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Activist advocates appropriate legislation to check theft of public funds

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Activist advocates appropriate legislation to check theft of public funds

By Friday Idachaba
Dr Goodman Akwu, a Human Rights activist has said that only appropriate legislation could check pilfering and theft of public funds in the country.

Akwu, also former governorship candidate of All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Kogi, made the call at a press conference on Tuesday in Lokoja.

He said that time has come for the legislature to enact a law that would protect and insulate public funds from treasury looters as in developed countries.

He said that instead of spending more money repeatedly in prosecuting the anti-corruption voyages, the National Assembly should work consistently and come up with applicable laws to safeguard public money.

“Just in one deal, the former Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Mrs Deziani Madueke, was reported to have allegedly stolen a whooping 70 million dollars.

“In the same vein, it was in the news recently that in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), N81 billion disappeared from the commission’s fund within eight months without difficulty.

“Stealing of public funds in developed countries is not easy because of solid legislations and refined judicial system.

“If this country that borrowed governmental system of the advanced nations can work by their laws and principles of their judiciary , corruption will be minimised to the barest level”, he said.

The activist decried the long duration it usually take the Judiciary to decide cases, saying that it gave corrupt public office holders courage to indulge in corruption and diversion of public funds with impunity.

He said the level of corrupt practices in governance across the country was mind boggling.

He noted that the unhealthy development was made possible by the porous accounting system which made it easy and free for all to steal and divert tax payers money. (NAN)

FDJ/CHIN
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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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Legislature

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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