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NASS clerk canvasses for financial legislative autonomy, Nass pensions board

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NASS clerk canvasses for financial legislative autonomy, Nass pensions board

The clerk of the National Assembly (CNA) Architect Olatunde Ojo Amos has again canvassed for pragmatic financial independence for the legislative arm of government in compliance with the tenets of democracy and separation of powers.
Speaking in his welcome address at the opening of a two day workshop at Transcorp Hilton in Abuja on Friday he said there is every need for them to continue to push further and harder until that financial autonomy is achieved.
The clerk also canvassed stridently for the
establishment of the National Assembly Pensions Board (NAPB) that will address their peculiarities, just as they have succeeded in having the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC).
“With legislature as an independent arm of government, you will agree with me that ours is a distinct Public service from the conventional type in our
country.

“We are proud to declare that the capacity development of staff has been a constant push on our dash board, believing that parliamentary democracy is meaningless without adequate training and re-training of relevant staff.
“We have demonstrated that the welfare of the legislative Aides in the
National Assembly is paramount, hence we promised and fulfilled the payment of the ‘first 28 days’ for the present crop of Legislative Aides.
“The pragmatic welfare of staff is being tackled with the ongoing synergy with relevant labor unions within the National Assembly.”
“We have already devised durable strategic plan of action in line with our
statutory powers, to benefit our current push and future regulators in
taking the parliamentary and bureaucratic affairs of the National
Assembly to greater heights.
“One of such plan of action is to drastically reduce the amount of papers moving about within the system.
He said the drastic reformation of the bureaucratic system of the National
Assembly is critical in their determination to make things work for the better.
“We have made frantic efforts to make the working environment for
legislative business to be comfortable and conducive; e-
parliament/digitalization and provision of ICT materials are already being given top most priority.”
Hence he said they will introduce e-hansard in the first quarter of 2021, to ease parliamentary briefing in the National Assembly.
“It is a process of verbatim reportage of the proceedings in plenary sessions using modern technology to the fullest.
“Another name for this
initiative is e-governance in action, which l know will be very convenient
for Legislators and watchers of the National Assembly in Nigeria and
everywhere.
“You will agree with me that e-hansard is a most veritable tool in our e-parliament agenda.”
Flowing from the above, the building of ‘Legislative Specialists to
effectively man the process of law making can never be overemphasized.
He said the absolute well-being and happiness of our staff is paramount as the need to make a success of the democratic project is not negotiable.
In a related development  Olatunde also read the riot act to staff of the National Assembly over ethnicity and religious bigotry.

The Clerk spoke on while declaring open the 4th quarter training programme for staff of the national assembly.

He asked them to put their minds to work to improve the national assembly’s bureaucracy.

Ojo urged the national assembly staff to keep to their oath of office promising that they will enjoy trainings that would sharpen their capacities to make the national assembly better in its legislative mandate for the Nigerian state.

He said the training is job specific as those attending the session are procurement staff whose training is in procurement, tendering and Negotiation skill to improve their capacity to meet their schedules.

He said the management of the National Assembly in the 9th Assembly will vigorously pursue training as part of its programme to improve the national assembly workforce.

He said the leadership of the national assembly is passionate about training for the national assembly staff and said all staff of the legislative houses are candidate for training.

His words: “As a product of training and re-training, I believe earnestly on the need for staff to be exposed to different types of training on-the-job, believing that a well-trained individual can never be stagnated, ignorant nor redundant in life. 

“The fact of the matter is that as Public servants under my watch as the Head Bureaucrat in the National Assembly, count yourselves as candidates for profuse training opportunities.

“As Public servants, you need to display absolute and undiluted loyalty and commitment to your schedules in the National Assembly, believing that it is the only panacea that will make all of us succeed individually and collectively. 

“We must not forget our oath of allegiance as it is sufficiently being made clear in the Public Service rules; we must love ourjobs as we love ourselves; we must shun late coming, acts of indiscipline, non-challant attitudes to our duties. We must not allow ourselves to be pulled down or controlled by the negative doctrines of ethnicity, religious sentiments, unnecessary parochialism, backbiting and infighting. 

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Legislature

Senate okays establishment of Chartered Institute of Forensic Investigative Professionals of Nigeria

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Senate okays establishment of Chartered Institute of Forensic Investigative Professionals of Nigeria

The Senate on Tuesday approved the establishment of the Chartered Institute of Forensic Investigative Professionals of Nigeria.
This was coming after the consideration and approval of the report of the Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service by the senators at plenary.
Presenting the report, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ibrahim Shekarau said that the Senate at its sitting on Tuesday Feb.16, considered for second reading the bill.
The Bill is for an Act to establish the Chartered Institute of Forensic Investigative Professionals of Nigeria (Establishment) Bill 2021. 
According to Shekarau, the objectives of the bill include for effective regulation, registration of members to acquire skills and knowledge in order to qualify to practice as a forensic and investigative professionals and for related practice.
“You will recall that the bill was exhaustively discussed in both chambers of the National Assembly that was not assented by the President due to late passage before the expiration of the 8th National Assembly.”
In his contribution, Sen. Adeola Olamilekan (APC-Lagos) said “I want to raise one important issue and I want a clarification from the chairman. 
“Because in this report, they referred to the 8th Senate that exhaustively we had discussed this bill.
“I want to ask, during the 8th Senate there were fundamental observations that were raised on this bill. And I strongly believe that that was what led to the President refusing to assent his signature on the bill.”
In his remarks, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan said that the new institute should provide the kind of services that would ensure that corruption in public and private sectors were identified and nipped in the bud.

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Legislature

Senate prohibits pedophiles, rapists from working with minors

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Senate prohibits pedophiles, rapists from working with minors

The Senate on has  approved an amendment to the Child Right Act of 2003, prohibiting persons convicted of sexual offence from working with minors. This followed the presentation of the report by the Chairperson, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Sen. Betty Apiafi during Tuesday’s plenary.
The lawmaker noted that the amendment would further protect the Nigerian child against any form of sexual violence and abuse in the hands of caregivers and others.
The Senate on also passed the Older Persons (Rights and Privileges) Bill 2020 aimed at addressing the social and economic challenges triggered by aging and the need for government to formulate policies that would incorporate the elderly and cater for their well-being.
The bill also provided for a fine of N2 million or N200, 000 from organisations or individuals who discriminated against older persons in the country.

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Legislature

RAM panelists insist, Nigeria will collapse without restructuring

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RAM panelists insist, Nigeria will collapse without restructuring 

***only the living can vote – Afenifere warns**


Nigeria is heading for the rocks in view of the various security threats and refusal of the authorities to heed to the clamour for restructuring by majority of the population, panelists at the Restructure Actualization Movement (RAM) have said

They indicated that the only escape route for the country would be a national conversation by Nigerians on how to forge ahead.
He added that such conversation would be at the be called by ordinary Nigerians and not by political elite who would do so with  their agenda that would undermine the interest of equity being promoted by ordinary Nigerians.

This consensus view was expressed by Dr. Akin Fapounda, Dr. Obiageli Ezekweseli, Senator Usman Bugaje and Chief Edwin Clark who was represented by Oni Winge.

All the speakers maintained that, there is already a consensus among Nigerians for restructuring saying that what is left is how the people would evolve the conversation to convoke their sovereignty, discuss national cohesion and unity under agreed terms.

Representative of the Southwest at the RAM conversation, Dr. Akin Fapohunda said there was no need for any future election without restructuring, to provide for national consensus on the way to continue to exist as one country in peace and unity.
He said the term ‘Afenifere’ means living in love and unity, thus the Southwest position on the way forward for first to note that Nigeria a failed state with 36 states running as silos of expenditure that are not viable.

According to him, the Yoruba nation is desirous of living other with all other tribes and ethnic representation in Nigeria, however,  the critical question of ‘how’ to live together is one that must be deliberated and agreed upon.

He said it is because the extant constitution is not working and should be replaced.

According to him, the profligacy and inequalities in the system must be addressed for an all inclusive governance structure that provides equal opportunities to all Nigerians.

He pointed out that part of the structural deficiency in the system is lumping of over 1000 state assembly lawmakers, 109 senators, 360 members of House of Representatives 42 ministers and administrative staff of the federal government on level 16 and 17 in each of the 36 states of the federation leads the national coffers to unnecessarily bleeding economically.

He pointed out that these silos of expenditure includes the 36 states governors and their paraphanelia of office drains the public purse without any tangible public expenditure that benefits the people.

He proposed that Nigeria Lawmakers should be made to draw their earnings for their service from their respective region and communities based on their earnings.

He maintained that the Yoruba nation was not disposed to 2023 elections as “regardless of the subtle quest, by some elements, to network for political trophies in anticipation of 2023, the overwhelming desire of Yoruba people is to refrain from an further participation in the process of elections unless and until a new constitutional order in is negotiated and enacted.

“Recent events of insecurity across our lands affirms to correctness of this posture, as only the living can exercise voting rights not the dead” he warned.

In her submission on the conversation, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili restated that Nigeria suffers constitutional failure which is the foundation of the country’s trajectory and this failure manifests in the fact that Nigeria was  bequeathed British and Military Constitutions which did not take into cognisance the interest of the people, all of whom have failed.

Ezekwesili said, added to this, was the privatization of the public space and elite class thus undermining the rights of Nigerians to engage.

She said the conversation must be made and its outcome from the views of Nigerians would form the basis of going forward as an indivisible nation.

Former Cabinet minister and leader of the Niger Delta region, Chief Edwin Clerk who was represented by Oni Winge told the participant that Nigeria will not exist further without restructuring.

He said the South South region which is the bread winner of the country wants true Federalism and be able able to control its resources.
He pointed out that while the nation has focused on living on the black gold from the Niger Delta region, the Gold of Zamfara state has been the exclusive resource of the state with the State having full control.
On his part as a panelist at the RAM town hall meeting in Abuja, Senator Usman Bugaje said Nigeria is in a very dangerous trajectory and would required informed discussions on the conversation.

Bugaje who identified three major issues as the bane of advancing the nation to include: power sharing, wealth sharing and identity of a Nigerian said effective management of these factors would birth a United Nigeria.

According to him, the inability of the political class to equitably distribute political power, wealth and ensure the identity of a Nigerian without ethinic or religious biases was a problem to be solved.

He said any part of the country is free to go it’s own way however, it should be done constitutionally stressing that sovereignty belongs to the people.

He said attempts to reduce allotment of presidential slots to ethnic basis like Hausa or Igbo Presidency was a stupid idea.

Proposing a 44 state federating unit with 12 regions, former Minister of information, Prof. Jerry Gana said restructuring Nigeria is an inevitable change whose time has come and Nigeria must actualize to negotiate a peaceful co-existence among all parties.

He said the theory of the majority tribes rotating the Presidency among themselves remains an issue to be discussed so that all minority ethnic nationalities would see a possibility of emerging President of the Country too

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