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Double registration; INEC Disowns Bello’s clearance

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Double registration; INEC Disowns Bello’s clearance

The Independent National Electoral Commission yesterday maintained that the allegation of double registration against Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has not been lifted in spite of the successful transfer of his voters card from Abuja to Okene in Kogi State.

The Resident electoral Commissioner for Kogi State Professor James Apam who stated this against the insinuation that the commission had cleared the Governor of any wrong doing in the scandal during an interactive session said the electoral body has not gone back on the statement earlier issued to the effect.
According to him, the allegation is still hanging on him adding that at the appropriate time INEC would do the needful.
Apam indicated that the commission decided to treat the matter distinctly based on legal advise “The fact that there is an accusation against the Governor that he registered twice does not take away his rights to demand transfer of the PVC. “So when an application was brought to INEC it was subjected to legal advice and we decided to actually treat the matter distinctly so that his application for the transfer is granted while the allegation against him is still hanging.”

According to him, “Everything we do would be in the public space and would be scrutinized to understand how far and we have not gone back on the Statement that was earlier issued. For now the Governor applied for a transfer of his PVC.”
“Our record did not show that his name is in any where and so he applied normally for transfer from Abuja to Kogi State, therefore we had no reason not to process the transfer and issue him voters card.”
On the Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) in the State he said the commission had registered 176, 866 which is broken down to 90, 553 males and 86, 313 females.
He said about 7, 169 persons applied for transfer while 9, 400 applied for replacement of damaged PVC.
According to him, 57, 148 PVCs have been distributed.
He said the balance of PVC yet to be collected 202, 289

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Women farmers decry low budgetary allocation to agric sector, call for review of policies

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Women farmers decry low budgetary allocations to agric sector, call for review of policies


By Friday Idachaba


The Small Scale Women Farmer Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON), Kogi chapter, has called on the state government to review existing policies and framework on agriculture to fast-track the diversification of the state economy.

The spokesperson of the organization, Ms Halima Sadiq who is also the Executive Director, Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID) made the call at a press conference on Wednesday in Lokoja.

She decried the persistent low budgetary allocations and equally dismal releases of such allocations saying that there had been fluctuating budgetary provisions for the agriculture sector in the state since 2016.

Reading from the release signed by Hajia Safiya Yahaya, state Coordinator and Mrs Esther Audu, Secretary of SWOFON, Sadiq held that the development contravened the 2003 Maputo Declaration saying there was need for review of existing policies.

“Nigeria is a signatory to the declaration and it promised commitment to providing at least 10 per cent of its annual budget to agriculture under the Maputo declaration of 2003 and as such upholding the commitment in this COVID-19 era is crucial.

“It is imperative that the Ministry of Agriculture reviews existing policies and prepares a coherent policy framework that incorporates the Change Agenda of the administration which will provide a good anchor and basis for budget formulation and implementation.

“If Agriculture is to serve as a means of diversifying the economy of Kogi State as promised in the New Direction Blueprint of the government, then allocation to the sector is grossly inadequate”, she said.

She added that there was need for rationalisation and streamlining of mandates of the Ministry of Agriculture to achieve greater value for money so that resources would be channeled to capital expenditure alongside salary payment and overheads.

Sadiq therefore called for at least 80 per cent releases across budget line items in the approved agricultural sector budget for 2021 and specifically, 100 per cent release of Women In Agriculture budget to its members across the 21 LGAs in the State.

SWOFON among others, called for enhanced legislative oversight to the sector, inclusion of climate change mitigation in the budgetary provisions, concerted participatory Youth and Women In Agricultural policies and increased funding for agricultural Finance/Credit as well as funding for extension Services.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SWOFON is coalition of women farmers from a across Nigeria working together to promote women-friendly agricultural policies and increasing women’s access to land, farm inputs and funding aimed at improving agricultural productivity. (NAN)

FDJ/

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Senate confirms Bawa as EFCC Chairman

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Senate confirms Bawa as EFCC Chairman

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Abdulrasheed Bawa as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was confirmed after being grilled during Senate plenary.

For more than six years the commission was headed by persons in acting capacity.

For the first time a staff of the commission who is not a police officer is being appointed as chairman.
He rose through the ranks from the academy before being nominated to head the commission.

The Anti graft agency’s chairmanship designate reacted to a plethora of questions posed by Senators on his preparedness for the job, given his age and working in a complex society like Nigeria, at planary

Bawa, addressed most of the concerns of lawmakers, while assuring that he would bring his experience to bear having joined the agency in 2004.

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Gender inclusiveness: Kogi to empower, train 30,000 women on political participation

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Gender inclusiveness: Kogi to empower, train 30,000 women on political participation


By Friday Idachaba


Kogi State Government has concluded plans to train and empower 30,000 women across the 239 wards of the State to actively participate in politics and drive gender inclusive governance.

The programme to be executed under the System Resilience Building Approach to Women Leadership of the state Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is expected to increase the number of women in elective and appointive political offices.

Mal. Nasir Ohiani, Special Adviser to Governor Yahaya Bello on SDGs disclosed this on Tuesday in Lokoja at a two-day training workshop for women in elective and appointive positions in the 21 Local Government Councils in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training workshop organised by the state SDG in collaboration with Centre for Women Studies and Intervention (CWSI) had 21 Vice Chairpersons and 21 Council Leaders from the 21 Local Government Councils.

Ohiani who was represented by Mr Henry Chinweuba, his Technical Assistant, said the training was part of the SDGs’ office initiative to build women leadership in the state and foster it under the “System Resilience-Building Approach to Women Leadership.

“We have broken down the Kogi State structure into 1,000 communities and we are planning to empower 30 women in each of the communities to give us 30,000 women.

“If we have 30,000 new women active in Kogi State politics, that is a huge number. That is our destination and today is the beginning of that journey”, he said.

Executive Director, Centre for Women Studies and Intervention (CWSI) Rev. Sister Ngozi Francis Uti, in her welcome address, urged the 42 local councils duty bearers to ensure that they use their positions to place women in their rightful places.

“In Nigeria, the people of Kogi State have demonstrated their zeal to promote women participation in political leadership by electing 21 women as vice chairpersons and 21 Council leaders of the local councils in the 21 local government areas of the state.

“The governor, His Excellency, Yahaya Adoza Bello, during the swearing-in ceremony emphasized his desire to uphold the 35 per cent Affirmative Action for women in elective and appointive positions as envisioned by the National Gender Policy”, she said.

Dr Ifeyinwa Okolo of the Dept of English, Federal University, Lokoja with Specialty in Gender and Sexuality in African Literature, called for not just awareness but sensitization on gender equality and uniformity in decision making space.

Okolo who spoke on “Gender Equality in Leadership”, said it was expected that at the end of the capacity training, they would be able to function effectively in their new positions, understand the imbalance better and take steps to bridge the gaps.

Mr Hamza Aliyu, Executive Director, Initiative for Grassroot Advancement (INGRA) in his paper, “Constitutional Functionalities in Local Government Administration” charged the women to function excellently, be efficient and effective.

In her contribution, Ms Eunice Agbogun Executive Director, Challenged Parenthood Initiative (CPI), a Non-Governmental Organisation, urged the women to have healthy self-image and use the office to bring positive changes to the state and the country. (NAN)

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