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Senate panel queries VON over failure to obtain certificate of Objection from  BPP before awarding Supplies

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Senate panel queries VON over failure to obtain certificate of Objection from  BPP before awarding Supplies

The chairman Senate committee on public accounts senator Matthew A.  Urhoghide has expressed dismay that Voice of Nigeria paid 79% instead of 15% mobilisation for contracts.
The contract was for the Construction of Foundation and Installation of Studio Transmitter Link Tower awarded to A&B Concepts Resources Ltd for the sum of N35,699,244:53k in 2013.
Ten queries were raised against the media organisation, Voice of Nigeria bordering on late submission of documents, lack of respect for financial regulation, lateness in submission of relevant documents for jobs, services and projects executed.
Eight of the queries were vacated after the defense put up by the organization.
Apparently worried by the over mobilisation, the chairman of the committee said no matter the nobility, not even at war times, even the president can not procure jets without seeking permission from the national assembly, he warned.
The Director General of the Voice of Nigeria (VON) Chief Osita Okechukwu however failed to defend the query demanding the organisation to refund the sum of N348,836 68k being over payment of funds to  the contractor, A&B Concepts Resources Ltd  the agency paid in 2016.
Hence the committee ordered the DG to impress it upon the contractor to refund the said amount.
The Auditor-General in his querry had alleged that the sum of N 79, 990,77.8.5 was awarded for the supply, installation and development of electronic content management system without obtaining certificate of objection from the Bureau of  public procurement (BPP).
He stated that the sum of N 35,990,727.5 being 45% of contract sum was paid through payment Voucher MC BO5C in November 2017 without any performance bond or certificate contrary to the terms of agreement and final payment of N25,331,30.43 which was paid through voucher MC BO60 on 24/12/2017 without strong conviction certificate attached.
The AG said VON contravened the rules and regulations in awarding various supplies to contractors without documents like award letters, job performance certificates, invoices, store receipt, vouchers and bill of quantities which were not attached to the payment vouchers.
He said the violations will encourage misappropriation of government fund and revenue loss.
“Sanctions in line with national regulations will be invoked if the Director- General does not account for the funds, he added.
Explaining himself out of refunding N79 million to the coffers of Federal government, the VON DG told the Senate Panel that the payment of 75 percent and 25 per cent respectively to the Contractor for the Link was due to the fact that, the using agency so requested and peculiarity of the broadcast industry made it impossible to pay less.
According to him, the Voice of Nigeria was in the Amplified Modulation (AM) band while her international counterparts were on the frequency modulation (FM) band making it easier to have her on phones so he ensured a transition to sustain and meet the competition in the market of information dissemination.
“You are in a transistor radio in Nigeria while we are targeting the international Communities that are no more in a transistor radio.
“We now fashion this system today voice of Nigeria is now in the Smart phone with an Application, so that while the person is scrolling to get the BBC or Voice of America he will pick us, Okechukwu told the panel.
He further stated that besides the exigency of duty was the inability of Auditors from the Accountant General’s office to understand that the intangible item as the Cloud for storage was an expensive project-item led to the specific query.
The Director -General  of voice of Nigeria stated that relevant copies of the documents were attached in the appendix of their submission.
Mr.  Osita said total payment of
N 36,148,072.21 has been paid as at that moment adding that the management withheld payment of N5,000,000.0 due to the contractor because of variation of the contract.
The DG  indicated that the auditors disparity stems from their observation that the multi media, webcast and electronic management system is a service instead of works.
He Said the rest of the 5 Geo-political zones have moved from shortwave to frequency modulation except for Africa, this challenge led to the project execution of multi media that involves webcast and electronic management system.

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Osinbajo says he is heart broken over demise of Pst Dare, pays condolence visit

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has expressed grief over the passing on to glory of Pastor Dare Adepoye, first son of the the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christain Church of God, Pastor Enoch A. Adeboye.

Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, Laolu Akande in a tweet said his principal visited to commiserate with the General Overseer whose son died while asleep earlier on Thursday.

The late son of Daddy G.O as he is fondly called would have celebrated his 43 years birthday on 9th June before he passed away.
Akande said the VP is deeply saddened by the development, hence his visit to Daddy G.O and Mummy G.O. to commiserate with the bereaved family.

He was accompanied by Gov. Abiodun and Minister, Keyamo.
“May Pst Dare’s memory be blessed and the LORD grants fortitude to Daddy G.O, Mummy, the family and all.”
Pastor Dare Adeboye who was the regional Youth Coordinator on the Redeemed Christian Church of God died on Thursday.

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World Press Freedom Day: Activist urges safeguard of information free flow

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World Press Freedom Day: Activist urges safeguard of information free flow

By Friday Idachaba

Executive Director of Kogi-based Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) Mr Idris Miliki has called on all media owners and stakeholders to safeguard freedom of press and free flow of information.

Miliki who made the call in a statement to mark the “2021 World Press Freedom Day” in Lokoja described Journalism as a noble profession and urged that media professionals must be protected and encouraged.

“As we celebrate the world press freedom day, it is important for all stakeholders, to continue to safeguard freedom of the press and free flow of information”, the Human Rights activist said.

Miliki decried a situation where Media professionals were being attacked in line of duty as witnessed recently Nigeria and other instances across the world saying the trend was unacceptable and condemnable.

“Journalism is a noble profession and journalists should be able to practice their profession without any hindrances.

The owners of Media organisations, (public and private) should take the welfare of journalists seriously and ensure they are provided with necessary tools, timely and adequate remunerations and conducive environment for practice”, he added.

Miliki however, called on journalists not to allow themselves to be intmidated but strive to uphold the principle and ethics of the profession and ensure objectivity and balancing at all times. (NAN)

FDJ/

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World Press Freedom Day: Activist wants stakeholders to Safeguard Press Freedom

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World Press Freedom Day: Activist wants stakeholders to Safeguard Press Freedom

The Executive Director, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution, Comrade Idris Miliki has called on stakeholders to work towards protecting and safeguarding press freedom.
The Activists in a statement to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day said it is
important for all stakeholders, to continue to safeguard freedom of the press and free flow of information.

He decried attacks on Media practitioners while on line of duty as withnessed recently in Kogi State, in other part of the country and the world at large as unfortunate and unacceptable.

He condemned the harassment of Journalists, describing Journalism as one of the mist noble profession.
He said journalists should be allowed to practice their profession with out let or hindrances.
Comr Miliki called on the owners of Media institutions to also take the welfare of journalists seriously adding that the onus rests on them to lead by example.
The Executive Director called on journalists not to allow themselves to be intmidated in any way but strive to uphold the ethics of the profession at all times as he wished Journalists a happy press freedom day.

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