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Ayade Presents N1.1trn Budget For 2020 

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Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State yesterday presented a budget of N1.1trillion for 2020 to the State House of Assembly.
The budget, tagged “Budget of Olimpotic Meristemasis”, has a capital expenditure of N911 billion representing 82.8 per cent and a recurrent expenditure of N188 billion, representing 17.2 per cent.
While explaining that meristemasis is the active cell that stimulates growth in a young plant, which in this case represented the state, he pointed out that, “the budget will catalyse into existence a great opportunity for the state to put all hands and legs on the pedal.”
He said the decision to set aside 82.8 per cent of the budget for capital expenditure, was indicative of government commitment that will continue to reduce recurrent expenditure and focus on capital expenditure.
On the sectoral breakdown, Ayade disclosed that the health sector has an allocation of N44 billion, education N38 billion, New City Development N35 billion while agriculture was allocated N22 billion and social housing N12 billion, among others.
The governor announced that his administration would sustain its current tax policy with adjustment.
“All low income people like civil servants earning below N100,000 will be exempted from tax.
“Small scale businesses like barbing saloon, hair dressing and others are hereby exempted from taxation,” he said.
He also abolished daily levy of between N500 and N1000 by taxis in the state, noting that they will now pay N2000 only every month.
“We must come to the understanding that indeed any state whose budget is driven by envelope size is limited in vision.
“There are two ways in business and public sector management that you place your budget. It is either that your budget comes as an expression of your envelope size or as an expression of your ambition.
“The prosperity agenda set for this state does not allow me the opportunity of an envelope budgeting,” he said.

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NGO Tasks NASS On Fiscal Responsibility Law Amendment

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The Growth Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT) Nigeria says there is an urgent need for the national assembly to pass the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) amendment bill into law.
The executive director, Order Paper, Oke Epia,said this on Saturday at a media briefing in Abuja.
The Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007 is primarily designed to checkmate wastage and corruption.
Epia said the financial crisis faced by the country is as a result of corruption in the oil sector, which could be resolved through the passage of the amendment of the Act.
“Nigeria is in a fiscal crisis because certain things are not being done right, especially in the petroleum sector which accounts for over 60 percent of revenue earnings and over 90 percent of foreign exchange due to the country,” he said.
“It is the mainstay of the economy and that is where you have the poster child of corruption in this country.”
He said the slow amendment of the fiscal responsibility act gives room for the non-remittance of revenue by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) and other ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
“On the side of public finance management, that is what we want to alert your consciousness to, so that we can mount pressure on the national assembly to pass this fiscal responsibility amendment bill, so it will help get monies that are due to government paid to the government without much ado,” he added.

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Alleged 2019 Guber Poll Rigging: Ogun APC To Probe Amosun

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The state leadership of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State may likely quiz the immediate past Governor of the state, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, over his claim that the 2019 governorship election in the state was rigged in favour of the incumbent Governor, Dapo Abiodun.
There were indications that the party’s leadership may take a hard step on the Senator’s claim when the party’s leaders from the 20 local government areas of the state had a closed-door meeting in Abeokuta on Saturday and expressed their displeasure over the allegation.
The state Chairman of the party, Yemi Sanusi, who berated Amosun over his claim, described such outburst as  un-senatorial and unbecoming of a supposed statesman.
It was learnt that after the meeting, the party’s leaders called for disciplinary measures against such anti-party acts, which they likened to the ex-governor’s support for All Progressives Movement’s governorship candidate in 2019, resulting in his suspension.
Sanusi declared that, being the acting chairman of the party in 2019, he observed that the election that produced the incumbent governor was the most credible in the history of the state.
He said the electorate trooped out and overwhelmingly voted for Governor Abiodun and protected their votes from being overturned by riggers.
Sanusi, therefore, called on the party’s leaders and members to reciprocate the kind gesture of Governor  Abiodun by working hard to ensure  his re-election in 2023.
Meanwhile, in preparation for the general election, Governor Abiodun donated a bus to the party’s state executive council with a view to enhancing their operations ahead of the 2023 poll and in appreciation of their contributions towards the growth of democracy in the state.
He described the party’s state executive as a partner in progress, commending them for their sterling leadership which made it possible for them to keep the party united.
The governor, therefore, promised support for the party to sustain its membership drive, emphasising that all hands mist be on deck as the party gets prepared for the forthcoming general elections.

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APC’s Case Challenging My Victory, Waste Of Time – Adeleke

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The Governor- elect of Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, on Saturday disclosed that the case filed by the All Progressives Congress APC, challenging his victory in the July 16 election is dead on arrival and a mere waste of time.
According to Adeleke, the people of Osun state have spoken and no amount of court cases can overturn his election as governor.
Adeleke, speaking at Ijebu-Jesa, headquarters of Oriade local government, where a former commissioner for finance under the administration of Aregbesola, Dr Wale Bolorunduro officially decamped to the PDP, said his major focus is how to move Osun forward, promising a massive impact in his first 100 days in office.
“The whole world knew that the election was free and fair. APC are just wasting there time. They have the right to go to court but I can tell you, it is dead on arrival.
“Osun people who have voted massively for us should keep calm and not worry. This time around, the people of Osun have spoken and it is the will of God.
“The only thing I’m concerned with now is how to make Osun great and I’m promising that in my first 100 days in office , Osun State will witness a massive change,” he said.
Speaking on why he defected, Bolorunduro said he left APC because the party is full of deceit and lack ethos of Obafemi Awolowo.
His words: “I and my followers are decamping today to PDP because it is the party for the progressive. It is a party that is transparent and not deceitful as the former party I was.
“I left APC because my glory was being covered and my contributions trampled upon. APC is full of deceit. There is nothing called progressivesm in that party.
“The party lack fairness, justice, transparency and the ethos of our avatar, Obafemi Awolowo. I had no choice than to leave APC and come to the party of light”.

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