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Anti graft fight: NASS will give Buhari necessary support says Omo-Agege

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Anti graft fight: NASS will give Buhari necessary support says Omo-Agege

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has indicated that the 9th National Assembly is determined to continue its support for President Buhari on anti graft law.

This was contained in a statement that was issued by his special adviser on media Yomi Odunuga.
He said the National Assembly is working on strengthening the country’s anti-graft laws.
OmoAgege the statement indicated, spoke while receiving representatives of the Good Leadership Advocacy for Africa (GLAFA) to his office, 
He said the Ninth Assembly will continue to give President Muhammadu Buhari the necessary support in his fight against corruption.
Omo-Agege who doubles as the Chairman, Senate Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution, pointed out that this explains why the National Assembly intervenes whenever some government agencies appear to be veering off the normal course.0
He said: “Talking about corruption, there has been an argument that we should make more laws and make punishments more stringent. Of course, there is also a school of thought which argues that we have enough laws but that we need to create incentives for those who are doing the investigations, arrests and prosecution so that they can see this as a really worthwhile effort without any top official hindering their work.

“Reassurances will go a long way to help but indeed there are lacunae that can be addressed with new laws like what we have done with the Sexual Harassment Bill because it was becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to prosecute crimes in that area as it was difficult to have the victim step forward for obvious reasons.

“Our job at the National Assembly is to assist President Buhari in strengthening these institutions, knowing full well that he will not be here forever. The National Assembly is strengthening the anti-corruption laws including the EFCC, ICPC enabling acts among others”.

The federal lawmaker expressed appreciation for the organisation’s  acknowledgement that the National Assembly leadership has not been involved in the humongous corruption being uncovered at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and other government agencies.

According to Senator Omo-Agege, the National Assembly leadership is determined to ensure the success of the Buhari administration, even as he asked Nigerians to rally round the President.

“As a legislative body we are very conscious of the powers and privileges set aside for us, as embedded in the 1999 Constitution (As Amended). Very often, the legislative arm has been accused of veering off legislative activities and moving into areas that some believe to be set aside for the Executive arm of government.

“Apart from providing enabling environment for the President to succeed, our major interest is to enhance the success of his anti-corruption agenda.

“I agree that corruption has eaten deep into the fabric of governance in this country and some have come to a conclusion that it is a bigger pandemic than the Covid-19. So, that is part of the reasons why we are determined to give Mr. President everything he needs to succeed in this war because, at the end of the day, this is going to be part of the legacies he will leave behind, along with tackling insecurity.

Earlier, leader of the team and President of GLAFA, Dr. O’Diakpo Obire, frowned at the recent financial malfeasance rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

He commended the National Assembly for its probe of the interventionist agency.

He also lauded the Deputy President of the Senate for sponsoring 19 bills within his first year in the Ninth Senate.

Dr. Obire explained that with over 10,000 membership strength across 54 African Nations, at the core of GLAFA’s mandate is the promotion of good governance and quality leadership on the continent.

Other members on the GLAFA delegation include Dr. Prosper Ahworegba, Mrs. Kenny Okorie, Barr. Ezenwa Anumnu, Alhaji Umma Sanda, Mr. Ugwuanyi Onyekachi and Mr. Iroajamma Orji.

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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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