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2016 Budget: FG Lists Priority Action Plans

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The Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning says 34 measurable and veritable priority actions have been identified to achieve the implementation of the 2016 budget under six thematic areas.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo-Udoma, said this at the breakdown on the 2016 Budget and the Budget Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) yesterday in Abuja.
Udo-Udoma said the budget would be implemented under six major strategic invention areas in the SIP to revive the economy.
According to him, SIP for the 2016 budget of change is an implementation plan for a road map of key macroeconomic and sectoral policies.
“It is a strategic target for the 2016 fiscal year.
“The plan will place the economy on the upward trajectory as it is repositioned for change, inclusive growth and sustainable development.’’
The minister, however, listed the six areas as policy environment, national security and governance; economic diversification; priority critical infrastructure; oil and gas reforms; ease of doing business and social investment.
He said that the government would achieve appropriate Foreign Exchange Regime and increase low interest lending to the real sector.
Udo-Udoma said the Federal Government had set deadlines to achieve self-sufficiency and net export of a certain number of agricultural produce and items to diversify the economy.
“Rice -2018, tomato paste-2016, wheat-2019 and increase local production of Maize, Soya, poultry and livestock, so as to achieve self-sufficiency but the deadlines will be announced in due course.”
The minister said that the government would optimise 7,000 megawatts installed power generation capacity and provide facilities required to transmit and distribute it in one year.
He said government would distribute the capacity through privatisation and concessioning under its priority strategies in power, rail and roads sectors.
“ It will ensure that tariff includes all costs of transmission, generation and gas at new price and that DISCO cost required operating, maintaining and upgrading distribution network.
“The government will complete the Kaduna-Abuja and the Ajaokuta-Warri rail lines scheduled for 2016; revise the National Rail Master Plan and finalise negotiations for Lagos-Kano and Lagos-Calabar rail projects.’’
“It will ensure delivery of 2,193 kilometres of federal roads across 31 projects scheduled for 2016 (through public works and other interventions) and explore Private Public Partnership options for completing other projects.
“It will also ensure the completion of the rehabilitation of four airports (Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt) and explore option for concessioning of the airports.
“The government will undertake the construction of 3,552 Mixed Housing Units as pilot scheme in the 36 states and FCT under the National Housing Programme in a secured and planned environment.’’
Udo-Udoma said the government would adopt and execute a comprehensive National Oil and Gas Master Plan as the roadmap for petroleum industry’s development, privitisation and governance.
According to him, government has revolved to work with the National Assembly to pass a revised Petroleum Industry Bill to privatise NNPC and ensure the regulation of the downstream sector.
He said that it had set three-year deadline to be self-sufficient in refined petroleum products and become a net exporter of the products.
On ease of doing business, he said it would work toward moving Nigeria 20 places up in the Ease of Doing Business Ranking and fast-track visa application and issuance processes.
The minister, however, assured Nigerians that the government would ensure effective implementation of the budget.
“The capital spending envisaged in this budget, large though it is, represents only a part of the spending required to meet our ambitious plans for Nigeria.
“To develop this economy, we will need the active involvement of the private sector and we will invite them to take the advantage of the opportunities that government is creating to increase their investment,’’ he said.

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June 12: DSS Issues Stern Warning Against Protest

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has warned individuals and groups planning to stage protests on June 12, Democracy Day, to desist from any violent or disruptive actions.
The warning was contained in a statement signed by the Director of Public Relations and Strategic Communications, DSS, Dr Peter Afunanya, yesterday.
The Service said it has received intelligence on plans to incite violence and disrupt public order during the protests.
The security agency vowed to maintain public safety and national security and urged citizens to resist any persuasions to engage in lawless acts.
The DSS also encouraged disgruntled persons to channel their grievances through appropriate channels and procedures.
Afunanya said: “The attention of the Department of State Services (DSS) has been drawn to plans by certain individuals and groups to stage physical protests in some parts of the country on 12th June 2024. These protests are designed with sinister objectives to coincide with the Democracy Day Celebration.
“While citizens may have the rights of assembly and expression, such freedoms should not be used to undermine public safety and national security. The determination by some non-state actors to incite mass disaffection through demonstrations that may turn violent will not be tolerated.
“Citizens are, therefore, called upon to resist any persuasions to be lawless or cause disorder and anarchy in the nation. Displeased persons are rather encouraged to appropriately channel their grievances through the right channels and procedures.
“The Service, while felicitating the government and citizens on this auspicious occasion of celebrating 25 years of unbroken democracy, calls for continued patriotism, unity and commitment to building a Nigeria of our collective dream.
“The Service will sustain collaboration with all relevant stakeholders, including sister security agencies, to maintain the peace as well as protect lives and property across the nation. Law-abiding citizens are enjoined to go about their businesses without fear.”

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Court’s CTC Validates Our Position On Amaewhule, Others -Rivers AG …Advises Media Against Misinterpretation Of Judgements

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The Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Dagogo Israel Iboroma, SAN, has said that the State High Court neither declared nor affirmed Martin Amaewhule as Speaker of the House of Assembly, stressing that the certified true copy (CTC) of court judgment validates the government’s position.
Mr Iboroma also urged media practitioners to desist from giving interpretations to court judgments by fiat, emotional or other shades of persuasions.
Rather, he advised that they should first obtain the judgement in order to read it thoroughly to gain proper understanding or at best, seek competent legal advice before going to press.
Mr Iboroma gave the advice yesterday night while briefing newsmen after obtaining the certified true copy (CTC) of the Monday court judgment in Port Harcourt.
The briefing was to restate his earlier position that there was no court ruling that ever declared or affirmed Martin Amaewhule and 26 others as members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Rivers State House of Assembly.
Iboroma said: “Yesterday (Monday), I briefed the press and made the point that there is a misrepresentation of the judgment of the High Court of Rivers State in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024 in social, print, and electronic media.
“My position has been confirmed and vindicated by the Certified True Copy of the court order in Suit No. DHC/20/CS/2024.”
Mr Iboroma stated that a court order embodied the enforceable decisions of a court, adding that in this case in focus, the enforceable orders of the court will necessarily entail the specific pronouncements of the court.
He listed the three orders of the court in the judgment to include: “That this Suit be and is hereby dismissed/struck out for want of jurisdiction.
“That the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) be and is hereby joined as 4th defendant.
“That the claimants’ case be and is hereby dismissed for lacking in merit.”
Mr Iboroma further said: “Contrary to the false claims and misrepresentation in social, print and electronic media, the court did not make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule is the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, neither did it make a declaration that Martin Amaewhule and 26 others are members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
“If it were so, it would have been embodied in the court orders which have been circulated to you all and displayed by me here for the purpose of clarity.”
Mr Iboroma regretted that by the deliberate misrepresentation of yesterday (Monday), the court was painted in bad light and the public misled with such misinformation.
He said: “Whatever finding of fact that is not included in the court order is an Obiter Dictum, which has no binding force.
“Once again, I respectively urge the media to desist from giving any interpretation to any judgement without first reading the content of the judgement and seeking legal advice,” the attorney-general added.

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Sexual Harassment: Minister Drags Perm Sec Before Head Of Service

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The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, has formally lodged a complaint with the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation regarding allegations of sexual harassment levelled against the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Ibrahim Lamuwa.
In a letter addressed to the HOCSF dated May 27, 2024, Tuggar expressed his concern over the serious nature of the allegation levelled against the permanent secretary by Mrs Simisola Ajayi.
He emphasised the importance of addressing the matter urgently and thoroughly.
The letter was titled, “Re: Official Complaint Regarding Sexual Harassment Of Mrs Simisola Fajemirokun Ajayi By Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa (Permanent Secretary Ministry Of Foreign Affairs.
It read, “I am compelled to write to inform you of a formal complaint against the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Ibrahim Adamu Lamuwa, on allegations of sexual harassment.
“Bearing in mind the gravity of the matter, I feel it necessary to draw your attention to it and ask that you handle it accordingly,”
The letter included an attachment of the complaint received via email, and Tuggar assured the HOCSF his full cooperation in the investigation.
“May I also assure you that I remain available to provide you with any assistance required in discharging your responsibilities,” he added.
Ajayi, had a petition dated May 29, 2024, addressed to Tuggar, accused the permanent secretary of serial sexual harrasment.
Ajayi, through her lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), called for a thorough investigation into the actions of Amb. Lamuwa.
The petition, signed by Adebayo A. Oniyelu LP of Falana & Falana’s, was titled “Request For An Investigation Of Amb. Ibrahim Lamuwa’s Conducts Of Sexual Harassment At The Place Of Work, Abuse Of Office, Official Intimidation And Discrimination.”
According to the petition, Ajayi narrated multiple instances of harassment allegedly by Lamuwa, which have created an unsafe and uncomfortable working environment.
She claimed for instance that during a policy retreat on October 7, 2023, Lamuwa allegedly made inappropriate advances towards her, suggesting she joined him in his hotel room.
He reportedly continued with inappropriate remarks throughout the retreat.
She also cited an incident on November 10, 2023, where Lamuwa allegedly invited Ajayi to travel to Hong Kong, promising significant personal benefits from the trip.

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