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Senate Committee frowns at breach of act setting up FRC

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Senate Committee frowns at breach of act setting up FRC


***FRC chairmanship nominee debunks insinuation he acted as chairman for eight years



The Chairman of the senate finance Committee Solomon Adeola Olamilekan has raised  concerns on the composition of Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) which he said was not in accordance with the act setting it up.
He spoke in his concluding remarks after the congmfirmation hearing of the screening of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s nominee for the chairmanship position of the commission on Tuesday.
He said the chairmanship nominee was supposed to come along with him one representative per each geopolitical zone, a member of the civil society, representative of the Nigeria Labour Congress and all other members to have a full composition of the board of FRC.
He however observed that as things stands the committee will be confirming the nominee as a sole administrator which is not in order.
He however exonerated the nominee saying it is not his making.
“This committee will take it upon itself to write the Senate and also the Presidency to inform them that there is need to have a full and complete board of the fiscal responsibility commission so that the board can become fully functional and alive with their responsibility.
“We have listened with rapt attention a lot of questions have been asked, bordering on your capacity, experience and your challenges.
“Even you have been in acting capacity for over eight years knowing fully well that you are entitled to two terms of four years each making eight years even though it is not of your making.
“We believe that coming on board now as chairman things will get better. There are major issues that are fundamental a lot has been said concerning what this commission is made of.
“The commission is an extension of the committee on finance of the national Assembly because of their role they are more or less like auditors but more focused on the revenue side of the federal Government.
“On a quarterly basis this commission is to develope a report on the status of the revenue of the federal Government and the judicious application and the remittance of the revenue, it is that report that should guide our line of thinking while inviting all the revenue generating agencies.
He said over the years the agency has been made redundant as their responsibility has been reduced to the lowest level.
“I believe that if we have a full board in place all the revenue generating agencies of the federal will be reawaken and that can reposition this country with the judicious application of these resources
“To that end if the committee confirms you our first assignment is to invite you and all the revenue generating agencies alongside the accountant general of the federation so that we can give this agency lifeline for it to carryout its obligation as at when due.
“There are a lot of issues that are hanging we have seen that you are passionate that you really want to do the job until all that is around this is done we want.”
In a related development, the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, as well as the

The nominee for the Fiscal Responsibily Commission as substantive chairman Barr. Victor Muruako in his response debunked insinuations that he spent Eight years in acting capacity.
Speaking with newsmen after his confirmatory screening by the Senate Committee on Finance he said it is a misconception to say he acted for eight years.
According to him, “This commission has passed through challenges, at a point the commission was scheduled for scrapping at a point it was schedule for merger and at a point our appropriation was stopped. “It is only President Muhammadu Buhari who came and gave back life to why we are here. For us it is a new beginning you Know where FRC has been? Just go and check when the commission was brought back to life.
“We thank God this is a new beginning for the commission. If you check the record it has been difficult times, for us we are not looking at today, we are looking at tomorrow, where we intend to put the nation and our efforts to strenghten the microeconomic stability of the nation.

In the same vein the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPTRE), Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) chapter have congratulated Barr. Victor Muruako on his recent appointment by Mr. President as substantive Chairman of Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Abuja.
In separate statements issued and signed by the Chairman Mr. Nasiru, and Secretary Mr. Otu Otu Eta both of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, they thanked Mr. President for appointing Barr. Muruako and pledged their unalloyed loyalty to the Chairman and Management of the Commission.
In the same vein, the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPTRE) FRC Chapter led by Mr. Tanimola Sunday have also thanked Mr. President for putting a square peg in a square hole by appointing Barr. Muruako who has been tested and trusted to lead the commission at this particular point in time. In their words, they are happy “to be part of this great feat and heartily undertake to contribute to the progress and success of this Commission” under the leadership of the newly appointed Executive Chairman. They also pledged to partner with the Management in its efforts to ensure that the Commission fulfills its mandate under the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
Several congratulatory messages have poured in since the announcement of Mr. President’s nomination of Barr. Muruako, a well-known Fiscal Responsibility enthusiast and an astute administrator. Amongst these congratulatory messages were those from Auwal Ibrahim Rafsanjani Musa, the country Director of Transparency International and Head of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC); and Mrs. Lilian Ekeanyanwu, the Head of Technical Unit on Governance & Anti-Corruption Reforms (TUGAR).
They are all confident in their support of Mr. Muruako’s endeavors, commitment and capacity to drive the Commission’s mandate transparently and effectively to promote prudent and transparent fiscal management for the benefit of Nigeria and our economy.

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Kogi Rainstorm: Senate wants NEMA to supply relief materials to affected areas

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Kogi Rainstorm: Senate wants NEMA to supply relief materials to affected areas

The Senate on Tuesday mandated its Committee on Special Duties to liaise with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently supply relief and rehabilitation materials to Olamaboro communities of Kogi affected by rainstorm.
This, the upper chamber said was with a view to mitigating the sufferings of the victims.
The resolution was sequel to a Point of Order raised by Sen. Isah Jibrin (APC-Kogi) during plenary
The motion was titled “Urgent need for rehabilitation of communities affected by rainstorm in Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi”.
The upper chamber also mandated the Committee on Poverty Alleviation and Social Investment Programme (SIP), to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to provide minimal seed capitals for the victims in the affected communities.
This, the Senate said was to help in facilitating their various economic activities. 

Senator Jibrin while moving the motion expressed worry that with the commencement of the rains, over 200 residential buildings had been destroyed across many communities in the LGA in a rainstorm, following a heavy downpour on April 9.
“Apart from destruction of residential buildings, the devastating rainstorm also ravaged crops, farmlands, schools, worship houses, clinics and businesses in several communities in the LGA.He expressed the concern that many victims of the disaster sustained varying degrees of injury and are receiving medical attention at various health centres within the LGA and neighbouring LGAs.Hence he said, the disaster has created a serious humanitarian crisis as families are rendered homeless and their means of livelihood and properties woxth millions of naira destroyed by the rainstorm, thereby creating a situation of internal displacement.
He listed the major affected communities to inlude Ogugu Central, Ogane~0forachi, Emodida, Iyono, Emagaba No.1, Emenega, Emonoja-Aludu, Eegahimotu and Adupi Emoriko in Ogugu Dtstrict. In addition to many others within Okpo and Imane communities.

Contributing, Sen. Yakubu Oseni called on the Federal Government to provide succor to the  affected communities by coming to their aid

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Nigeria can no longer Pretend, there are firearms in wrong Hands – Senator Bamidele

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Nigeria can no longer Pretend, there are firearms in wrong Hands – Senator Bamidele

By Joseph Sunday

The chairman Joint committee on Justice and Human Rights said the committee is trying to amend the act in a way that Nigeria can have a one stop shop in the maritime sector.

Senator Opeyemi stated this during the presentation of the Exclusive Economic zone Act amendment Bill and the Fire Arms amendment Bill by stakeholders.

The chairman told journalists that Nigeria cannot pretend, it has arms and ammunition in wrong hands.
“Stiffer punishment should be served as sanction to anyone in possession of fire arms without license.”

He said section 33(4) can take care of any lacuna in the act that has to do with management and ownership of our mineral resources. He posited that an amendment Bill can alter the constitution to provide for any additional property or minerals not covered by the constitution.

In another development, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele called on state Governors and other stakeholders to do the needful in the interest of the public by granting independence to the judiciary in their states. He said “no body stands to lose anything “
The national assembly has granted the judiciary independence at the Federal level through the passage of necessary laws.

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Insecurity: Nigeria under siege, Senate raises the alarm

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Insecurity: Nigeria under siege, Senate raises the alarm

The Senate has raised the alarm that Nigeria is presently under siege from murderous non – state actors, whose activities are threatening the cooperate existence of the country.

To make the matter more scary records from the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC), indicated that out of 500 million Illegal weapons circulating in West Africa, 350 million, which represents 70%, are domiciled in Nigeria for evil activities of criminally minded people .

Senator Uba Sani (APC Kaduna Central), Made the frightening submissions at the public hearing organised by the Senate Joint Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Navy and Marine Transport on Firearms Act 2004 ( Amendment) Bill 2021 and Exclusive Economic Zones Act 2010 ( Repeal and Re – Enactment) Bill 2021.

He said the country needs to urgently address the worrisome situation.

Sani the sponsor of the Firearms (Amendment) Bill lamented that proliferation of illegal arms and ammunition in the country with little or no control by relevant authorities has profound implications for collective survival of Nigerians and Nigeria.

He said, “We are gathered here to deal with a matter that has profound implications for our collective survival.

“We are under siege from murderous non – state actors. They have been acquiring arms illegally, maiming our people and threatening the continued existence of our dear Nation. 

“We either take measures to deny them of the oxygen that sustains their nefarious activities, or we watch helplessly as they overrun us and our country.”

The main aim of the proposed amendments to the Firearms Act, he explained, is to curtail the proliferation of illegal arms and bring the existing law in line with global best practices.

He lamented that “The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC), recently reported that the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons (SALW) in Nigeria, has reached an alarming proportion.

“Analysts estimate that out of the 500 million weapons circulating in West Africa, 350 million, which represents 70% of such weapons, can be found in Nigeria.

“A pointer to this effect can be cited with the incidence of January 31st , 2017, when the Nigeria Customs Service confirmed the interception and seizure of 661 Pump Action Riffles imported from China into our country.

“More recently in Benue State, a local militia had the temerity to kill an Army Captain and 11 Soldiers not to talk of reign of terror in Owerri, Imo State by Gunmen who launched coordinated attacks on the Police headquarters and Correctional Centre .

“Something must be done urgently to curtail arms proliferation, the very reason for the proposed amendment bill on  the existing Firearms Act”, he said .

He listed the five major objectives of the amendment bill to include imposition of stiffer penalties for offences under the Act .

One of such penalties is the one under section 27 (sub section 1c), which proposed increase of fine from N1,000 to N1million .

Representative of Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Oladayo Amao, in his submission, objected to the N1million proposed fine on illegal possession of firearms arguing for its upward review to N2million.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the joint Commitee, Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti Central), said the purpose of the two bills were to further strengthen the Nigerian extant laws against illegal firearms possession and proliferation as well as making provisions of the Act on Exclusive Economic Zone to be in line with global practices as far as protection of the Nation’s territorial sea or waters are concerned.

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