the cleric also declared that 2019 would be a year of “I have Dominion”.
“Nothing will tamper with the peace of Nigeria; the story will change for the better in the name of Jesus.
“Nigeria shall not see bloodshed, the Prince of Peace will continue to dominate in Nigeria, in Africa and Nigeria is declared blessed.
“Anywhere you step, accident is forbidden; death will not come near you and our nation.
“Anything that is of grace in my life, I freely release upon you today.
“God has opened the year 2019 to us, celebrate Him because its our year of “I have Dominion,” he said.
The Bishop added that the year 2019 would be a year of humbling testimonies for Nigeria and pace-setting testimonies.
He further declared that 2019 would be a colourful year for the nation.
According to the cleric, as long as Jesus has the final say on the issues of Nigeria, it will experience greatness.
Oyedepo said that there would be no more cause of alarm in any area of the nation and its citizens.
He advised Christians in Nigeria to delight themselves in the spirit of servant-hood, adding that the spirit of Christ is the spirit of servant-hood.
“The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of servant-hood. As you keep rising on the ladder of leadership, you must retain our spirit of servant-hood, constantly working to add value to others and be kingdom minded,” he said.
According to him, dedication is at the root of dominion, saying: “Sow yourself as a seed by being totally dedicated to God and His Kingdom’’.
He told his congregation that sacrificial giving guarantees the meeting of all their needs.
“When you engage in taking care of the well-being of others, God is also committed to your well-being,” he explained. The cleric admonished Christians would engage in meeting the needs of the needy, every barrier on their path of destiny would be crushed.
“Nobody tampers with your life, your career, your family and goes away with it because you are promoted to God’s kingdom.
“God will stand for your defence in the day of trouble. Every sacrificial giver has a defence around him in the day of trouble always have that in mind,” he said.
He reminded his congregation that the Church is not a building; the Church is a people and the Redeemed of the Lord.

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