The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the Federal Government to initiate policies that will place priority on water, health and education in communities.
The Lead Researcher at SERAP, Dr Elijah Okebukola, made the call yesterday during a town hall meeting in Lagos.
The theme of the meeting was: “The ignored pandemic: How Corruption in the Water, Health and Education Sectors is plunging Nigerians into Poverty”.
Okebukola urged government to initiate a constitutional amendment to make access to social amenties a fundamental right of Nigerians.
He expressed worry that some communities did not have access to public water, education and health.
He said that a national survey by SERAP shows that only 19 per cent got water from governmental sources, while more than 2.9 million people were denied access to medical treatment.
He said that the survey further indicated that none of the states surveyed in the six geo-political zones had any policy relating to access of poor people to water.
Okebukola further said that while the national policies generally recognised the needs of the general population in terms of access to water, they did not take into account the peculiar needs of people living in poor neighborhoods.
He, therefore, urged the government to intensify efforts in ensuring that every poor community had basic needs.
He said: “Government can support people in communities through short and long term programmes.
“While the government tries to intensify effort in providing basic needs for communities, it is essential to create awareness programmes to educate them on how to better harness the resources around them.”
Okebukola said that it was necessary for the government to be transparent, accountable and ensure proper documentation of social interventions in order to solve the issues of poverty and corruption.
He charged the government to do proper investigation and mete out punishment to those responsible for corruption in the management of public funds meant to provide access to quality education, healthcare and water to poor Nigerians.
The highlight of the meeting was the inauguration of SERAP Accountability Club (SAC).
The club comprises undergraduates, who are to function as watchdogs in their institutions.
Some of the aims and objectives of SAC include to enable effective involvement and participation of young Nigerians in the promotion of transparency and accountability.
They are also expected to create a national unified voice network for advocacy, information sharing and capacity building for young Nigerians, amongst others.
Police Service Commission Promotes Magu, Seven Others As AIGs
The Police Service Commission has approved the promotion of some senior police officers including the former Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
The commission confirmed John Amadi as a substantive Deputy Inspector-General of Police and replaced late DIG Joseph Egbunike, who will be representing the South-East in the Force Management.
The commission also approved the appointment of DIG Zama Senchi, who was the most senior in the Assistant Inspector General cadre.
Rising from its 15th plenary in Abuja last Friday, the commission in a statement on Monday by its spokesman, Ikechukwu Ani, disclosed that it equally promoted eight Commissioners of Police to Assistant Inspectors-General of Police.
The plenary which began last Wednesday, May 11, was presided over by the Chairman of the commission and former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Musiliu Smith.
The new AIGs include Magu, who was the most senior in the commissioner of police cadre.
Other new AIGs are Abraham Ayim, Okunlola Kamaldeen, Andrew Amieengheme, Akeera Younous, Celestine Elumelu, Ngozi Onadeko and Danladi Lalas (Airwing).
The commission also approved the promotion of 23 deputy commissioners to the next rank of CPs; 31 assistant commissioners to DCPs and 63 Chief Superintendents of Police to ACPs.
The new CPs include Taiwo Jesubiyi, former DC, Admin and Finance, Akwa Ibom State Command; Kolawole Olajide former DC, Force CID Annex, Alagbon, Lagos; Julius Okoro, former DC, Maritime, Lagos and Adelesi Oluwarotimi, former DC DFA, Kwara State Command.
The statement said, “Other decisions taken by the commission at the plenary were the promotion of 57 Superintendents of Police earlier skipped when their mates were promoted to the next rank of Chief Superintendents.
“Other categories of Superintendents of Police such as the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Course 4, Inspectors Courses 37 and regular ASP’s course 25 and 26 were also promoted to Chief Superintendents, having met established requirements.
Gunmen Kill Two Soldiers, Burn Court, 32 Vehicles In Anambra
Two soldiers have been killed and a lawmaker kidnapped by suspected gunmen in Anambra State.
The gunmen who went on the rampage in the state between Sunday and Monday also set ablaze a local government secretariat, an office of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, a magistrate’s court building as well as over 32 vehicles.
The Tide learnt that a group of hoodlums, wielding weapons, including guns, opened fire on a military checkpoint at the 3-3 Estate in Nkwelle Ezunaka, near Onitsha, where they shot two soldiers dead.
The soldiers were said to have retaliated, as a gun battle ensued thereafter.
According to sources, the shooting started around 10pm on Sunday and lasted till early Monday, with bullets flying in the air and dropping on rooftops.
It was learnt that the gunmen also visited the Government Reserved Area in Onitsha, where they shot intermittently.
The attacks came less than three days after the state governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, visited the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, in the custody of the Department of State Services.
In another attack, suspected gunmen also shot dead a vigilante at the Eke Oko community in the Aguata Local Government Area on Sunday.
The victim, who was on a motorcycle, was putting on a mobile police T-shirt when the gunmen overtook and shot him dead.
Sources said the hoodlums burnt all files and property in the council secretariat while over 32 vehicles parked inside the secretariat were also reportedly razed.
The police spokesman, Ikenga, attributed the incident to unidentified arsonists.
The Tide also learnt that the gunmen proceeded to the Ogidi district office of the EEDC, not far from the secretariat and set it ablaze.
About 32 utility and operational vehicles were reportedly burnt during the incident, including other assets and equipment on the premises.
The hoodlums also reportedly inflicted machete cuts on the security guard manning the office, cut his head, leg and arm, as they demanded his gun, while his other colleagues ran for their lives.
Confirming the incident, the Head, Corporate Communications, EEDC, Mr Emeka Ezeh, expressed displeasure that efforts made to reach the Anambra State Fire Service did not yield any positive result.
Ezeh said members of staff who were on ground were helpless, as they watched the office building and other assets go up in flames.
He said, “It later took the intervention of the Commissioner for Utilities, Mr Julius Chukwuemeka, around 9.05am to bring the fire service team down to the scene of the incident.
“This is a big loss to EEDC, and a great setback to the efforts being made by the company to strengthen its network and improve the quality of service to its customers within Ogidi and Anambra State at large”.
EFCC Arrests Accountant-General Over N80bn Fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, over alleged diversion of funds and money laundering to the tune of N80 bilion.
The spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this on Monday in a statement titled, ‘EFCC arrests Ahmed Idris, Accountant General of the Federation, for N80billion Fraud’.
The anti-graft agency said Idris was arrested after failing to honour an invitation.
According to the commission, the Accountant-General allegedly laundered the funds through bogus consultancies.
The statement read in part, “Operatives of the EFCC on Monday, May 16, 2022 arrested the serving Accountant-General of the Federation, Mr Ahmed Idris, in connection with diversion of funds and money laundering activities to the tune of N80billion.
“The commission’s verified intelligence showed that the AGF raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities, using proxies, family members and close associates.
“The funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and Abuja. Mr Idris was arrested after failing to honour invitations by the EFCC to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts”.
The Tide learnt that Idris is still at the EFCC custody as at the time of filing this report.
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