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3 senate committees express commitment to aiding IDPs return home, eradicate poverty

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3 senate committees express commitment to aiding IDPs return home, eradicate poverty

Three senate committees oversighting the ministry of humaniterian Affairs, disaster management and Social Development have vowed to work together with it to eradicate poverty, manage disasters and ensure internally displaced persons return to their homes.The senate committee chairman on poverty Alleviation and Social Investment ProgramSenator Lawal Yahaya Gumau stated this over the weekend at an interactive session organised by the Ministry for focal persons of the National Social Investment Programs (NSIP)in the 36 States of the Federation.Gamau said,”I want to announce publicly that the national Assembly especially senate and the committee on Social investment, the committee on special duties and the committee on SDG are ready to support all the programmes of this ministry through legislative actions through providing funds for the operations of the ministry. “This is very important.I want to assure you that we will give all the support you need especially in the area of poverty eradication, disaster management and reduction of IDP and making sure they return to their permanent abode so that Nigeria can be what it used to be.Senate Committee chairman on special duties Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf however, faulted the ministry for ignoring the National Assembly that appropriated the funds for the ministry.He spoke against the background that while watching a clip on the achievements of the ministry at the event, no mention was made of the national Assembly.
“When I was watching the video I didn’t see any single Item on National Assembly. I don’t know whether it is a forgotten institution that approves or appropriate the budget of the Ministry of Humanitarian affairs, next time give us encouragement and put us part and parcel of your success story. “This is a super ministry that is being oversighted by three committees in the senate, committee on special duties, committee on poverty alleviation and committee on sustainable development goals.”With a total number of senators not less than 50, so You can imagine how important this ministry is and the emphasis and the importance placed on humanitarian affairs, disaster management and social development.”He said though new, just one year old but they have all agreed it has impacted positively in the lives of the people in the country. He commended the minister and her lieutenants in the Federal, State and Local Governments who have done well. 
On the incessant attacks and criticisms of the minister by Nigerians he said it was normal, as even the National Assembly had been at the recieving end on criticisms also.”Whatever you do, there must be criticisms, I urge the minister not to be deterred. We in the senate we have been recieving the batching too so it will not be different. “As believers we know we are going to account for our actions and let that be our guiding principle and not what people say or how they assess your actions.”
He painted a gloomy picture of the poverty and deprivation in most of the IDP camps he visited while he was in Maiduguri recently to oversight North East Development Commission of the acactivities of NEMA.He said everyone of them was crying “As I am talking now at least one person will die in IDP camp in Maiduguri, and one life lost whether  it is a child, adult, Male or female is a life that we would not want to lose. “You can imagine what this ministry is coming to do. Let us stand up, give this ministry the courage to handle this humanitarian crises specifically in Bornor State, North East, Northern Nigeria and Nigeria at large. “It is not easy it is difficult, we have people who feed for one month, one bag of beans, one bag of maize, one bag of Rice, 4tins of tomato, one pack of magi, two packs of salt, family of six, it is sad, I cried. “Imagine we have children below the age of 10, some up to 18 who have no father, no mother, no sister, no uncle, no auntie, what is their future? Their future lies with us here. We as leaders, not even if we are from Borno but as Nigerians, will be held to account for not taking good care of these people. “You will agree with me from the number that we have seen, the Federal Government, the State Government our Development partners are spending not less than N5b monthly on just feeding and probably medical care. “You can imagine that cannot be sustaimed. We must find a way to contribute in every meaningful effort to making sure that these children do not become a bombshell for Nigeria in future. Yusuf also spoke on the opportunities in the NSIP especially the N-POWER program. I was in the 8th Assembly when the program was started. In A and B we have about 500 that are exiting the program. On average let say they are paid N20, 000, some are paid N30, 000 some N20, 000 stipend. Let’s use the average of N20000, N20000 paid to 500 people monthly. “The idea behind N-POWER is to provide employment to empower and to create wealth. Have we achieved that? “If we have not achieved that then we have to assess the program. I am made to understand from a over 5 million that applied for N-POWER about 400 000 may be enrolled. “The colossal sums of money, that the States and Federal Government spend was purposely to provide employment for our people. The program of this administration is to reduce poverty to the bearest minimum.”There is no way this amount of money that is spent would not bring positive impact on the economy even in the local economy.”He advised those who are given the opportunity of N-POWER to use what they have, the money That is paid to them judiciously.”Save 30% and use two third and what you save over a period of 2 years or three you will have the seed capital to start you own business. “Those that have passed through, some have abused the opportunity, some have actually taken the opportunity and we must advice those that are coming in to imbibe the opportunities and celebrate this Government as we move forward. He appealed to the minister to consult or operate and work well with the parliament. “You are doing your best we that work with you know but you must also encourage us by consulting us, by incorporating us. We represent the people.”By so doing he said they senators would be in position to defend the minister when people criticise her programs and activities.

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Legislature

Senate panel suspends budget defense over attacks by hoodlums

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Senate panel suspends budget defense over attacks by hoodlums

Senate committee on Interior yesterday suspended budget defence by the agencies under its purview on account of the #ENDSARS protests that was hijacked by hoodlums and the COVID-19 pandermic.
The committee chairman senator Kashim Shetima said most of the paramilitary organisations were victims of the attacks by the hoodlums as some of their offices were attacked and others burnt down.
He said they have submitted their 2020/2021 budget containing details hence there was no compelling need for them to hang on.

“Those paramilitary organisations, the Federal fire service and the Civil Defence submitted their budgets containing details of expenditure.
“We have received and will subject them to public scrutiny and when the need arises we will call them back to shed more light.

“In the light of the growing challenges and the issue of the  pandemic we felt compelled not to dissipate their useful time and energy answering a lot of questions from us.

He said there are no compelling issues to hold them back.
“If there is need for them to appear before us as we said earlier, we will call them back and subject them to scrutiny.
“We have the budget and there are explanations on  how the funds are expended.
“If we want an additional information we will inquire from them but right now some of their organisation are being attacked some of their offices were burnt down, so how do you expect us to hold them to ransome here while their needs for them to attend to outside.”

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Senate faults FG’s lackadaisical approach to environmental safety

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Senate faults FG’s lackadaisical approach to environmental safety

**Minister says Ogoni cleanup is FG’s priority

The Senate committee has on Environment has expressed disappointment over Nigeria’s disregard for environmental safety issues.

This came to the fore Tuesday during the Budget defense by the ministry of environment before the the Senate Committee on Environment.

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, indicated that government’s failure to accord priority to environment issues is underscored by the relatively poor budgetary allocation to the Environment Ministry.

The Environment Minister, Mohammad Abubakar told the Senate Committee that his Ministry is presently tackling environmental issues including oil spills, among others.

The sum of N8.9 billion is the total allocation for the Environment Ministry, as captured in the 2021 budget.

When asked about the much talked about Ogoni cleanup that has lingered for some years the minister said,

“Three weeks ago we were able to completed six remediated sites that are being certified by National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) right now. I think about three or four more are in the pipeline to be completed and certified and the remaining fifteen sites of the first 21 are being worked on seriously and we completion very soon. “There are 36 additional sites that have been awarded. They are at various stages of work. “There are livelihood programme that are going on which have been part of the clean up project by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) that is ongoing currently.
“About 1200 women and youths are being trained in various skills like agriculture, aquaculture, poultry, welding and so on. A great number of youths have been employed by the projects.”
He said the cleanup of Ogoni is ongoing adding that it is one of the main project of this administration.

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Legislature

CNA decries theft by Legislative Aide in NASS

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CNA decries theft by Legislative Aide in NASS
…As NASSLAF inaugurates new Exco

The Clerk to the National Assembly (CNA), Architect Ojo Amos Olatunde, has condemned in strongest terms, the burglary act recently carried out by a legislative aide in the National Assembly .

The CNA who made the condemnation in Abuja Friday during the inauguration ceremony of newly elected executives of the National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum ( NASSLAF), challenged the new executives to fish out bad eggs among them .

” It is sad to note the ugly incident that occurred recently , when a legislative Aide was caught breaking into the office of a Lawmaker .
” What would have prompted such regrettable incident? There is the need for this newly elected executives to be vigilant by flushing out any bad eggs amongst you ” , he said .
He also admonished the executive to run welfare – driven Unionism and not confrontational one against the management in any way, since accordimg to him, most of their outstanding demands, were met within his first 28 days in office as Clerk to the National Assembly .

His words, “This EXCO must be guided that Unionism is all about welfare of all and sundry .
“Union matters must witness a new dawn and turn, which must be separated from the ugly past.
“I am proud and elated to state that under my watch, we have fulfilled the promise of the ‘First 28 Days’, and we are resolved to make sure that not only all statutory claims of Legislative Aides are promptly paid, but training programmes are pursued to logical conclusions ” .

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan who was represented by the Senate Deputy Leader, Senator Robert Ajayi Boroffice ( APC Ondo North), also tasked the newly inaugurated EXCO to make NASSLAF the required lubricant of the operational engine of the Federal lawmakers .
In his inauguration speech, the Chairman of NASSLAF, Alhaji Salisu Zuru, promised to run an EXCO and Union that will not be confrontational to the management of the National Assembly at all levels but collaborative .
“As a union, we intend to run an inclusive administration . We shall ensure collaborative synergy with relevant stakeholders like the National Assembly Service Commission , National Assembly Management and the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies ( NILDS).
“History has taught us that constructive engagement achieves results, more than unnecessary grandstanding and confrontation.” he said.

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