Melaye, JDPC tackle Gov Bello over Budget irregularities, allocation to nonexistent First Lady’s office
The Senator Representing Kogi West in the national Assembly, Dino Melaye and the Development and Peace Commission of the Lokoja Diocese of the Catholic Church and have raised the bar in Budget monitoring in Kogi State when recently they exposed some irregularities of the 2017 Budget of Kogi State.
The senator who was piqued by the provision for expenses incidental to the Governor’s wife tour with allocation of 340,000,000 said he was going to institute a law suit against the government since it is an office not known to law.
He quoted section 24 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), that makes it duty bound on every Nigerian to make positive and useful contributions to the advancement, progress and well-being of the community where he resides.
Melaye in a press statement which was made available to newsmen in Lokoja indicated that Governor Yahaya Bello led administration has not been fair to the good people of Kogi State simply because they have neglected that responsibility of monitoring the budgetary allocation and provisions of the government.
He listed some of the figures in the overhead costs in government house budget of the state where several sectors from a pull-out from the 2017 budget indicated clearly that Bello had raped the State of its common patrimony.
He cited Government House Budget 2017 with N600,000,000 as allocation for
International Travel and Transport – others, Travelling Allowances got N70,000,000 while expenses incidental to governor’s tour got N700,000,000 which he said is an evidence of duplication.
Other areas were the Maintenance of office furniture and fittings, N60,000,000, Maintenance of office building/ residential quarters got N200,000,000, Up-keep of government house, got N150,000,000.
Others according to him were International training which recievef N100,000,000, Security services recieved N100,000,000, Security votes (including operations N8,000,000,000 and Cleaning and fumigation services N100,000,000.
Others are Office and general expenses N600,000,000, Special security expenses N230,000,000, Refreshment, meals and hospitality N400,000,000, Medical expenses/refund (local) N50,000,000, Overseas treatment N50,000,000, New direction activities expenses N126,000,000, Office of Director general research and speech writing N100,000,000 and Special adviser’s office expenses (imprest) N100,000,000.
The senator indicated that the anti corruption campaigns of the President Buhari will be strengthened when citizens show morw interest in budget monitoring.
The JDPC on its part lifted some of the figures for clearer comparative analysis during a Budget analysis workshop organized by Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change in Development (PIBCID)
While comparing some of the sectors, the commission discovered that government house budget was second to works/Land and housing while Agric, health and education were the least.
It observed that Local travels and transport that received N8,000,000, Travel and transport which got N5,500,000, and International travel and transport that was allocated N600,000,000 and Incidental to Governor’s tour that received N700,000,000 were several figures for travels and transport and yet there is another allocation for traveling allowance of N70,000,000.
It pointed out that the headings are duplication under travelling.
Other areas that cannot be perfectly retired without duplication of several sub-headings the JDPC listed to include Water rate that received N5,000,000, Electricity bill/charge N50,000,000, Telephone N5,660,000, Satellite broadcasting access charge N15,000,000, Hire of private houses N8,000,000 and Office stationary/computer consumable N200,000,000
It continued by citing Maintenance of motor vehicles/transport equipments that got N60,000,000, Maintenance of office furniture and fittings that received N100,000,000, Purchase/maintenance of plants and Generators N200,000,000 Maintenance of office equipments N20,000,000, Up-keep of Government House N150,000,000 and up-keep of govt Lodge N45,000,000
Others are Vigilante operational Expenses N130,000,000, Security services N100,000,000, Security vote N8,000,000,000, Cleaning and fumigation services N100,000,000 and Office and general expenses N600,000,000.
It demanded good explanation for the allocation of N130m to Vigilante O.E. Security services N100m, Special Security expenses N230m and Security vote N8,000,000,000
“These extracts are few out of the total of N24b budgeted for Government House as observed in the policy document.”
It however commended the new direction blue print of the State which prioritised agriculture as key to unlocking the enormous economic potentials of the state based on the prevailing economic realities, noting that some of the increase recorded in the ministry of Agriculture’s budget was a welcome development
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Efforts to speak to the Director general on media and publicity to the Governor Kingsley Fanwo could not yield any positive results as he picked the call and promised to read the text and reply backbut never did.
CBN bans forex sales to Bureau De Change operators
Bureau De Change operators in Nigeria will no longer be able to purchase forex from the Central Bank of Nigeria as the Apex Bank has put an end to the sales of forex to such outfits
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, who made the disclosure after the Monetary Policy Committee’s two-day meeting in Abuja on Tuesday indicated that the operators had defeated their purpose of existence to provide forex to retail users, as they had become wholesale and illegal dealers.
”We observed that the BDCs have continued to make huge profits while Nigerians suffered in pain.
”The commercial banks would be monitored to provide forex for the legitimate use of Nigerians.
He stated that the MPC also retained the Monetary Policy Rate at 11.5 percent at the end of the meeting.
According to him, the Cash Reserve Ratio and Liquidity Ratio at 27.5 percent and 30 percent respectively were also retained.
“The MPC made the decision to hold all parameters constant. The committee thought by unanimous vote to retain the Monetary Policy Rate at 11.5 percent.
“In summary, MPC voted as follows, one, retain MPR at 11.5 percent; retain the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR; retain the CRR at 27.5 percent, and retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 percent,” he said.
Gov Sule commends Buhari over Agric Institute in Lafia, says Nasarawa is safe for investors
From Umar Egbunu Muhammed, Lafia
Nasarawa State governor, Abdullahi Sule, has applauded president Muhammudu Buhari for approving the setting up of the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital.
This was just as the Governor urged investors to come to the state and invest, assuring them that the state capital is very safe owing to the relative peace being enjoyed across the 13 local government areas of the state.
The Governor, who gave the commendation while inaugurating, the Lafia City Mall for business, on Monday, said the commissioning of the edifice, is a testimony of the prevailing peace in the state.
He said: “I am extremely happy when I woke up this morning. In fact, last night I received the approval from Mr. President Muhamadu Buhari for the setting up of the agricultural machinery and development in Lafia, the state capital.”
Sule affirmed that, there was no better time for any investor that is interested in doing business in Nasarawa State than at the moment, that his administration was working tirelessly to ensure that there is peace and security for businesses to thrive.
While thanking the owners of the mall for undertaking such capital intensive venture, in Lafia, Sule reiterated that, his administration will continue to put measures in place, for the benefit of the people.
He, however, applauded the chief executive officer of the Lafia City Mall, Mr. Umaru Emmanuel, for his concern for the plight of the youths and for the need to impact skills on them to make them useful not only to themselves but the society.
The Governor used the opportunity of the event, to disclose plans by his administration, to establish industrial zones in Karu and Lafia local government areas.
He indicated that, with the Lafia Technical Institute completed, his administration is approaching the BPP, with a view to equipping the various workshops in the institute, namely ICT, electrical installation, fitter machinist, welders, fabrication, carpentry, cabinet makers, motor mechanics, among others, with a view to impacting desirable skills in the youths, as well as graduates who are unemployed.
He added that, following the establishment of the Nasarawa State Investment Development Agency (NASIDA), the government went on to sign an MoU on the 13, 000 hectares of land in Gurku/Kabusu, which has also been earmarked for industrial use.
“I appreciate President Buhari for giving the approval for the setting up of the new technical institute in Lafia,” he added.
“I want to thank you, the CEO of Wave Mart Group, for your continuous believe and trust in Nasarawa State. I want to thank you also for giving us the opportunity to prove to the world, that indeed, Nasarawa is safe for investment,” the governor said.
Earlier, Chairman of the Wave Mart Group, Umaru Emmanuel, said with the commissioning of the Lafia City Mall, it has brought the number of investments by his firm to three, stressing that, with Lafia now a city, it can also boast of a mall, a feature of the modern day city.
Emmanuel dismissed insinuations suggesting that, the North is not safe for doing business, adding that, for the over 7 years he has invested in Nasarawa State, he had no reason to regret.
The Wave Mart Group chairman, however appealed to the Governor, to roll out a deliberate plan in which youths of the state, will be impacted with necessary skills to make them employable.
In a goodwill message, the Emir of Lafia, HRH Justice Sidi Bage (rtd), commended the owners of the mall, for beautifying the city of Lafia and for making it possible for the people to shop under a conductive atmosphere.
The royal father, in order to show further appreciation, bestowed a traditional title on the owner of the mall, Umaru Emmanuel, as the new Dangatan Lafia.
Reps moves to pass Youth Entrepreneurship Fund bill
Youth entrepreneurs in Nigeria may witness better days as the House of Representatives has moved to provide them opportunities for financial succour as the bill to bring about that has advanced to second reading on the floor of the green chamber
The bill is entitled : ‘Youth Entrepreneurship Development Trust Fund (Establishment) Bill, 2021(HB. 1448) sponsored by Mr Farah Dagogo, Member representing Degema/ Bonny Federal Constituency, Rivers State.
In his lead debate, Dagogo noted that the proposed law will create a fund which shall be used to provide financial support to Nigerian youths with entrepreneurship skills.’
He expressed confidence that the proposed ‘Youth Fund would provide a vehicle for assured socioeconomic security for Nigerian youths, to galvanize them to become employers of labour, self reliance and captains of industry.’
He said the ‘Youth Fund’ will not only reduce unemployment and the social vices that characterize the Nigerian society today, but serves as a strong pointer that the country are very particular about its youths and have them in its plan.
Giving insight into the bill, the Federal Lawmaker said funding for the ‘Youth Fund’ will not be less than 5% capital estimate proposal from the Federation Account approved as appropriation for the fiscal year.
Other sources of revenue as proposed are ; profits accruing periodically from approved investments made out of the capital in the Youth Fund, one percent profit as declared by each private entity in the country, other revenue legitimately accruing to the fund by means not provided for in the Bill, and such other sums as may accrue to the capital in the Youth Fund from time to time.
Further insight into the bill indicated that( in Section 4 (1)) the youths will have a say on how the funds are to be administered by the Youth Fund Management Board, with its Chairman expected to be a youth appointed by the President on recommendation from the Minister of Youths and Sports and other recognized youth bodies.
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