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Nigerians should thank God that COVID-19 was not as deadly as predicted says Lawan

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Nigerians should thank God that COVID-19 was not as deadly as predicted says Lawan

The President of the Senate has said Nigeria has every reason to thank God that the impact of the global health emergency and economic recession on Nigeria was not as catastrophic as was predicted by experts.

This was contained in his new year message to Nigerians which was issued by his special adviser on media Yomi Awoniyi in Abuja yesterday.

He said “I believe that this was not out of luck but because we did not delay in appropriately fine tuning and adjusting our plans in the light of the developments.

“The resurgence of the pandemic will not also inflict on us the disaster being witnessed in other parts of the world if we, as a government and as a people, do not let down our guard and take useful lessons from what is happening elsewhere.

He challenged Nigerians on the need to prepare better than before for the New Year 2021 and the years ahead.

“We have to ensure for our people better governance processes and dividends of democracy despite the prevailing circumstances.

“The ninth National Assembly has remained firm on its policy of passing the national budget in December preceding the fiscal year and we have done so for 2021.
“We have also passed a series of enactments proposed by the Executive as Finance Bills to support smooth implementation of the 2021 budget.
“We are determined to see Nigeria exit, as quickly as possible in the new year, from the current recession.

“In our pursuit of this objective, we have granted the request by the Executive for permission to utilise the unspent capital votes of 2020 up to March, 2021.  “We believe that allowing the implementation of this outstanding capital component of the 2020 budget to run concurrently with the 2021 budget will inject more funds to the economy.
He indicated that, some critical legislations that they could not enact in 2020 as a result of the unusual development which are now on the priority list of the Legislative Agenda of the National Assembly for 2021.

“Topmost on the priority list are the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which we need, to boost activities in our oil and gas sector.
“The PIB has defied passage for about two decades but we are determined this time around to break that jinx and pass the Bill by the end of the first quarter of the new year.
“It is our utmost desire to make the passage of the PIB one of the legacies of the ninth National Assembly. Equally important is the passage of the Electoral Reform Amendment Bill. “This is necessary in order to enhancķe the democratic process of free, fair, transparent and credible elections in our dear country.”
He expressed the determination of the Ninth National Assembly to pass the Electoral Reforms Bill before the  second quarter of 2021. “Also on our priority list in 2021 is the amendment to the 1999 Constitution, which is the grundnorm of our being together as a nation. We have it on our agenda to pull through the process of constitutional amendment in 2021.
“The process which started in 2020 requires extensive consultations and the buy in of everybody.
“We will give accelerated consideration to any measures proposed towards the containment of the COVID-19.
“In this regard, the National Assembly is waiting for the Executive to propose supplementary appropriation for the procurement of COVID-19 vaccine. In the meantime, we should continue to adhere strictly to the non-pharmaceutical protocols as prescribed by relevant health authorities.
According to him, the issue of security in the country has always been top on their agenda adding that it will continue to be of utmost priority in 2021.
“We hope to sustain our collaboration with the Executive for a lasting solution that will make our country a safer place to live in.
“Our hope to do all these and accomplish much more in the new year lies in the unity of purpose of the ninth National Assembly.
“The Assembly has been approaching issues in a bipartisan and patriotic manner right from the onset of the current dispensation.
“This is further reinforced by the sustained harmony and tremendous understanding between the Legislature and the Executive which we earnestly believe will continue in the new year and beyond.
“By now, the benefits of harmonious relations between these two arms of government should be clear to all.”


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Nigeria that fared well in the 60s, is now a shadow of its glorious past- Abaribe

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Nigeria that fared well in the 60s, is now a shadow of its glorious past- Abaribe

Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, on Monday, said Nigeria that was a shinning star in the 60s is now a shadow of its glorious past, now pushed further into a deep mess with ethnicity as as the supreme order.

Speaking at his official presentation of his autobiography “Made in Aba” in Abuja, the Abia Senator said Nigeria has continually regressed and the citizens were now reclining into their ethnic enclaves.

Abaribe noted that the country has regressed to the level that it would be difficult for any citizen to survive “if you don’t go to your ethnic enclave.”

He said: “I try to say a few things (in the book) that we might have forgotten. Why is it that we had a better life – we had pipe borne water, we had electricity 24 hours – in the 1960s?

“Now it is 50-60 years later, every person has to have borehole in his house. So he becomes his own NEPA generating power for himself; he becomes his own water board. Then I asked, why would life be like this? I tried to caption the reason why we are where we are today.

“I also tried to capture that there was a Nigeria, where it is said, in our former anthem, that though tribe and tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand.”

He said in his early career life, he secured jobs and got promotions in places outside his southeast region only based on merit without anyone asking where he came from.

“Now, what we have done is that we have a big Nigeria that has continually regressed and now all of us are into our ethnic enclaves.

“And if you don’t go to your ethnic enclave, you won’t be able to survive in Nigeria today.

“In the book, I also look at the possibility of Nigeria that we may have assuming if each and everyone of us is committed to the country.”

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Bauchi/Benue Govs’ feud: Gov Diri to the rescue

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Bauchi/Benue Govs’ feud: Gov Diri to the rescue

By Princess Rose Yusuf

The Bayelsa State Governor, Duoye Diri has waded in to the war of words between the Governors of Bauchi and Benue State as the recent altercations between the Governors have become very disturbing.
He called on the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to wade in and ensure that the matter is resolved.
He was speaking during a courtesy visit to Governor Bala Muhammed in Bauchi State Government’s House Thursday.
Diri said,
“The raging current issue between two brother Governors of the same party is not good, I seize this opportunity to advise and call on both of you who are members of our great party to please cease further actions and reactions on the burning national security issues.
“May I also use the opportunity to call on our party to immediately intervene and resolve whatever issues that are still yet unresolved amicably as a party and as brothers.”

In his response, Governor Muhammed promised to cooperate and reduce the tension and he gave the assurance that no words would be heard on the matter again. He also seized the opportunity to  apologise to all Governors, the national assembly, his constituents and all Nigerians.
He said, “There is no disharmony between me and my brother and my friend in Benue, we are just having the courage to discourse a burning National issue and I am happy that Nigerians have the opportunity, to discourse the issue and we are going to do everything on my own part to make sure we disedcalate the issue that it will not bring injury to our party and to national unity. I was not doing anything in anyway to insult, or to cause any injury to my brother whom I have worked together with at the cabinet and now as Governors.
“I want to use this opportunity to apologise to my various contituencies; especially the national assembly even though I said the truth but it has injured their sensibilities or it has touched on their privileged as we used to say in parliamentary parlance.
“I was doing it out of nationalism and patriotism. At the same time the Governors if what I said was also injurious to them, I apologise to them and say sorry to them and indeed all Nigerians.
“But certainly as I said, my brother, I have no apology for saying the truth, but certainly sometimes you say the truth and it would be injurious.

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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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