Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has said that 22
state legislators have started refunding car loans they collected for personal vehicles to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) .
Ortom, who said this when he received youths of Turan in Kwande local government, said they were expected to refund N317million to the anti-graft agency in Abuja.
He said the refund was necessitated by the shoddy manner in which the loans were disbursed to the lawmakers.
The governor said that the process fell short of best practices required in such financial transactions.
Ortom explained that out of the number, 12 legislators were from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) while 10 were from the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The Department of State Services (DSS) says it has ar
rested 23 suspects between July and August in furtherance of its ongoing tactical and counter-terrorism operations to degrade capabilities of criminal gangs/syndicates nationwide.
This is contained in a statement signed by one of its Operatives, Tony Opuiyo, in Abuja.
Giving the breakdown, Opuiyo said that the service arrested one Mudaisiru Jibrin a.k.a. Namakele/Alarama, a leader of a newly-uncovered Boko Haram cell in Kano on July 17.
“Preliminary investigation so far conducted revealed that he was also the mastermind of the shooting of some students at Government Secondary School (GSS), Mamudo village near Potiskum, Yobe State, in 2013,” he said.
The Child Protection Advocates in Gombe State have
expressed “deep concern” over the rising number of rape cases in the state.
One of them, Malam Yaya Hamman, Adviser, Child Protection Network (CPN), told newsmen in Gombe that the situation was becoming “scary and frightening”.
“Rape is becoming too incessant and persistent; it is certainly not good for the girl-child.
“Even when the perpetrators are apprehended, no punishment is meted out on them; that encourages them to do even worse things,” he said.
He blamed the situation on parents’ attitude and observed that most parents would rather keep quiet about it.
“Most parents think that the victim will be an object a subject of ridicule if exposed and will prefer that no one is told.
The Katsina State Government says it has received de
livery of 50 out of the 400 tractors to be supplied by an Indian firm through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) to boost agricultural mechanization in the state.
Our correspondent recalled that was sequel to a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the State Government and Indian firm about six months ago for the supply of the tractors to the farmers.
Alhaji Mannir Yakubu, the state Deputy Governor, who disclosed this while inspecting the 50 tractors in Katsina, said that the decision would encourage commercialization of agriculture through mechanisation.
Yabubu, also the Commissioner for Agriculture, said that the tractors would be given on hire basis to farmers through the Tractor Owners and Operators Association at subsidised rate.
The Kano State Government will employ 1,000 sanita
tion workers as part of efforts to provide direct employment for its youths.
The state Commissioner for Information, Malam Muhammad Garba, made this known when he briefed newsmen on the outcome of the State Executive Council meeting in Kano recently.
Garba, who is also the Chairman of the Employment Committee, said apart from creating job opportunities, the scheme would also improve the sanitary condition of communities in the state.
The commissioner said that each of the worker would be paid N15, 000 monthly.
The Katsina State Government, has alleged that the
immediate past administration in the state diverted N11.1 billion from the State Joint Account to the accounts of Association of Local Government Chairmen (ALGON).
The Special Adviser to Governor Aminu Masari on Banking and Finance Alhaji Farouk Jobe, made the allegation while presenting a memo before the State Commission of inquiry investigating missing funds.
Jobe alleged that the money was diverted for personal use from various accounts between January 2011 and May 2015.
The Argungu Local Government Area in Kebbi State,
has registered 200 unemployed youths for skills acquisition to promote self-reliance.
The Sole Administrator of the local government, Alhaji Bashar Matawalle, stated this on Tuesday in an interview with newsmen in Argungu.
He said that the second phase of the skills acquisition training would focus on vocations which include: welding, carpentry, bids making, tailoring, weaving, and automobile mechanic.
The sole administrator said that the beneficiaries were drawn from 11 electoral wards in the area, adding that 200 trainees were registered, out of which 100 were women.
The Kogi State Governmentsays that it has acquired
acres of land In Lokoja for the development of housing schemes for political appointees and civil servants.
The State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, told newsmen of the development at a media conference in Lokoja to mark the 25th anniversary of the creation of the state.
Bello, who was represented at the briefing by his Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Alhaji Abulkarim Abdulmalik, said the housing schemes would be developed on a Public/Private Partnership arrangement.
An Ilorin-based lawyer, Mr Afolayan Moses, has im
plored the Federal Government to expand the number of judicial divisions to decongest the courts and reduce the rate of adjourned cases in the country.
Afolayan made the call in an interview with newsmen in Ilorin on Tuesday.
He said that only expansion of judicial divisions would reduce persistent cases of adjournments in the court.
According to him, if government can expand the number of judicial divisions, it will expedite dispensation of justice and minimise adjournments.
The lawyer, however, condemned unnecessary adjournment of cases, saying, it was frustrating not only the clients, but the counsel.
An ICT expert, Mr Kola Samuel, has appealed to
the Federal Government to create an enabling environment for the sector to contribute to economic growth of the country.
Samuel who is also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Technology Masters Company told newsmen in Lagos that technology sector had the potentials of improving the economy and lives of the citizens.
He said that ICT was one of the main driving forces behind organisational competitiveness in the present day business environment.
“We need to be encouraged with improvement on some basic social infrastructures like high speed internet, hotspots, lower internet rates and technology hub centres.
A member of NYSC, Dr Uwaezuoke Ikesinachi,
has set up an eye clinic for the Nigerian Police Force in Minna, the Niger State capital.
Speaking at the inauguration of the facility, Ikesinachi said that the project was part of his personal community development services.
He said that the project would serve as a follow- up to the free eye surgery he had conducted on 30 indigent persons earlier this month.
“The idea behind this community development programme is to create a system that can keep running with or without the presence of the initiator.
”After providing free eye-screening, I don’t want to just leave without setting up a platform that will run as a follow up on the patients.”
Federal Government has reactivated the construc
tion of the new Oyo-Ogbomoso expressway with the sum of N6 billion.
Our correspondent reports that the road, the second section of the Ibadan-Ilorin expressway, had been abandoned by past administrations.
The flag-off ceremony was performed by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State which was attended by members of the National Assembly, top government officials and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi.
The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said the road project would be completed in compliance with the Federal Government ‘s specification.
Fashola, who was represented by Mr Anya Omoregbe, the Federal Controller of Works in Oyo State, said that the ministry would ensure that Nigerians got good value for their money.
JAMB Decries Use Of Fake Results For Admission
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has decried the high level of forgery of A Level certificates used for the registration.
JAMB Registrar, Professor Is-haq Oloyede, who raised the alarm, recalled that the Board had commenced the 2023 Direct Entry registration on Monday, 20th February but immediately suspended it following the discovery of the plethora of devices and machinations to circumvent and compromise the standard of A ‘level qualifications required from DE candidates.
He disclosed that out of 148 candidates verified by Bayero University Kano (BUK), only 6 were found to be genuine.
“By implication 142 of the results were forged. Oloyede said. Bayero University, Kano (BUK) has also consistently brought to the fore the high rate of forgery of A’Level qualifications for DE.
“It was discovered that in previous years, some candidates used unacceptable and forged A’ level certificates/ qualifications to register for Direct Entry and eventually got admitted. For example out of 148 candidates verified by BUK, only 6 were found to be genuine. By implication 142 of the results were forged.
“The Board, concerned stakeholders and institutions are working assiduously to detect such and the ones already found are being dealt with according to the provisions of the law.
“In order to further checkmate the anomaly and to also prevent recurrence of such irregularity, the Board has decided that the 2023 DE registrations will not only be restricted to JAMB (Professional Test Centres (PTCs) but will also be done under strict supervision,” Oloyode said.
“The Board has provided additional guidelines to all DE registration outlets (JAMB-owned centres), Officers of the Board and candidates on the 2023 Direct Entry registration exercise:
“At the point of registration, all candidates must fill in Registration/Matriculation Number of the previous school attended where the qualification was obtained; Subject(s) of qualification; Awarding Institution; Institution actually attended”, he said.
‘Nigerians Have Lost Confidence, Trust In INEC’
As post-election crisis gathers momentum, the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Nigeria’s 2023 general elections has declared that Nigerians have lost confidence and trust in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) owing to lack of transparency and operational failures.
The EU EOM Chief Observer, Barry Andrews, made the assertion at a Media Briefing to present the Mission’s second preliminary reports, in Abuja, Monday.
Andrews noted that although Nigerians had great appetite for democracy and keen to engage in various civic activities, their expectations were dashed.
According to him, the apathy recorded at the governorship and states House of Assembly elections conducted last Saturday was a clear consequence of failures by political elites and “unfortunately, INEC.”
Andrews said: “Obstruction and organised violence limited the free expression of the will of the voters, despite efforts by civil society to promote democratic standards.
“Throughout the Mission, we saw that Nigerians have a great appetite for democracy and are keen to engage in various civic activities. However, in many parts of the country, their expectations were not met.
“Many were disappointed and we witnessed voter apathy that is in part, a clear consequence of failures by political elites, and unfortunately, also by INEC.
“Positively, INEC introduced some corrective measures ahead of Saturday’s polls, allowing a timely delivery of sensitive materials and improved use of election technologies, yet, the institution continued to lack transparency.”
The Mission also observed that voting started early with INEC ad-hoc officials present and ready to serve voters, but the exercise was unfortunately, disrupted by “multiple incidents of thuggery and intimidation of voters, polling officials, observers, and journalists”.
The Mission noted that Lagos, Kano, and other States in the Southern, Northern and Central parts of the country were mostly affected, adding that the election was equally characterised by casualties, fatalities, as well as vote-buying, which according to the observers, further detracted from an appropriate conduct of elections.
“EU EOM observers also saw misuse of administrative resources, including through various financial and in-kind inducements to voters, giving an undue advantage to the party in power.
“Furthermore, the protracted deadlines for candidacy disputes created uncertainty for voters and electoral contestants alike, while clear underrepresentation of women as candidates demonstrated a stark lack of internal party policies to support constitutionally prescribed inclusion
‘Youths To Benefit From Climate Change Innovation Hub’
The Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Sani Tambuwal, has expressed optimism that the recently established National Climate Change Innovation Hub would help in harnessing the potential among Nigerian youths towards addressing climate issues.
The CNA stated this during the commemoration of the 2023 Commonwealth Day with the theme ‘Forging A Sustainable And Peaceful Common Future’ held at the instance of National Assembly management, in Abuja, Monday.
Represented by the Deputy Clerk, National Assembly (DCNA), Barrister Kamoru Ogunlana, Tambuwal observed that the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and other climate issues in the world if not properly managed, would posed great danger to world peace and a sustainable future.
He assured that Federal Government had put measures in place to address some issues on climate change through the establishment of youth climate change hub to harness their ideas and include them in decision-making process as well as develop long-term vision for zero gas emissions.
In her presentation, Mrs. Rabi Audu stressed the need for concerted efforts from all stakeholders towards forging a sustainable and peaceful environment.
Audu also urged the youths to engage in activities and programmes that would promoter innovations and inclusivity for all.
According to her, governments and parliaments have to increase opportunities for schools across the Commonwealth countries, adopt higher education partnerships and development programmes that would lead to economic growth, social inclusion and environmental conservation.
While noting that the establishment of more programmes like the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) would aid the attainment of these, Audu further stressed the need for Commonwealth member countries to establish technical and vocational education that would help in gainfully equipping the youths with skills to further tackle high rate of youth unemployment.
Some of the students who participated in the programme tasked parliaments across Commonwealth member States on the need to hold their governments to account particularly on the areas of public spending, international crisis, investment sustainability and promotion of the benefits of inclusive and diverse representation in truly open societies.
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