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Lawan advocates for alternative solution to security challenges other than military option

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To overcome the nation’s security challenges efforts must be made to seek other solutions besides the military option to the problems of banditry, militancy and insurgency President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said
 

Lawan spoke on Tuesday in his remarks after a point of order raised by Senator Rochas Okorocha to draw the attention of the Senate to the heightening spate of insecurity in Imo state. 

Lawan indicated that the National Assembly has equally been consistent with the approach in coming up with legislative interventions needed to address the security challenges of the country. 

He explained that such interventions included job creation, and the introduction of required legislation to promote economic development from local and foreign investments. 
“This Senate and, indeed, the entire National Assembly has been very consistent in trying to find some kind of solution – a more permanent solution to ending the security situation in the country and, of course, we will continue to do so. 
“I agree that we need to diversify our means of getting the solution to the numerous myriads of security challenges across the country”, Lawan said. 

Senator Okorocha, while coming under Order 43 (Personal Explanation) of the Senate Rules, lamented what he described as the “escalating state of insecurity” in Imo state. 
He, therefore, sought the intervention of the upper chamber in finding a solution to the problem.  
Okorocha said, “Where I represent, Mr. President, there is no day that passes in the state without one ugly story of kidnapping, killing, maiming, burning of innocent people’s homes, shops on daily basis.

“Mr. Senate President, two weeks ago, it was the killing of traditional rulers. The other day, a policeman was killed, and a few days ago, it was killing of a Army man.
“Again, the killing of innocent souls and burning of  people’s houses and homes, Mr. Senate President, has called for serious concern.

“That is why I deem it fit to bring  to the notice of this red  chamber and by extension, the Federal Republic of Nigeria, that something must be done to guarantee the safety of lives and properties of citizens of Imo state.

“But most importantly, I think the matter requires some form of engagements to really find out what the nitty gritty is and resolve them, accordingly.

“Because over time, the military and the police and other security agencies are involved, but it seems to be escalating on daily basis. 
“So, I am only informing you and, by extension, that we should find a way of resolving this matter so  that  peace may reign in that land.”

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Legislature

Kogi Lawmaker applauds Bello for giving automatic employment to constituent

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Governor Yahaya Bello has been commended for giving automatic employment to Miss Egamana Elizabeth Yakpesoko of the department of Science Laboratory Technician who scored 5.0 CGPA from College of Health Sciences and Technology, Idah.

Governor Yahaya Bello had offered Miss Miss Egamana Elizabeth Yakpesoko automatic employment with the Kogi State Specialist Hospital, Lokoja during the convocation of the college after it’s establishment forty five years ago.

A statement by the Member representing Bassa constituency in the state House of Assembly, Mr Rayi Daniyan described the gesture to his constituent as the demonstration of the love he has for the people of Bassa Local Government.

Daniyan who described the gesture of the Governor as second to none in the history of his constituency urged the people of the area to continue in their support for Governor Yahaya Bello.

The Lawmaker said Governor Bello was God sent to Bassa Local Government in view of his proactive step in stopping the insecurity in the Local Government.

He said the automatic employment given Miss Egamana Elizabeth Yakpesoko was a clear demonstration of the fact that Bassa Local Government has a special place in the heart of the Governor.

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Legislature

Alleged breach of local content act: Senate decries non appearance of NLNG, NCDMB, Saipem, Daewoo

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The Senate Committee on Local Content has expressed concern that organisations handling the Train 7 gas project failed to honor its invitation over issues relating to alleged breach of local content act on implementation of the project.

The organisations invited by the committee, that failed to appear are the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG),Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB),Saipem and Daewoo.
Chairman of the Committee, Sen.Teslim Folarin, (APC -Oyo), while addressing journalists said there were petitions against the running and the promoters of Train 7, Gas Project.

According to him, there are a lot of pressure to escalate the matter to an investigative hearing.

Folarin, however, said the committee thought, it would be nice to hear from the four organisations involved, hence their invitation.

“We invited the four of them today, but as you can see, non of them honoured our invitation,” he said.

Senator Sabi Abdullahi(APC- Niger) and Vice Chairman of the committee, speaking further on the position of the committee said, the matter boarded on implementation of Nigeria’s local content policy.

Abdullahi said Train 7 gas project, which centred on increasig the nation’s output on liquified natural gas was an issue that was critical, given the increasing price of cooking gas.

He said given the huge deposite of gas, the National Assembly was interested on how the companies could make life meaningful to Nigerians in their participation on the train 7 project and on increasing the local capacity.

Abdullahi said the Senate had invited the companies to know what was happening on implementation of the project, but they had all surreptitiously failed to honour the senate invitation.

He said the committee resolved that given non appearance of the four organisations on the next invitation slated for Dec 2, the committee would excalate the matter to a full public investigation.

He said the attitude of the four organisations was an insult on the parliament as a whole, as they found it convienient on themselves not to appear before the senate committee.

Abdullahi said the parliament would not abdicate its responsibility of ensuring compliance to set local content rules and regulations,noting that it was committed to ensuring success of the Train 7 gas project.

He said it was the duty of the parliament to ensure that Nigerians were not short changed and taken for granted, while expressing hope that the concearned organisations would honour the next invitation slated for Dec 2.

He said with all the challenges of the economy, the matter was not what the senate would fold its arms and allow Nigerians to be short changed on the project.

He, however, said the Train 7 gas project was an attempt by the NLNG to increase Nigeria’s output from the current level to tap from the abundant natural gas resources in the country.

Abdullahi, who did not disclose further details, on the pertitions against the companies given its sensitive nature, said the committee would want to hear from the organisations.

He said it was too early to give further details until after engaging the companies.

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Legislature

Senate panel makes case for N10b increase in 2022 judiciary budget

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**Insists terrorism taking its toll on the arm of Government

The Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters has made a case for an addition of N10b to the judiciary in next year’s budget.
Senator representing Ekiti Central and Chairman of the Committee, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele presented the request before the Senate Committee on Appropriation on Thursday at the National Assembly complex.
The Executive had made provision of N120 billion for the judiciary in the 2022 Budget.
Speaking with newsmen after his presentation before the Senator Jibrin Barau led Appropriation Committee, Senator Bamidele who disclosed that his Committee made a request for additional N10billion for the judiciary maintained that the budget estimate was inadequate, considering the enormous responsibilities before the judiciary.
“To begin with the Federal Government on its own in the 2022 budget proposal on its own had proposed and increased the budget by N10b for the judiciary. “Recall that the amount budgeted for the judiciary in the year 2021 budget was a sum of N110b. So on their own Government had proposed additional N10b subject to the approval of the national assembly, that is why we are talking about N120b with the N10b increase by the Federal Government.
Senator Bamidele indicated apart from the challenge thrown up by terrorism, there is the need to deploy technology in the dispensation of Justice.
“As we speak there are people awaiting trial as a result of the various insecurity problems that we have in the country, whether you call them bandits whether you call them terrorists, whether you call them gunmen or women the truth about the matter is there is insecurity in the country.
“This has brought additional burden on the judiciary to the extent that our constitution still guarantee right to freedom of fair hearing for everyone who is alleged, once he is arrested apprehended and bought to court.”
He said all that underscored the need for more money to be made available for the judiciary.

“So we are convinced as a committee that there is a need to give more money to the judiciary. Second reason why we are convinced that judiciary deserve to have more money is the fact that COVID-19 opened the eyes of everybody to the need for every court to be placed in a position where there can be virtual heating.
“You must be ready to deploy technology, all manners of technology that will make it possible for lawyers to electronically file their cases, that will make it possible for lawyers to be able to engage in virtual hearing.
“To make it possible for court to be able to sit virtually. All of these require deployment of technology and they don’t come cheap.
“We are talking of all levels of courts, from the magistrate court to the State high court to the Federal High court, to the court of Appeal to the supreme Court.
“There are other specialised courts like industrial court and the Code of Conduct tribunal and others. So definitely there is need to give money to the judiciary to respond to the global best practice standard needs that are confronting them today.
“It is for all of these things that as a committee both chambers we are asking that the senate committee on appropriation should take it beyond the N120b by the Federal Government for the year 2022 to a sum of N130b.
“We have also added the list of the courts and other judicial bodies like the Judicial service commission, judicial justice committee of FCT and all the other relevant ones.”

Asked about the secrecy surrounding the budget of the judiciary, the Chairman,
Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters dismissed it as a non issue as he noted that it was not peculiar to the judiciary.
“It isn’t our responsibility to monitor their expenditure but it is important that whatever is allocated under the National Judicial Commission is judiciously used.
“The secrecy you talked about isn’t peculiar to the judiciary. No one is asking about the budget of the Department of State Serviced or National Intelligence Agency.
Their budget (judiciary) isn’t up to one percent of the entire budget. We may choose to sensationalise it, but public interest is better served if the budget of the judiciary is at least one percent of the entire budget. We need a well funded judiciary so that it’s independence isn’t compromised.”

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