2013Budget: Nigerians Hail High Education Vote
Stakeholders in the education sector yesterday lauded President Goodluck Jonathan for giving the sector the highest budgetary allocation in the 2013 Appropriation Bill presented on Wednesday.
Jonathan had proposed a N4.9 trillion budget to the joint session of the National Assembly for approval.
The proposal allotted N426.5 billion to education while defence came second with N348.9 billion and the police had the third highest share of N319 billion.
A former Minister of Education, Mrs Chinwe Obaji, told newsmen that the move was “a right step in the right direction’’.
She, however, called for effective measures in monitoring the use of the funds.
Also speaking, Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie, immediate past President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), expressed the hope that the education vote, if approved, would turn around the fortunes of the sector.
“However, we would need time to look at how the budget to the sector got to be one of the highest beneficiary, where it should be channelled, the implementation, how it should be managed and what it portends to the sector.
“It is only when we study all these details that we would be able to get a better view of how this would transform the system for the advancement of the country’s economy,” he said.
Dr Olubunmi Ajibade, a Senior Lecturer, Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos, said the budget, if approved, would be one of the best things that had happened to the sector in recent times.
“We have been advocating crucial funding of the sector because that is the only way to restore its glory.
“There is no way we can talk about national development without sound education.
Director, Centre for Environment and Science Education, at the university, Mr Ademola Onifade, told newsmen that the “jumbo allocation’’ would improve the standard of education in the country.
For Head of Department, Mass Communication Department, Lagos State Polytechnic, Ikorodu, Mr Ifedayo Daramola, the allocation to the education sector was a demonstration of the interest the president had in developing the country’s education.
“Definitely, it will bring a lot of improvement to the sector. This shows that our president knows the importance of education’’.
In his contribution, Prof. Ayo Fadahunsi, Dean, Faculty of Arts, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun, said the allocation would enable the government to build more hostels and lecture halls in the nation’s tertiary institutions.
A member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs Adebimpe Akinsola, also lauded Jonathan for the initiative, saying the funds would help to improve infrastructure in the institutions.
Similarly, some financial experts yesterday said that the 2013 budget would impact positively on the financial sector if well implemented.
They told newsmen in separate interviews in Lagos that proper execution of the 2013 budget would impact on all aspects of the national economy.
Managing Director of Boaz Management and Financial Strategies, Mr Oluwole Ibikunle, said that the capital and recurrent expenditure estimates in the 2013 budget proposal were better than those of 2012.
“ If the N1.54 trillion allocated for capital projects can be judiciously used, more industries will be established and hence, more job opportunities for our youths,“ he said.
Ibikunle said that although the 75 dollars per barrel crude oil price benchmark was commendable, government should be careful of the sudden changes in international oil price.
General Manager, Capital Trust Broker Ltd., Mr Abiodun Omojokun,, said that the 2013 budget should focus on improving the Human Development Index.
General Manager, Apt Securities and Funds Ltd., Mr Peter Kanayo, said that there was the need for the private-public sector collaboration to make a success of the 2013 fiscal proposal.
Kanayo also said that full implementation of the proposed budget estimate would restore confidence of foreign investors in the economy.
He commended the Federal Government for planning to invest more in the educational sector than before.
“The ailing educational system has made so many Nigerians to take their children aboard to study to the detriment of our own educational development, “ he said.
Buhari Pays Tribute To Diya
President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday mourned the passing of retired Lt.-Gen. Oladipo Diya GCON, who served as Chief of General Staff from 1993 to 1997 and Vice Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council in 1994.
The President, in a statement by his Spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja paid tribute to Diya’s bold and courageous career in the Nigeria military.
He particularly lauded him for his dedicated service to the country as General Officer Commanding, 82 Division, Commandant, National War College (1991–1993), Chief of Defence Staff and Military Governor of Ogun from January 1984 to August 1985.
Buhari recalled that the late Diya was known for his brilliance, exceptional organisational skills and discipline, and he displayed these virtues in the important roles he held in office as a military officer.
The president saluted the former Chief of General Staff for his love, belief and loyalty to the country he cherished so much and fought gallantly on the frontlines to defend her unity.
Buhari, who extended heartfelt condolences to Diya’s family, friends and colleagues, prayed that “Diya’s soul finds rest with his Creator, and may his contributions to the nation never be forgotten.”
Diya, who was born on April 3, 1944 in Odogbolu, Ogun State, died on Sunday in Lagos.
PDP Suspends Ayu For Anti-Party Activities
The ongoing crisis in the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has deepened as the Executive Committee of the party in Igyorov Ward of Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State has suspended the National Chairman of the party, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, with immediate effect.
They suspended Ayu for anti-party activities after passing a vote-of-no confidence on him.
While reading a resolution, the Secretary of the party in Igyorov ward, Banger Dooyum, said Ayu’s anti-party activities, alongside his allies, contributed to PDP’s loss in his ward and local government in the governorship election.
Ayu was also accused of not paying his annual dues as enshrined by the party’s constitution.
Twelve out of the 17 exco members signed the documents endorsing his suspension.
They also alleged that the PDP chieftain did not vote during the governorship and state assembly elections held on March 18, 2023.
According to them, most of Ayu’s closest allies worked for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) which resulted in the abysmal performance of the PDP in Igyorov Ward.
The ward chairman of Igyorov, Kashi Philip, also signed the letter alongside the exco.
I Didn’t Work Against Obi, Wike Fires Back …Describes Obi’s Allegation As Unfortunate
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has taken strong exception to Labour Party presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi’s allegations that he denied him of victory in the state in the February 25 presidential election.
Wike clarified that there was never a time that the G-5 governors or the Integrity Group endorsed Obi or another candidate as their preferred candidate for the presidential election.
Speaking during a media chat last Wednesday in his home town, Rumuepirikom, the governor described Obi’s accusation that he manipulated the electoral process to his disadvantage as unfortunate.
“I don’t work for INEC, I don’t have INEC documents with me. I am not an ad hoc staff of INEC and so I am not in a place to rig election for anybody. It is when you have the materials of INEC that you talk about rigging. But I take exception to Peter Obi’s comments that I came out against him. People are not being sincere, people are not appreciative.”
The Rivers State governor, maintained that his primary preoccupation as far as the 2023 presidential election was concerned was for a southern Nigerian to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari, whose tenure ends on May 29, 2023.
“I never told Rivers people to vote for the candidate (of the APC). I told Rivers people (to vote) for the unity of Nigeria. As far as Rivers State is concerned, their position is that ‘look, we want a power shift.’ And there are two candidates from the South – Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Peter Obi.
“If Rivers people have chosen to vote for Asiwaju, and the same Rivers people also voted for Peter Obi, that tells you that their decision was to vote for a Southern President. So, amongst them one must always get the highest vote. If you look at the votes, APC won, followed by the Labour Party. So that tells you what the decision they took. That is the decision of Rivers people”, the governor stated.
Wike said he was among those who recommended Obi to be PDP candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s running mate in 2019.
“In 2019, ask Peter Obi, I was one of the team that chose Obi to be the Vice Presidential candidate of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. When we met at Abubakar’s house, he said these are the names, I will choose Obi. Obi was invited while we were at Saraki’s house in the night.
“I was fought by people like (Senator Ike) Ekweremadu; my own friend, the governor of Ebonyi State, (David) Umahi, and Pius Anyim. Every blame was on me, why will I be the one that will say Peter Obi? Why should I chose for the South-East? Did he come out to say Wike was the one who supported me to be the vice presidential candidate? He didn’t say so.”
He declared that the G-5 governors and the Integrity Group never during any of their meetings unanimously endorsed Obi or any presidential candidate of southern Nigeria extraction.
He said, “There was never a time the integrity Group met and say it must be this person. We only agreed on southern President. We formulated strategies and the southern President emerged. Our interest is that a southern President should emerge.
“When we went to our meeting, we decided on southern President. We didn’t say it must be this. We said whatever you are doing it must be southern President. The aim of G5 was equity, fairness and justice”.
The governor also said the G-5 governor and members of the Integrity Group cannot be accused of betraying the PDP.
He stressed that those who blatantly refused to implement the provisions of the party’s constitution on rotation of elective and appointive offices are to blame the party’s electoral misfortune.
He said all the G-5 governors consisting of Seyi Makinde of Oyo State; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Samuel Ortom of Benue; and Victor Ikpeazu of Abia; made tremendous sacrifice to ensure the emergence of a southern president.
The governor particularly expressed delight that the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, who had earlier said he would not mind sacrificing his second term on the altar of equity, justice, and fairness, was re-elected.
“Ortom said even if he loses his senatorial election, let equity, justice, and fairness prevail. He may not gain it now. But history will be kind to him. The same applies to Ugwuanyi and Ikpeazu. Even Makinde said even if he lost his governorship ambition, he was interested in the unity of Nigeria”, Wike recalled.
He boasted that in Rivers State, PDP won the governorship, three senatorial seats, 10 federal and 31 state constituencies in the general election.
He said, ironically, the PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, who once derided that the G-5 governors are small boys failed to win his ward, local government and state for the presidential candidate in the February 25 election.
According to him, PDP also lost woefully in Niger, Jigawa, Imo, Sokoto, Yobe and other states.
“Ayu lost his polling unit. I won three senatorial seats, and 31 House of Assembly seats. He didn’t get anything. Lamido did not win the presidential election in Jigawa. Babangida Aliyu did not win. So, who is the betrayer? We won to make sure PDP exists. Of what relevance is he as national chairman? He couldn’t deliver his polling unit”, the governor stated.
Wike dismissed insinuation that he would manipulate the Rivers State governor-elect, Siminialayi Fubara, after leaving office.
The governor also clarified that Fubara, who resigned as Accountant General of the state to contest the 2023 governorship election, is not wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
According to him, some disgruntled politicians in the state were behind the rumour.
Wike stated that Fubara on assumption of office will continue from where his administration stopped and would consolidate on the NEW Rivers Vision.
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