Connect with us

Niger Delta

Bayelsa Wants Budgets To Address Basic Needs

Published

on

Participants at a one-day town hall meeting in Yenagoa agreed that Bayelsa State Government should address the basic necessities of life which include shelter, education, health, agriculture and electricity.

The meeting which was organised by a civil society organisation called Niger Delta Citizens and Budget Platform (NDCBP) was at the instance of reviewing Bayelsa State budget of N161.2billion for 2011 and the need for the state government to implement rights-based budgets with priority on education and health sectors.

The stakeholders, after an analysis of the state budget for the 2011 fiscal year, were unanimous that capital projects allocations of N6.4billion (2.5 percent) and N3.9billion (1.9 percent) to the education and health sectors from the overall budget were too meagre for the realisation of government’s objectives for the sectors.

The participants regretted that agriculture was not allocated any capital funds even when the state government expressed its interest in diversifying its economy.

They equally observed that contrary to frequent denials that Bayelsa did not operate security vote, the 2011 budget, under ‘Overhead Costs’,provided for ‘General Security’ and ‘Security and Government House Operations’totalling N5.7billion without specific details.

The analysis also showed that general overhead costs gulped a whopping N30.3billion with Government House alone getting N10.6billion, being a sharp rise of nearly 100 percent from N5.6billion allocated in 2010.

Among others, that items listed under ‘General Administration received 28 percent of the 2011 recurrent expenditure and 17 percent of the capital expenditures, which the participants pointed out was at the expense of key sectors of education and health.

The participants noted that while the education sector recorded reduced allocation of N5billion between 2009 and 2011 with share of 4 percent in 2011, the health sector recorded geometrical reduction of not less than N600million each year during the period with 2 percent in 2011.

In his presentation titled, “A Human Rights Perspective to the Analyses of the 2011 Budgets of 5 Niger Delta States”, co-ordinator of NDCBP, Ken Henshaw, said government has constitutional obligations to work towards the fundamental rights of citizens “especially under the directive principles of state policy”.

Henshaw, who decried government officials’ interpretation of directive principles of state policy as “prescriptive”, argued that besides the 1999 constitution, Nigeria had ratified other international conventions such as United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the International Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which obligated it to ensure rights of citizens to quality education and health care.

“The budget is a fundamental tool with which a government can realise its rights commitment to citizens. These rights and obligation of governments are sometimes enshrined in the constitution as fundamental human rights, but most times as directive principles of state policy”, Henshaw emphasised.

Henshaw stated that Bayelsa had no reason to remain an educationally less developed state with poor access to health care at all levels.

In his remark, country representative of New York-based Revenue Watch Institute (RWI), sponsors of the budget monitoring and evaluation in the Niger Delta states, Dauda Garuba, called for synergy between civil society groups and citizens to make government accountable.

Garuba expressed the hope that the move by Governor Seriake Dickson’s administration to run a transparent government would be sustained while ensuring proper implementation of yearly budgets.

Continue Reading

Niger Delta

Eid-el Kabir: NSCDC Mobilises 1,210 Personnel In Edo

Published

on

Edo Command of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has deployed 1,210 personnel to ensure maximum security during the forthcoming Eid-el Kabir celebrations.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, Efosa Ogbebor, in a statement on Friday in Benin, said NSCDC would provide maximum security at various Eid praying grounds, palaces, monuments and recreational centres across the state during the festivities.
Ogbebor stated that the NSCDC Commandant in the state, Mr Gbenga Agun, assured residents of security of their lives and property before, during and after the festival.
“I have directed all commanders, heads of tactical units, Area Commanders and Divisional Officers to ensure smooth, crime-free and secure celebration before, during and after the Eid-el Kabir festival.
“The personnel deployed have been tasked with critical responsibilities of safeguarding national assets and infrastructure, a core mandate of the corps, protection of lives and property and crowd control, amongst others.
“NSCDC personnel will work in collaboration with other sister-agencies”, he said.
The NSCDC boss appealed to members of the public to give maximum cooperation to the personnel and support them with useful information about criminal elements.
The Commandant felicitated with all Muslims and wished them joyous Eid-el Kabir celebrations.

Continue Reading

Niger Delta

Delta Assembly Recalls Suspended Lawmaker

Published

on

The Delta State House of Assembly last Thursday in Asaba recalled its member, Mr Matthew Omonade (APC-Ughelli North I), after 29 days of suspension.
The recall was announced during plenary by the Speaker, Mr Dennis Guwor, following an adoption of the report by the ad-hoc committee set up to investigate Omonade.
The Tide’s source recalls that the assembly had on May 14 suspended the lawmaker over alleged gross misconduct.
“The house has, therefore, lifted the suspension following the adoption of the recommendations of the committee.
“He is expected to resume plenary and other legislative duties on the next sitting day”, Guwor said.
Earlier, the Majority Leader, Emeka Nwaobi (PDP-Aniocha North), who chaired the committee, said after a thorough investigation, it recommended that Omonade be sounded a note of warning against future occurrence.
He said the committee also recommended that the recalled lawmaker be made to study the rules of the house.
According to the committee’s recommendations, Omonade should know that laws are universal and can be domesticated in any state or country without anyone being accused of plagiarism.
Nwaobi said since he had remorsefully apologised to the Governor, Speaker and the entire House, the committee recommended that the suspension be lifted.
In their various submissions, Mr Oboro Preyor (PDP-Bomadi) and Mr Austine Uroye (PDP-Warri South I) supported the committee’s recommendations.
The recommendations, unanimously adopted by members via a voice vote, were seconded by the Minority Leader, Mr. Edafe Emakpor.
The House also approved Governor Sheriff Oborevwori’s request to review and implement a new tariff regime for the 8.5 Megawatts Asaba Independent Power Plant (IPP), operated by Messrs Bastanchury Power Solutions.
The governor’s request was contained in a letter read during plenary by the Speaker.
In the letter, Oborevwori explained that the upward review of the electricity tariff from N31.74 per Kilowatt to N75 per Kilowatt became necessary due to the current economic realities.
He said this would enable the company to sustain its services to the state.
Oborevwori, however, noted that the State Government, through the Ministry of Energy, recommended a reviewed amount of N63 per Kilowatt, inclusive of VAT, hence the need for the House’s approval.
The Majority Leader moved a motion for the Assembly to receive the governor’s letter for consideration.
Leading the debate, Nwaobi said it was no longer news that the economic situation informed the governor’s request and, therefore, urged the House to give it speedy approval.
The motion, which was unanimously adopted by the assembly, when put to a voice vote by the Speaker, was seconded by Mr Oboro Preyor (PDP-Bomadi).

Continue Reading

Niger Delta

Sallah: FRSC Deploys 654 Personnel In Delta

Published

on

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Delta State Command, has deployed 654 personnel, including regular and special marshals, to various locations in the state to ensure safety during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.
Sector Commander, FRSC, Mr Muftau Irekeola, said this on Friday in Asaba while addressing personnel of the Command in preparation for the Eid-el-Kabir special patrol.
Irekeola said a total of 654 personnel, 19 operational vehicles, one ambulance, one power bike, and others would be deployed in the state.
The Sector Commander, however, said the command was partnering with private tow truck owners, saying that the command’s tow truck was not in good condition.
“If it is more than 30 tons truck, we will call FRSC, Onitsha Command, for towing because Onitsha is less than four kilometers away from Asaba”, he said.
He urged motorists to drive with caution, and pay attention to other road users.
“During rainy season, the grip of their tyres on the road is reduced because of the rain, they need to speed less. In fact, they are supposed to go on a reasonable speed.
“Even the passengers should not board overloaded vehicles, they should talk to the driver and if he is not listening they should drop at the next available bus stop.
“They can alert any FRSC officials or security agency on the road”, he said.

Continue Reading

Trending