The Speaker of the Rivers
State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Otelemaba Dan Amachree has committed the Garden City Private Equity Investment Bill into committee stage, even as lawmakers kicked that the bill should be step down due to duplication with other agencies.
The bill which was in its second reading was kicked against by majority members of the House with the view that Rivers State Micro Finance and Investment Corporation and Ministry of Finance and Corporations are saddled with the same work and responsibilities to create wealth and enhance the financial capacity of the state.
During the deliberation on the bill, Wednesday, members kicked against the establishment of a new agency, saying the state should use the existing agencies to invest and create wealth for the state.
Hon Chioma Golden Ngozi representing Etche Constituency II who said the bill appeared to be good and intended to create job and wealth for the people of the state, however, noted that the state can do without it since there are other agencies saddled with such responsibilities.
The lawmaker said, even though the bill was also intended to create equity in the investment of the state, the Ministry of Finance can do much more by creating wealth and also make judicious use of the funds appropriated to the ministry.
He disclosed that during the screening of members of the Board of the State Internal Revenue Service, it was found that the state had various investments in some companies operating in the state, regretting that the state had refused to utilize that opportunity adequately.
He appealed to the executive arm of government to use the existing agencies for the investment instead of establishing a fresh one, saying a new agency would amount to duplication and as well increase the wage bill of the state government.
He also urged the executive to use other investments agencies in the state like the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) to create wealth and empowerment for the state.
Other members who opposed the bill include Hon Anabraba Fredrick (Akuku-Toru 11), Hon Legborsi Nwidadah (Khana 1), Hon Victoria Nyeche (Port Harcourt 1), Hon Ibiso Wuche (Ahoada East II), Hon Miller Andrew Anderson (Opobo/Nkoro) and Hon Gift Wokacha (ONELGA).
But the Deputy Speaker, Hon Leyii Kwanee, representing Khana II reminded the House on rule 46, which stated that all bills shall receive third reading.
The Speaker, Rt Hon Amachree, however, referred members to House rule 45, section 5 and committed the bill to a committee stage for a public hearing. The Speaker set up an adhoc committee headed by Hon Horsfall Godstime Ben, representing Asaru Toru II, while Hon Okechukwu Akara Nwogu (Oyigbo), Hon. Lucky Odili (ONELGA II) and Hon Chigbo Sam Eliwe serve as members.
The committee is expected to conduct public hearing on the bill and report back to the House within one week.
Protest Rocks Kano Over Appeal Court Judgment
Protests erupted in Kano city and its environs on Monday afternoon with the demonstrators denouncing the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal that sacked the state Governor, Abba Yusuf.
The Tide’s source reports that uneasy calm pervaded the state capital following a contradictory Certified True Copy of the Appeal Court that affirmed the prayers of both the appellant and the respondent in the contentious Kano governorship, though the judiciary had since cleared the air.
In what appeared like a coordinated action on Monday, huge crowd of protesters had stormed strategic positions in the city as it visited temporary hiccups on commercial activities.
Kano- Zaria Road, Maiduguri Road by Muhammadu Buhari’s interchange, and Kantin Kwari (Kano textile market) were taken over by hundreds of youths who called for justice for Abba Yusuf.
Some of the placard read: “Kano my city my state”, “Justice for Kano”, “ Justice for Abba”, “Abba’s mandate was stolen in 2019, we will not allow it happen in 2023″.
The protest came on the heels of discovery by the Police that “some faceless group are bent on unleashing violence in Kano”, stressing that the police were on top of the situation.
Cp Hussaini Gumel told newsmen in Kano on Monday that already 7 suspects had been arrested and would be arraigned soon.
Gumel revealed that “we have the understanding with the leadership of the contending political parties, and they have signed a peace pact. In view of that, therefore, any one found outside this arrangement will be treated as common criminal”.
However, normalcy had since returned to the ancient city following the peaceful protest that lasted several hours.
NASS To Receive Tinubu’s 2024 Appropriation Bill, Today
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will today, present the 2024 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly.
Secretary, Research and Information of the National Assembly, Dr Ali Barde Umoru, confirmed this on Monday to journalists while requesting the list of those to be allowed into the chamber during the budget presentation.
This will be the first budget estimate President Tinubu will present to the National Assembly in person.
He had earlier transmitted two supplementary budgets, 2022 and 2023, to the National Assembly, which the parliament speedily approved.
President Tinubu had, weeks ago, also forwarded to both chambers of the National Assembly, the 20224-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) where the sum of N26.1 trillion was proposed as the total expenditure for the 2024 fiscal year.
The Senate, following the recommendation of its joint committee, which scrutinised the document, approved the MTEF/FSP.
It approved the N26.1trn proposed as the 2024 budget and other parameters as proposed by President Tinubu.
It approved the new borrowings of N7.8 trillion, pegged the benchmark of oil price for 2024 at $73.96, and oil production volume per day at 1.78 million barrels.
Other parameters approved are a GDP growth rate of 3.76%, an inflation rate of 21.40%, an exchange rate of N700 to $1 dollar, and a projected budget deficit of N9.04 trillion.
Muslim Clerics Offer Prayers For Tinubu, Kwankwaso In Kano
Over 1,000 Islamic clerics have offered special prayers for President Bola Tinubu and the NNPP national leader, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for peace, progress and political stability in Nigeria.
Abdulmumin Kofa (NNPP-Kiru/Bebeji) hosted the ulamas at Kiru for the success of Governor Kabir Yusuf of Kano State at the Supreme Court, according to a statement by the lawmaker’s media aide, Sani Paki, on Monday.
During the prayer session, the clerics recited the Qur’an 1,101 times and prayed for peace, progress and political stability in the country.
Mr Kofa said his relationship with the president was no secret, noting that Mr Kwankwaso is his mentor. He said he would continue to support and promote a harmonious relationship between Messrs Tinubu and Kwankwaso.
Mr Kofa described NNPP as a promising party open to collaboration, alliance and merger with the APC and even with the People’s Democratic Party, Labour Party or any other party that showed interest, so long as it is for the good of Nigerians.
He also promised to deploy his modest political network to reach out to gladiators in Kano politics towards resolving all resolvable issues and to de-escalate the current tension in the state due to the Kano governorship seat.
Also, after the prayer session, the legislator hosted 5,000 primary school kids across his constituency, as he often does, and provided them with school kits.
According to the statement, Mr Kofa assured the pupils of the good plans of the federal and state governments, especially on free education and free school feeding programmes.