Concerned Nigerians have reacted to a revelation from the Nigerian Defence Headquarters, last Monday, that, at least, $2billion (about N826billion), would be needed yearly, to tackle the worsening insecurity in the country.
The Director of Production, Defence Headquarters, Air Vice Marshall M. A. Yakubu, who revealed this during public hearing on the Armed Forces Support Trust Fund Bill, said even the sources of funding, which the bill prescribes, were insufficient to address the problem.
“If we are not able to raise a minimum of $2billion (about N826billion) per annum in the next three years for a start, subsequently maybe we can begin to taper down the percentages. But for a start, we need a bulk sum because of many of these manufacturers of equipment require 100 per cent down payment to even start production. So, you cannot sign a contract example with the US manufacturers and pay 15 per cent mobilization as required by the procurement act.
“Nobody would look at you. Their terms must be followed. Many times we are asked to pay 100 per cent. The example is the Super Tucano. This one is on government-to-government. They insisted on 100 per cent payment within 30 days. No budgetary allocation would fund that,” he said.
Reacting to this, some Nigerians kicked against it, sarcastically asking the government to ‘sell Nigeria’ and give the proceeds to military to combat insecurity or share the money (N826billion) to Nigerians and watch insecurity be put to a stop by citizens.
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), yesterday, cautioned the National Assembly against politicizing the anticipated Armed Forces Trust Fund.
HURIWA said the multi-billion dollars worth of statutory Armed Forces Trust fund being contemplated by the National Assembly is a constructive idea that will inevitably transform the Nigeria military into an enviable fighting force if prudently applied.
Speaking on the proposed Armed Forces Trust Fund, HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko; and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf; described the initiative as a creative idea whose time has come.
A statement by the group reads partly, “The National Assembly should not politicize the initiative but expeditiously set up the trust fund by way of a national law as a legacy to be bequeathed to generations unborn.
“We read the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, saying that the military needs more funding because Nigeria is at war.
“Gbajabiamila, who stated this at a public hearing on a bill seeking to establish a special trust fund for the Armed Forces, said insecurity in the country has made extra funding for the military necessary.
“He spoke as the Defence Headquarters said at the hearing that the military will need not less than $2billion annually for the next three years, making $6billion, to effectively tackle the growing security crises across the country. We are happy with this proposal and we call for its expeditious passage”.
Besides, the Rights group has described as campaign of character assassination the allegation by some soldiers that their allowances for the past four years have been either unpaid or underpaid by the Army authority without any explanation especially in the tenure of the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Yusuf Tukur Buratai (rtd).
HURIWA specifically recalled that in a media publication, the soldiers stated that their allowances for the past four years have been either unpaid or underpaid by the army authorities without any explanation, urging the president to order the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to probe what happened to the monies just as the aggrieved soldiers of the Nigerian Army are calling for a probe of how their Uniform and Boots Allowance and Scarce Skills Allowance approved by President Muhammadu Buhari since November, 2017, have not been paid by the army authorities, then under the former Chief of the Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai (rtd).
HURIWA, however, stated that authoritative information made available to it from the Nigerian Army High Command shows that contrary to the claims, that category of allowances was even introduced by the immediate past Army chief.
Nine Passengers Burnt In Oyo Auto Crash – FRSC
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has said nine passengers have sustained varying degree of burns in an auto crash on Ogbomoso-Oyo Expressway.
The Sector Commander in the state, Joshua Adekanye, confirmed the incident in an interview with The Tide’s source in Ibadan yesterday.
He said the accident, which occurred on Saturday, involved a trailer and a truck at Sekona area along Ogbomoso – Oyo Expressway.
Adekanye said nine out of the total 13 people involved in the accident got burnt while four others escaped unhurt.
“The accident happened around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, and the truck vehicle caught fire while the trailer collided with it.
“The actual cause of the fire in the truck could not be ascertain because it happened at night”, he said.
He, however, said the likely cause of the trailer colliding with the truck might be speeding and wrongful overtaking.
According to him, the burnt victims are being referred to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital for treatment, adding that the RS11.31 Ogbomoso and RS11.312 Oolo Commands conducted rescue operation.
“Other agency that carried out the rescue operation are the Fire Service and Odo-Oba Police Division”, he said.
Adekanye called on motorists to shun night travelling, wrongful overtaking and dangerous driving to ensure safety on the road.
Association Lauds Gov Over E-Ticket Revenue Collection
Enugu State Governor, Barr Peter Mbah, has been commended for introducing E-Ticket system of revenue collection, which is aimed at increasing Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.
The President, Enugu State Markets Amalgamated Traders Association (ESMATA), Chief Stephen Aniagu, who made the commendation in a chat with newsmen in Enugu, expressed happiness that the system has already started yielding fruitful results.
Urging traders in all the markets in the State to cooperate with government by embracing the innovation, Chief Aniagu also expressed satisfaction with the announcement by the State Government that its IGR had increased tremendously from what it used to be before the introduction of the system.
According to him, traders in Ogbete Main Market have already identified themselves with the system, with a view to encouraging the State Government’s efforts at increasing its IGR.
On programmes and projects mapped out for execution by the Governor Mbah-led administration, Chief Aniagu said, “we have already started feeling the impacts of these projects.
“From all indications, Governor Mbah has plans to make Enugu State a role model. We are cooperating very well with the State Government. The relationship between the Governor and traders in the State is very cordial.
“Ogbete traders are fully involved as they have started paying their taxes as and when due. I urge all the traders to key in by ensuring that government revenue goes directly into government Coffers instead of private pockets”.
Continuing, Chief Aniagu further said: “The Governor has always carried along traders in Ogbete and other markets in the State in his programmes.
Fielding questions from newsmen on the level of peace in Ogbete, Chief Aniagu stated that there was relative peace in the market, adding that traders were fully supporting and cooperating with his administration.
He, however, advised traders in Ogbete and other markets in the State not to cheat their customers in any manner, noting that “the importance of carrying out you businesses with the fear of God cannot be over emphasized”.
By: Canice Amadi Enugu
EFCC Boss Vows To Fight Corruption
The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ola Olukoyede, has pledged to refocus the anti-corruption war by adopting modalities capable of stimulating economic growth and development.
He gave the assurance while addressing members of staff of Ilorin Zonal Command of EFCC, at the Commission’s Office, GRA, Ilorin.
Olukoyede promised a paradigm shift in the agency’s approach to anti-graft war, to make it more proactive and result oriented.
“There is need for us to refocus our attention in EFCC. We need to define our scope of mandate with a view to stimulate the economy of the country.
“The era of stifling and crippling of businesses with unwarranted PNDs is gone.
“We must be able to separate proceeds of crime from legitimate funds and use the instrumentality of our mandate to create wealth and jobs for people.
“We will also use the instrumentality of our mandate to create conducive environment for businesses to thrive for a sustainable economic growth”, he said.
The EFCC boss also pledged to prioritise staff welfare, stressing that he was already in talks with the government for necessary support.
“We have done it before and we are going to do it again”, he assured.
Olukoyede asked officers of the commission to be above board and avoid acts of compromise in their line of duty, stressing, “We owe our nation the sacred duty of making this country free of corruption and crimes”.
He urged members of staff to work together for a good course and see themselves as officers having the same rights and privileges as encapsulated in Section 8 (5) of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004.
The TIde’s source reports that the executive Chairman had earlier visited the palace of Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu Gambari, where he called on traditional rulers to deepen their partnership with EFCC.
He called for more cooperation in order to reduce corruption through adequate promotion of ethics, values and behavioral change among their subjects.
“Our royal fathers have a crucial role to play by using your good offices to champion the crusade against corruption among your subjects.
Responding, the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Zulu Gambari pledged to continue supporting EFCC and other law enforcement agencies in stamping out corruption and other form of criminalities in the State.
Metro3 days ago
NGO Leads Onslaught To Curb Violence Against Women
Sports3 days ago
Rivers SWAN Lauds Rivers Hoopers Over NPBL Victory …As Gov Fubara Redeems N30m Pledge
Niger Delta3 days ago
Ex-Militant Emerges Best Graduating Student At WDU
News3 days ago
Rivers PDP Renews Call For Peace, Warns Against Balkanising Party
Politics3 days ago
2023 Election: Court Remands Alleged APC Member For Vote-Buying, Bribery
News3 days ago
Dream Of Making Rivers Medical Hub Achievable -Odu
Opinion3 days ago
Challenges Of Paediatric Surgery In Nigeria
Rivers3 days ago
Pray For Fubara, Stakeholder Urges Rivers People