Fayose Owes May Salary Only – Aide

The Ekiti State Government says that its owing the State Government's workers a month salary and not the alleged three monthsThe Ekiti State Government has cleared the air on its indebtedness that its owing the State Government’s workers a month salary and not the alleged three months.

The Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media to the Governor, Lere Olayinka, made the revelation in a statement on Wednesday, stating that only May 2015 salary was being owed by Governor Ayodele Fayose-led government.

Mr Olayinka alleged that the immediate past All Progressives Congress (APC) government of Dr Kayode Fayemi, refused to pay August and September, 2014 salaries, despite receiving federal allocation for the two months.

He however added that “the Fayose-led government had already cleared the August 2014 salary left unpaid by the APC government, leaving that of September that will be paid as soon as there is improvement in the State finances.”

On the unpaid May salary, he said “allocation of May that was received was not enough to pay salary, leaving the government with the option of waiting for June allocation that is expected to be released next week and the moment that is done, workers will get their May salary.”

Mr Olayinka also noted that apart from the shortfall in the federal allocation, the gross mismanagement of Ekiti State finances by the immediate past government was responsible for the present parlous state of the State finances.

“As at the time we assumed office, unpaid Bank loan was N15, 831,613,425.62 while outstanding payment from the N25bn bond was N26,749,796,784.75, making N42.6bn debt from bank loans and bond alone.

“N21, 286,126,749 was outstanding payment to road contractors while N5, 137,888,224.37 was outstanding emoluments to State Public Servants,” Olayinka said.

He explained further that “the state was able to meet up with payment of salary because of the six months moratorium gotten from financial institutions, from which the immediate past government obtained loans.

“Painfully, these credit facilities were used to execute income-generating projects, and the repercussion of the financial recklessness of the past administration is the parlous economic situation of the State now.

However, the Governor’s aide expressed optimism that with the cooperation of the people, especially the workers, the State Government would continue to strive to rescue the State from its present financial predicament.

8th Assembly: Members Draw Road-Map To Guide Legislative Functions

Reps Draw New  Road-Map To Guide Legislative FunctionsMembers of the House of Representatives in Nigeria have produced a document they described as ‘a new road-map’ to guide them in their legislative functions.

The document was produced during a meeting held on Tuesday as part of the federal lawmakers’ aim to ensure the 8th House of Representatives meets the expectation of Nigerians.

Declaring open, a retreat organised in partnership with some development partners, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, also noted that the document would meet the expectations of the public.

Some of the legislators, Zakari Mohammed, Aishatu Dukku and Kingsley Chindo, all assured that the Assembly would ensure the document’s implementation level is better than the legislative agenda proposed by the 7th Assembly.

The Executive Director, Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre, Mr Clement Nwankwo, and the Senior Governance Adviser of DFID, Catherine Weiss, who were both development partners at the retreat outlined the importance of the event.

The proposed agenda put together by the forum would be presented to the Lower Chamber in plenary for discussion and adoption.

Groups Ask 8th National Assembly To Promptly Pass PIB

Groups Ask 8th National Assembly To Promptly Pass PIBA group of Civil Society Organisations (CSO) has urged the newly inaugurated Eighth National Assembly to promptly pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

The group made the appeal on Tuesday at the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, during visit to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

Speaking to Channels Television after the meeting, a member of one of the CSOs, Mr Ezenwa Nwaogwu, said that the groups also wants the lawmakers to give priority attention to the Disability Bill and further amend the Electoral Act.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, had on Monday promised that the 8th Assembly would focus on the PIB, once the House commences legislative business.

He said this while also playing host to a group of civil society organizations at the National Assembly.

Hon. Dogara also met with officials of the British High Commission and further clarified the plans of the House of Reps as regards the PIB.


Extractive Industry Reforms: NEITI Urges Government To Implement Its Report

International Extractive Body Urges Government To Implement NEITI ReportThe International Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (IEITI) has called on the Nigerian Government to implement its past reports in its quest to reform the mineral extractive sector of the economy.

The IEITI Chairperson, Mrs Clare Short, made the call on Tuesday during a visit to Nigeria, to meet with the government and lend a voice to the proposed reforms in the extractive sector of the economy.

She expressed the view that the Nigerian Government had a ready-made tool in the reports of NEITI which could be relied upon to reform the sector.

NEITI, in some of its past audit reports had alleged several irregularities in the extractive industries including unremitted dividends and abuse of the petroleum subsidy regime.

The four year audit reports between 2009 and 2012 contained an alleged unremitted $11.6 billion to the Federation Account.

NEITI Chairman, Mr Mitee Ledum, decried the non-implementation of the audit reports and recommendations to reform the extractive industries.

The Executive Secretary of NEITI, Zainab Ahmed, also explained why NEITI has not been able to prosecute defaulters in the past.

She expressed optimism that this visit by the international body would boost the clamour for the implementation of the reports.

FMC Owerri Crisis: Governor Okorocha Urges Workers To Resume Work

Governor Rochas Okorocha Urges Workers Of FMC Owerri To Resume Work The Imo State Governor has appealed to staff of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Owerri, who have embarked on an indefinite strike, to sheath their swords and get back to work.

Governor Okorocha made the appeal on Tuesday at the medical centre in Owerri, the Imo State’s capital, south-west Nigeria.

He expressed concern over the lingering crisis of about seven weeks, maintaining that quality health care remained a key factor in the economic development of any society.

Okorocha acknowledged the fact that some of the FMC workers’ reasons for strike was genuine, but he urged them to get back to work for the sake of poor Imo State citizens in need of proper health care.

He promised them that the government would meet with the management of FMC, to discuss how the problems bothering the staff would receive immediate attention.

A staff, Uchenna Ibe, on behalf of the striking workers, acknowledged the presence of the Governor and his quest to solve the lingering problem.

He insisted that the best option was for the Medical Director, Angela Uwakwem, to be removed from office over allegations of financial misappropriation, gross misconduct, highhandedness and victimisation.

The striking workers at the FMC Owerri comprise of the National Union of Allied and Health Professional, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria and the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, all in the FMC Owerri chapter.

Take Advantage Of APC Crack, PDP BOT Chairman Urges Members

PDP BOT Chairman, Mr Haliru Bello, has appealed to the members of the PDP to take advantage of the visible cracks in the APC to reconcile its membersThe acting Chairman, Board Of Trustees (BOT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Haliru Bello, has appealed to the members of the PDP to take advantage of what he described as visible cracks in the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to reconcile PDP faithful who had joined the ruling party.

Mr Bello made the statement on Monday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital while receiving members of the party from Kebbi State.

The “visible cracks”’, according to the PDP BOT Chairman was as a result of the June 6 straw poll which produced Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila as the APC candidate for the House of Reps Speaker, against Honourable Yakubu Dogara of the same party.

Senator Ahmed Lawan was also picked for the position of the Senate President.

The lawmakers supporting another Senator gunning for the Senate President position at that time, Senator Bukola Saraki and those supporting Honourable Dogara for the position of House of Representatives Speaker, boycotted the elections.

Subsequently, Senator Saraki and Honourable Dogara both emerged the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives of the 8th National Assembly respectively.

The Senators, under the platform of the ‘Unity Forum’, said the process, which saw Senator Saraki’s emergence, was unconstitutional and could not confer legitimacy to the Senate President.

In an attempt to address the crisis, the APC National Chairman, Mr John Oyegun, declared the party’s support for both Senator Saraki and Mr Yakubu Dogara as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively.

The PDP BOT Chairman, however, admitted that the party had made several mistakes in the past and that the principles for which the party was established remained. According to Mr Bello, it was those principles that would be used to rebuild the party.

He urged the PDP members to keep faith with the party, as it works to emerge from its failure, adding that they should go back to their states and constituency to reconcile party members.

Protesting Tanker Drivers Block Kaduna-Zaria Expressway

Protesting Tanker Drivers Block Kaduna-Zaria ExpresswaySome aggrieved tanker drivers have blocked the Kaduna-Zaria Expressway in protest of an alleged shooting of their colleague by a soldier on patrol.

There were conflicting eyewitness accounts over the identity of the military personnel that shot the tanker driver.

While some said it was a soldier that committed the act, another account said it was an Air Force personnel.

One of the eyewitnesses, who spoke to Channels Television explained that the incident happened around 11:00pm on Sunday at the old Toll Gate near Rigachikun in Igabi Local Government Area of the state.

He noted that an unidentified soldier at a checkpoint allegedly shot a tanker driver when the driver refused to give the military personnel 500 Naira bribe.

The death of the tanker driver angered his colleagues who immediately blocked the road in protest of the ill treatment meted against the driver.

The road block had caused a heavy traffic jam along the inter-city road, leaving commuters traveling to Zaria, Kano, and other Northern parts of Nigeria through the road stranded.

Spokesman for the One Division of the Nigerian Army, Colonel Abdul Usman and his Air force counterpart, both denied the involvement of their personnel in the crime.

Some tanker drivers told Channels Television that they were harassed and extorted by soldiers on the road on daily basis without any reason.

They also stated that they would only leave the road unless the military personnel were withdrawn from the road and the military personnel involved in the shooting arrested and prosecuted.

However, not even the deployment of a combined team of security operatives to the area could make the aggrieved tanker drivers to open up the road.

Unpaid Workers: Expert Blames State Governments For Improper Planning

Policy Consultant on governance, Ademola Oshodi, has attributed the inability of the State Governments to pay workers’ salaries to lack of proper planning.A Policy Consultant on governance, Ademola Oshodi, has attributed the inability of the State Governments in Nigeria to pay workers’ salaries to lack of proper planning.

Speaking in an interview on Channels Television’s daily breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, on Monday, Mr Oshodi stressed the need for State Governments to plan with proper data.

He noted that most States expected that the Federal Government’s allocation would be continuous or increased,  but got roughly 50% of what they used to have before.

The expert stressed that it was good to plan before execution, explaining that it was difficult in cases where people were willing to construct roads, factories, and other amenities without the necessary information and data.

He advised the State Governments to empower their Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, ensuring that they were supplied with the necessary information data from various agencies.

The policy consultant on governance pointed out that if the population of a certain area is known, it gives the opportunity to plan. “This would enhance the economic outcome of the locality.”

He said the Office of the Statistician-General would get the information, get the data and disperse it to the relevant authority of the State Governments.

Mr Oshodi noted that with such data and information, the government would do the needful which is to manage their policy and programmes based on every available evidence from the Statistics Bureau.

He also added that the reasons States got into the mess were also political.

AJimobi Launches Waste To Energy Project In Oyo

AJimobi Launches Waste To Energy Project In OyoThe Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has launched an energy project to produce at least five megawatts of electricity through waste.

This development, according to the State Governor, was in line with his administration’s strategy to complement electricity generation and distribution in Oyo State in south-west Nigeria.

Governor Ajimobi made this known on Saturday during the ground breaking ceremony for a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) driven Waste to Energy Project at the Ajakanga landfill in Oluyole Local Government of the state.

He said the project was aimed at sustaining the environment and virile economy amidst global challenges.

The Governor reiterated the commitment of his administration to turning the idle dump site to an economically viable entity.

He also stressed that it would address other socio-economic and welfare needs of the people such as education, health and also enhance the environmental transformation programme of the State government.

Governor Ajimobi assured residents living around the largest dump site of stable power supply, job creation and economic exposure among other numerous benefits of the PPP.

On further benefits of the project, the General Manager, Ibadan Solid Waste Management Authority, Engineer Joseph Alabi, explained that the money spent in maintaining the site could now be diverted to other needy areas.

Governor Ajimobi added that the initiative would serve as a prototype, as he planned to replicate the project across the numerous dump sites of the government in the state.

Saraki’s Leadership: APC Members Displeased With Party’s Endorsement

APC on Saraki's Senate LeadershipSome Governors and lawmakers elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have expressed dissatisfaction with the party’s decision to forgive and allow the Senator Bukola Saraki-led leadership of the National Assembly to stand.

The National Chairman of the party, Mr John Oyegun, had earlier declared the party’s support for both Senator Saraki and Mr Yakubu Dogara as Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives respectively.

In an interview with Channels Television on Saturday, one of the pro-Lawan Senators, Abdullahi Adamu, said that his faction, the Unity Forum, would take a position on the party’s endorsement of Senator Saraki’s leadership.

Senator Adamu made the declaration in Lafia, the Nasarawa State’s capital in north-central Nigeria during the wedding of Governor Tanko Al-makura’s daughter.

Also addressing reporters at the wedding ceremony, Governor Al-makura believed that, in spite of the APC lawmakers differences, the party was harmonising all interest to help it move forward with its programmes of uplifting the country, as promised in their campaigns.

Al-makura further noted that the decision demonstrated that the APC had the capacity to withstand pressure, hopeful that the party would come out stronger after a meeting of the stakeholders aimed at dousing the tension.

Police Arrest Six Suspected Fraudsters In Oyo

Police Arrest Six Suspected Fraudsters In OyoThe Oyo State Police Command has arrested six suspected fraudsters who duped a number of people the sum of 800 Million Naira.

With the establishment of the new Police Anti-Kidnapping Squad in Oyo State, south-west Nigeria, the latest conquest was the discovery of a one stop centre for all manners of crime.

Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Katsina, told reporters on Saturday that his specially trained squads would continue to ravage the underworld to rid Oyo State of criminals.

He also vowed that the onslaught against criminals and men of the underworld in Oyo State would not relent in anyway.

The police made the arrest at a trado-medical clinic at Bopa area of Oleyo in Oluyole Local Government Area.

At the said clinic, unsuspecting patients were lured into the frightening world of the syndicate of six con artistes led by a former Fuji Artist popularly known as Fuji Santana in his musical days.

Fuji Santana, whose real name is Akeem Olayode, lures terminally ill people from various sources to their dreadful shrine in the dense forest.

He promises them healing and longevity in exchange for huge sums of money ranging from 15 – 50 million Naira.

The suspected fraudster was not ashamed of his achievement from his career of over six years which include three state of the art cars and two poultry farms worth about 15 million and 100 million Naira respectively.

The people of the nearby villages expressed joy at the breakthrough, revealing that they had been living in perpetual fear and that the village heads had been of no help.

The arrest was the 4th of its kind in two Local Government Areas of Oyo State since February, in rare breakthrough recorded as a result of the Oyo State Police Command’s commitment to ending the activities of criminals in the state.

Shots Fired At Dallas Police Headquarters

PoliceA gunman who fled in an armoured van has fired shots at the Police Headquarters in Dallas, a city in Texas, in the United States of America.

Dozens of police cars gave chase to the man involved who is in standoff in a car park.

Officials said there had been exchange of gunfire at the car park on Saturday.

Four bags were left outside the Police Headquarters, one of which contained explosives including pipe bombs.

An official said that one of the bags exploded as police robot attempted to move it, noting that no police officer was injured.

The motive for the shooting is not yet clear.