Senate To Investigate Management Of Power Funds

Bukola-Saraki-Senate-president-president-in-NigeriaThe Senate is to begin investigating the management of funds appropriated to the Power Sector since 1999 and the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria.

Federal lawmakers in the Upper Chamber also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to direct the Transmission Company‎ of Nigeria to reconnect Maiduguri back to the National Grid.

The Senate reached these resolutions after the Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume, in a motion drew the attention of the Senate to‎ the disconnection of Maiduguri from the National Grid and the General Power Degeneration across the country.

Senator Ndume said Nigerians had thought that the unbundling of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria would translate to improved electricity supply in the country but that had not been the case.

Awolowo Predicted nPDP/APC Alliance – Adegbuyi

A member of the APC, Bisi Adegbuyi, on Thursday said that the alliance between some members of the nPDP and his party is the manifestation of a prediction by late political icon, Obafemi Awolowo who had said progressives in conservative parties will coalesce with the progressives.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Adegbuyi lauded the move by the nPDP governors and said that this will strengthen the opposition in favour of the people.

“There can’t be a democracy without opposition,” he said.

Responding to critics who have said that the alliance is not worth celebrating because Nigerian politicians are all cut from the same fabric and there is no clear ideology guiding the parties, Adegbuyi said he bears no grudge with them.

He said that not everyone in PDP is bad, while not everyone in APC is a saint and added that the alliance will allow the people to have options to choose from, as opposed to one party dominating government.

If you must check the excesses of the ruling party and avoid a one party state, we must encourage the splinter groups to coalesce.

Asked if the alliance automatically makes the new member governors ‘progressive’ in nature, he said “Chief Obafemi Awolowo had predicted that at some point, the progressives in conservative parties (who are there for whatever reason known to them) and progressives will coalesce.

“I believe this is coming to pass,” he said.

He defined a Progressive politician as one who “adheres strictly to the principles of federalism.”

He stressed that Nigeria needs a constitutional framework which accommodates its multi ethnic, multi-cultural and multi religious features.

“PDP has been in government since 1999. Have they successfully removed one item from the 68 items in the exclusive list?” he asked.

Asked if APC states have adhered to the tenets of federalism, Mr Adegbuyi said that there are only two tiers of government in an ideal federal state.

“In other jurisdictions, you have a clearly defined sphere of governance between the Federal and the states in the constitution. Correspondingly, between the states and the Local Government, there must also be a constitution, which is lacking in Nigeria and that’s where the problem lies.”

Africa’s growth not enough to reduce poverty: World Bank

Africa may have enviable economic growth rates by global standards, but they are still not enough to pull its growing population out of poverty, the World Bank said on Thursday.

Addressing the media during a visit to Nigeria’s commercial hub of Lagos, Marcelo Giugale, World Bank Director of Economic Policy and Poverty Reduction Programmes for Africa, was asked if the continent was growing fast enough to fight dire poverty.

“The short answer is ‘No’. It’s not enough to reduce poverty, not by enough,” he said, adding that the reasons were complex and varied.

The IMF this month revised down its growth forecasts for Africa in 2012 to 5.4 percent, lower than previous forecasts.

Africa’s growth has remained above 5 percent in the last eight years, underpinned by strong prices for its natural resources, better governance and growing disposable incomes, but poverty is not falling anywhere near as fast.

“We have specific targets that are in reach. Child mortality has fallen fast in many countries. But at the same time, poverty is going down very slowly,” Giugale said.

The World Bank estimated on its website in March that the percentage of poor Africans fell from 58 percent in 1999 to 47.5 percent in 2008, a decline of about one percentage point a year.

“You certainly need much more than the GDP numbers going up. The translation from growth to employment is complex: It depends on labour market, skills, infrastructure, the quality of the business environment. Growth can be very fast and you still don’t see poverty reduction,” Giugale said.

REUTERS