Connect with us

National

Don’t pay lip service to resolution, South-South Study Group (3SG), urges Southern Governors

Published

on

Spread the love

** demands for a referendum

The South-South Study Group, (3SG) has charged the Southern States Governors not to pay lip service to their resolution but ensure that it does not stop with the communique but backed with action to lift the lot of their people from the present servitude and disadvantages that they have been subjected to.

They therefore called for a national referendum to give political action to their resolution on restructuring and their common position against open grazing among others.
The group challenged the Governors not to allow themselves to be weighed down by politics of their party affiliations as they commended them for the far reaching resolution.
The 3SG, which is a network of some of the South-South’s leading professionals in the public and private arena, gave the indication in a statement they issued on Sunday.

The statement which was signed for the group by Otoks Dan Princewill further challenged the Southern governors against shying away from articulating the desires of their people in the competive environment between the large majority of progressively minded Nigerians and the few persons determined to foster regression.

Endorsing the intervention of the Southern governors, 3SG said:
“The timely intervention by the Southern Governors presents a watershed moment as the nation becomes a contested arena between the progressive will of the people and the regressive whims and caprices of a few.
“It is for this reason that the commendable display of astutely effective diplomatic effort by the Southern Governors across party lines emphasizes the urgency and need for relief as demanded by Southerners of all affiliation.
“On this note, the Southern Governors must realise that now more than ever, regardless of party affiliation, the citizens of Southern Nigeria look up to this collective body of Southern Governors to protect them from rampaging marauders and bandits, to push forward their collective interests and hold many more positive Conferences also involving other Southern stakeholders in the immediate future for the sake of the rapidly deteriorating national state of affairs.
“Nigerians at home and in diaspora are waiting on edge with baited breath in expectation that this presents hope for a new beginning.”
Affirming that the resolution of the governors on restructuring was explicit, the group said:
“The Communiqué of the Southern Governors explicitly explains what Restructuring entails; review of resource control, revenue allocation formula, strict adherence to federal character principles in appointments and the shared interests of the Federating States.
“It is pertinent to acknowledge that our festering national ills have been dramatically amplified by a current approach of gross insensitivity to the diversity and the multicultural nature of Nigeria. This complete neglect of the most primary characteristic of Federalism by the current Federal Government worsened the already festering national malaise.
“The solutions to our national problems arising from diversity and multiculturalism were clearly stated only with slight differences and variations in the national conferences of 1995, 2005, and 2014. Interestingly, the ruling party in its review of the National Question reaffirmed these same solutions based on the imperative of Restructuring.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

National

President Buhari applauds INC for faith in one Nigeria

Published

on

By

Spread the love

President Muhammadu Buhari has applauded the leadership of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) for recently affirming their belief in a United Nigeria and supporting the fight against insecurity by developing internal control mechanisms.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media &and Publicity
Garba Shehu in a statement quoted the
he President’s commendation when he received the National Executive of INC led by Professor Benjamin Okaba.

The presidebt urged the leadership of the association to use its influence ‘‘in making sure that we keep working together to keep this country a united, indivisible entity, so that we can tackle our problems together and overcome our challenges together.’’

Buhari also used the occasion to address some demands of the association on several issues including environmental degradation, restructuring, creation of states, allocation of operational licenses for marginal fields to Ijaw people
Other demands the President addressed are the inauguration of the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), among others.

On the Hydrocarbon Remediation Project, President Buhari said he had directed the Federal Ministry of Environment to ensure that the remediation efforts in Ogoni are implemented with a high percentage of local content and inclusion of the surrounding communities.

Buhari indicated that the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency, under the same ministry of Environment, is working to ensure that oil spills are reduced.
He said they will work to prevent new ones while all relevant agencies of government have been directed to ensure that they enforce compliance by the International Oil Companies to international best practices.

Addressing their call for immediate restructuring, the President noted that the National Assembly whose responsibility it is to ensure that the constitution responds to the call for a restructured Nigeria has already concluded regional consultations.

‘‘As soon as they finalise the process, necessary action would not be delayed on my part,’’ he said.

On the creation of two additional states and more local government areas for the Ijaw people, the President said it is a legislative matter, which should naturally be handled by the National Assembly with concurrence at the state levels.

On the allocation of operational licenses for marginal fields to Ijaw people, the President said while he completely agrees with the demand,‘‘the process of granting licenses is guided by laid down rules and regulations, most of which even favour local content and local contractors. I see no reason why they should not be granted such licenses if they qualify.’’

On NDDC, the President pledged that the Board would be inaugurated as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted.

‘‘A contentious issue that has been a subject of discourse amongst the Ijaw people of recent has been the need for the Niger Delta Development Commission to live up to its billing by delivering the required succor to the people of the region.

‘‘Based on the mismanagement that had previously bedeviled the NDDC, a forensic audit was set up and the result is expected by the end of July, 2021.

‘‘I want to assure you that as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted, the NDDC Board will be inaugurated.
He urged the Ijaw National Congress should play a more active role in making sure that the mismanagement that occurred in the past is not repeated in NDDC

The President also assured the leadership of INC that the completion of the East-West Road remains top on his infrastructure agenda, adding that the occasional disturbances by youths in some communities along the route of construction work would require the close attention and guidance of leaders in the region.

‘‘Furthermore, we have made considerable progress with the construction of the Bonny to Port Harcourt Bridge,’’ he said.

In his remarks, Professor Okaba urged the President to mandate the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to direct the relocation of the headquarters of all oil companies to their operational bases in Ijaw land and the Niger Delta region.

‘‘The excuse of insecurity is no longer tenable for it is common knowledge that nowhere in Nigeria is safer than the other. Secondly, the revamping of the major ports at Onne, Warri, Port Harcourt, Bonny will accelerate economic growth, reduce joblessness, youth criminality and contribute to national unity and stability,’’ he said.

Reaffirming strong faith in the ‘‘overall and mutual benefits of true federalism and resource control to the prosperity and stability of Nigeria,’’ Okaba assured the President that the Ijaws ‘‘have no secessionist agenda.’’

Continue Reading

National

Discordant tunes as Senate, FCDA trade blames over NASS Leaking roof

Published

on

By

Spread the love

Nigeria Senate on Wednesday blamed the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCDA) for not renovating the National Assembly Complex since it was built.
This was coming just as the FCDA also passed the blame unto the Federal Executive Ciuncil for delay in awarding the contracts for the rehabilitation of the dilapidating roofs of the complex.

The FCDA Public Relation Officer, Mr. Richard Nduul stated that the dilapidated roof of the National Assembly was also as a result of the cumbersome nature of approval of contracts by the Federal Executive Council (FEC)
Hence he said no contract has been awarded to any company for its maintenance.

The development he said has led to the delay in award of the contract to prospective contractors who are supposed to maintain the edifice and other government structures in the FCT.

The National Assembly however, exonerated itself from any blame over the dilapidation of its Whitehouse which led to a major embarrassment on Tuesday when a heavy downpour caused the roof of the complex to leak.
The spokesperson of the Senate Senator Surajudeen Ajibola gave the indication while reacting to widespread reports on the incident.
He said the National Assembly Administration and its leadership is not responsible for the maintenance and renovation of the National Assembly Complex.
He said if there is any blame to be apportioned it should be directed at the FCDA which is responsible for its maintenance as well as renovation and not the Leadership of the National Assembly as being falsely bandied about. 

According to him, the N37b set aside for the renovation of the complex has not been recieved adding that it is true that an initial appropriation of N37b was made due to the decaying nature of the National Assembly Complex.
However he said the complex has not witnessed any major maintenance or overhauling since construction, adding that even the said amount was reduced to 9 billion naira after the breakout of COVID-19 pandemic.
“Even with this reduction, the sum of 9 billion or any amount is yet to be cash backed or released to the National Assembly. None of this amount is even appropriated for the National Assembly bureaucracy or its leadership.

In a similar vein the Senate President also reacting at plenary said the fact that there was a leakage, is a clear testimony, confirmation and vindication of the position the national assembly took initially.
“For emphasis, when we approved the budget of N37 billion for the rehabilitation of this complex, it was not a national assembly budget. It was an FCDA budget, we have nothing to do with this.
Continuing the Senate spokesperson said, “It must be reiterated that the National Assembly Complex is a National Monument which falls under the purview of control of the Federal Capital Development Agency. In essence, the FCDA is responsible for its maintenance as well as renovation and not the Leadership of the National Assembly as being falsely bandied about. 
“The leakage witnessed at the foyer of the National Assembly yesterday justifies the apprehension of the leadership of the National Assembly and the FCDA and further underscores the need for an urgent intervention in revamping the dilapidated structures within the complex before it falls into further dilapidation with the attendant huge cost of possible replacement.”
In another development the Senate raised issues on the widespread report on the leak

I’m sure, most of us saw the report by Channels Tv and let me also say that the channels Tv correspondent may not be responsible for the that because I know that our press corps reporters are in tune with what we do here and what happens around us and they are very patriotic and committed to democracy and therefore, the senate correspondent of the Tv, wouldn’t have sent that report.

Let me advice the media, this is irresponsible. I must say because seek the truth, investigate properly, come to us or go to those who you think should know better before you compile and send your report.

By the time we came into office and our endorsement, the speaker and I found it necessary to go round this Senate and we found out dilapidation and degradation, in fact, any way who sees what we have here, knows that this place is over due for rehabilitation. It is even worse downstairs.

So we complained to the President that there is the need to rehabilitate and renovate the national assembly complex.

After in use for about 20 years and not rehabilitated at all.

Mr president was gracious and he asked us to come back, engage the FCDA who are the owners of this building.

The technical side of the national assembly and some contractors to come up with what we need to rehabilitate here and the cost. In fact I fought against the initial submissions because I was to take the document directly to the President, when I saw what they were bringing, I say there was no way I could take that to Mr President, go and rework until they came up with N37 billion and I took that to the President.

Some misinformed, some innocent, some deliberately mischievous went to town saying the national assembly wanted to eat N37 billion, there is nothing wrong with this place.

The institution of the parliament must be supported by citizens and we expect the press to take a lead in informing the public properly and appropriately. I advice the press, help us develop this democracy.

Sabi. Point of Orders 14 and 15.

Yesterday, Abuja experienced rainfall. The issue of the rainfall as it happened yesterday which was heavy was reported in various media.

However when I listened to the reportage of the Channels Tv yesterday, there were many issues that were raised in their report that I felt has infringed on my privilege and perhaps and of course, the privilege of my colleagues.

In that report, three things were reported which were very inaccurate that there was heavy downpour or leakage even in the chamber. That was not correct. There was leakage of course around the premises, outside the chamber and also it was reported that because of that leakage, it delayed our sitting, that also is not correct.

The leadership had house keeping matters and of course until the leadership comes into the chamber, sitting will not begin. So that was the only thing.

Thirdly, Mr President, distinguished colleagues and the most critical was that they reported the leadership as approving the sum of N37 billion for rehabilitation of the complex, this is nothing further than the truth.

As we all know, when we came on board as the 9th Senate, the leadership of course noticed the level of dilapidation and the need for rehabilitation of the national assembly complex.

The Senate president and the speaker of course, approached Mr President, Muhammadu Buhari to report this matter and we all know, we were all briefed that Mr President was willing to ensure that something was done about it.

At the end of the day, when the sum of N37 billion was made as provision in the 2020 budget, the media went to town castigating and calling the members of the national assembly all kinds of names.

At the end of the day, like we all knew, the pandemic came and at the end of that amount was reduced to about N9 million so that they can take the application in pieces.

As we speak, nothing is being done until yesterday, the leakage across the complex.

“This is a vindication of what the leadership and indeed the Senate and members of the House of Representatives saw with respect to this edifice which is a national monument.

“This is the symbol of our democracy and we believe as responsible tenants, we have our time, we leave, we believe whatever it is, we have a duty to report back to the concerned authority, in this case, the FCDA are responsible for the building, this we did.

A video had gone viral yesterday on social media, during the early morning downpour, showing the leaking roof of the National Assembly, with water splashing to the lobby of the federal parliament.

The cleaners had a hectic time scooping water from the floor while the development delayed the sitting of the senators who resumed on Tuesday after a one-week break to mark the end of their second legislative year.

“For now, the position with the National Assembly building is that there is no contract to carry out maintenance. As you know contract takes a procedure. When we had a report that there are some of these leakages, we still have go to through the process of award of contract.
He stressed that there were speculations that the FCT has awarded a company known as Visible Contractors to maintain the National Assembly complex, however he indicated that no contract has been awarded to any company known as Visible Contractors Limited.

On the N37billion approved for the maintenance of the complex, he said, “You people are the ones mentioning that N37billion. Of course, even if the contract is issued at a particular sum of money, it cannot be expended within a year, because the contract will not be exhausted within a year.

Continue Reading

National

President Buhari asks Senate to approve N895bn supplementary budget

Published

on

By

Spread the love

President Muhammdu Buhari has asked the Senate to consider and approve the sum of N895, 842, 465, 917 as Supplementary Budget.

The Minister of finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed had indicated at an interphase with the senate earlier said,
“Having noted the need for the urgent procurement of vaccines and also the need for funding, to ensure that Nigeria is able to meet its commitment under the Nigerian Comprehensive AIDS programme, as well as the urgent need to specifically enhance the capacity of our military and para military agencies to tackle the various security challenges that we currently have in the country.

She had indicated that the Federal Executive Council on that note approved the 2021 supplementary appropriation bill, in an aggregate expenditure of N895,842,462,917.
The total of the expenditure she said was made up of N83.56 billion for COVID-19 vaccine programme, covering 30 billion vaccines from Johnson and Johnson vaccines and the logistics cost related to the deployment of that vaccine.

President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan who read Buhari’s letter at Tuesday’s plenary having resumed from a two-week break said, a substantial part of the fund has been earmarked for procurement of military hardware to prosecute the war against insurgency and banditry.

Accordibg to him, the Federal Government is also expected to use part of the fund for purchase of COVID-19 vaccines and other health related needs.

The letter reads: Dear Distinguished Senate President, submission of the Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2021.

“It is with pleasure that I forward herewith, Supplementary Appropriation Bill 2021 for the kind consideration and approval by the Senate.

“The supplementary budget request is for a total sum of N895, 842, 465, 917.

“We propose to fund N45.63 billion of the N83. 56 billion required for the COVID-19 vaccine programme by drawing on existing World Bank loans which will be a structured as well as other grants totalling 113.2 million US dollars.

“The balance of N37. 93 billion required for COVID-19 vaccines, salaries and other health-related expenditures totalling N41.6 billion and N48.2 billion recurrent component of defence and security will be funded by borrowing N135 billion from some special reserve levy accounts.

“We propose to fund the balance of N722.4 billion for capital expenditure on defense and security and capital supplementation from new borrowings in the absence of any supplementary revenue sources.

“It has become necessary to prepare the 2021 supplementary appropriation bill considering the urgent need to make provision for procurement and administration of COVID-19 vaccines.

“The availability of COVID-19 vaccines and the procurement terms was still uncertain as at the time of finalising the 2021 budget, hence, there was no provision in the 2021 Appropriation Act for the procurement and administration of COVID-19 vaccines.

“However, the Federal Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency have now developed a COVID-19 vaccine programme for the country.

“Under the vaccine programme, 70 per cent of eligible Nigerians are to be vaccinated between 2021 and 2022.

“In addition, our security and law enforcement agencies urgently need to procure additional equipment and other resources in response to the prevalent security challenges across the country.

“The Ministry of Defence has carefully scrutinised these procurement needs which the military authorities claim to represent the minimum requirement to secure our country and address current internal and external security challenges.

“Furthermore, additional funds are required to meet our commitment to treat additional 50, 000 patients under the Nigerian Comprehensive Aids Programmes in States (NCAPS) as the amount provision in the 2021 appropriation bill for this purpose was inexplicably cut by the National Assembly.

“In order to address the urgent problem of oxygen availability in the country and avoid the potential lose of lives, provision was made for the procurement and installation of new oxygen plants nationwide and repairs of oxygen plants in FCT hospitals.

“It is also necessary to provide additional funds for public service-wide wage adjustments to carter for sundry wage related issues in the health and other sectors which if not resolved can add to the prevalence sense of instability in the polity.

“Understandably, this currently abound in many other sectors.

“However, we have limited the supplementary budget proposal to just these critical and emergency areas of need due to our severe financial fiscal constraints.

“All other means will be differed to the 2021 budget which we plan to present in Sept. of this year.

“Given the urgency of the request, I seek the cooperation of the National Assembly for expeditious legislative action on the supplementary appropriation bill 2021.”

Continue Reading

Trending