2017 Budget: Analysts Task Nasarawa Govt. On Proper Implementation

2017 Budget: Analysts Task Nasarawa Govt. On Proper ImplementationPublic analysts have called on the Nasarawa state government to put modalities in place for proper implementation of 2017 budget by ministries, agencies and parastatals.

They bared their minds in separate exclusive interviews in Nasarawa and Toto local government areas of Nasarawa state.

They noted that if the budget is not fully implemented, it would not meet the yearning and aspirations of the people of the state.

The 2017 budget of 67 billion Naira was presented on the December 15 by the Governor, Mr Tanko Al-makura, to the House of Assembly tagged: “budget of reformation”.

The budget is expected to be worked on, as soon as the House members resume sitting on January 15, 2017, before it will be assented by the governor and become a law, to pave way for the government to carry out it’s mandate of implementation for the benefit of electorates.

To this end, the analysts have called on the government to put adequate measures in place to monitor it’s implementation by Ministries, agencies and parastatals.

The analysts, Mohammed Musa and Attahiru Abdullahi, both appealed to ministries, agencies and parastatals not to operate outside the box when the budget becomes a law.

“They should consider the economic recession currently being experienced and they should make use of whatever is going to be made available to them judiciously”

“Getting a smaller figure than that of 2016 means that we are more focused on what we want to do now, we are focused on some set targets”

“If we align to the items that aggravate all of these and focus on them, I think that will definitely move the state forward,” they said.

They however scored high the performance of the 2016 budget and expressed optimism that if the 2017 budget is implemented accordingly, it will reposition the state to enviable heights.

Head of Department, Public Administration, Federal Polytechnic, Nasarawa, Ahmad Sani Yanga, gave a blue print to the state government on how to record success in the implementation of the 2017 budget.

“Government should not run on a deficit revenue because that is the area where we have problem, as far as government is concerned.

“By the time government runs on a revenue deficit, it means that it must increase taxation, so government must have to adhere strictly and must caution all ministries and agencies to implement the budget properly” he said.

The polytechnic don disagreed with the view that the decrease in the 2017 budget will not meet up the yearning of the people.

Yanga is of the view that the success of a budget lies on the implementation strategy and not the volume of the amount proposed.

He also called on the government to prioritise agriculture in order to boost food production in the state, adding that a hungry state is prone to social ills.

Financial Markets Reopen After Christmas Holiday

Financial Markets, christmasFinancial markets reopen in Nigeria on Wednesday, after the two-day national holiday declared to celebrate Christmas and Boxing Day.

The Nigerian stock market is open for business and as the year winds down, analysts expect sentiments to remain positive.

At the close of Friday’s session, the market closed negative for the first time in four weeks as the all share index declined by 0.91 per cent to close at 26,486.02.

Meanwhile at the inter-bank money market, the overnight spot rate is expected to adjust downward to normal, from the one-off level of 20.7 per cent last week.

The Central Bank’s attempt to eliminate the black market continues to compress the flow of liquidity in the parallel market and the Naira is forecast to depreciate further at the parallel segment.

Commissioner Charges Ogun State Workers On Diligence

Commissioner Charges Ogun State Workers On DiligenceThe Ogun state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Dayo Adeneye, has charged workers to put in their best to ensure successful implementation of government policies and programmes in its rebuilding mission.

He said this while welcoming the civil servants back to their various duty posts, after the Christmas holiday.

“As we say happy holidays, we say happy new year in advance, for some of us, we don’t really have any holiday, media doesn’t holidays but we are used to that. We do say welcome back to work, we thank God for his blessings and mercies, for giving us the opportunity to see another Christmas and another boxing day and by the grace of God the new year is going to be a prosperous one”.

“As our workers resumed to work after the long holiday, my charge is simply, let us continue from where we dropped off.

“We always pride ourselves as the best in the country, you can see the award held about two weeks ago.

“The governor rewarded five of them free houses for their diligence and dedication, that is to tell you that our workers are diligent and hardworking. So, my charge, let us continue to put in our best and continue to put Ogun state in its rightful position in the comity of states in Nigeria” he said.

A worker, sharing their experiences from the holiday, expressed that it has really reinvigorated them for maximum productivity.

“Sincerely speaking, the holiday has been so refreshing, interesting and exciting and relaxing.

As a matter of fact, it has been the tonic needed to really review, reform, and reinvigorate for the challenges at work. So, you can see that I am looking radiant, I am willing to get the ball rolling”. he concluded.

Chibok Community Celebrates Homecoming For 21 Rescued Girls

Chibok Community Celebrates Homecoming For 21 Rescued GirlsNormalcy is beginning to return to Chibok, the Borno town as the 21 released girls returned back home after over two years of being in Boko Haram captivity.

The Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima, visited the town to spend time with the rescued girls and supervise the reconstruction of destroyed infrastructure in the community.

The rescued girls were brought to Chibok to spend the Christmas holiday for the first time since their abduction.

Their return brought excitement and hope to people of the community although only very close family members were allowed access to the girls, as heavily armed security operatives prevented passage to the home where they are being kept.

Speaking to Channels Television, grandmother to one of the rescued girls, Kyallu Ibrahim, expressed excitement over the return of her daughter.

“I never thought I’ll ever see my grandchild again, I thought she was dead. It was a nightmare when they took them away but we are glad she is finally back we are grateful to God and the government for bringing them back and we pray for the other girls that are yet to return.”

Families whose daughters are yet to return have mixed feelings even as those rescued are celebrating, they can only hope for their own wards would one day return.

Speaking on the insecurity in the region, a women group leader, Comfort Dunama, explained that every family in Chibok has either lost a child or relative in the April 2014 abduction of the girls.

This according to her, has made nearly 800 locals to become volunteer vigilantes which has paid off in securing the community according to local leaders.

Commander Chibok Vigilante Group, Apogu Gaji, said: “After the kidnap of the girls more people came to join us.

“In the past, we were not more than 50 but today we have up to 500 volunteers. We have engaged Boko Haram in battles, arrested some, killed some and we submit the arms we recover to the army.

“We also suffered casualties but we dealt with them thoroughly and as of now there is no Boko Haram camp around our villages neither do they use any route with their motorcycles. We don’t see them again and everyone feels safe these days,” Gaji stated.

Shettima, while promising to rebuild damaged infrastructure, stated that nothing is too much to do for the girls and their families, who have suffered a lot already.

Consoling parents whose daughters are yet to be rescued, he said all hands are on deck to ensure the return of all the girls.

He then went on to demand explanation over the 500 million Naira approved under the safe school initiative project, for the remodelling of the Chibok school.

“They have released 500 million Naira, I have not seen what they did in Government Secondary School Chibok. We shall go to the federal government, and the safe school initiative and the federal Ministry of Finance and demand what they did with the money.

“People should stop buying and selling with the name of Chibok, it is very unfortunate.

We shall also revoke the contract for the Damboa/ Chibok road and in the coming year, we are directing the Borno Road Maintenance Agency with the sum of 500 million naira to fix the road,” the governor stressed.

Russian Officials Admit To Existence Of Doping Programme

Russian Officials Admit To Existence Of Doping ProgrammeRussian officials have for the first time admitted the existence of a doping operation which affected major competitions, the New York Times says.

Acting Director General of Russia’s anti-doping agency, Anna Antseliovich, says it was an “institutional conspiracy”, although she denied it was a state-sponsored programme.

Dmitry Peskov, a Kremlin spokesman, said they “need to check the authenticity” of Antseliovich’s words, adding that Russia has always denied allegations that the state is involved in doping.

Vitaly Smirnov, the 81-year-old who has been a leading sports official since the Soviet era and who has been appointed by Russian President, Vladimir Putin to reform the anti-doping system, told the New York Times: “I don’t want to speak for the people responsible.

“From my point of view, as a former Minister of Sport, President of Olympic Committee – we made a lot of mistakes.”

Smirnov also suggested the leaks made by the Fancy Bears; a group of hackers who have released the medical records of several athletes from around the world, showed Russia had not been competing on a level playing field.

Ahmed Flags Off Women Empowerment Programme In Kwara State

Kwara, underpassThe kwara state governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has flagged off a 41 million Niara worth of empowerment programme for women in the state.

The governor who made a symbolic presentation of 20 million Naira cheques to beneficiaries at the banquet hall, Ilorin, said his administration has prioritized the informal sector as a major driver of economic activities and as the area in which majority of the people are making a living.

He said the remaining balance of 21million Naira would be released to qualifying women in the coming month, noting that empowerment is part of his administration’s efforts to enhance the livelihoods of women.

According to him, “it is designed to assist women who are the powerful majority of the electorate and are in dire need of financial assistance to do their businesses”.

The governor said the approach of his administration is to strengthen the informal sector, which is: “the micro, small and medium enterprises (msme), under which micro-credit funds are disbursed via micro finance banks to qualifying cooperative groups.

He said the first set of beneficiaries are drawn from the three senatorial districts of the state, adding that the decision to prioritize women was born out of the role they played in shaping the society politically, socially and economically.

“In view of this, this government has put in place various programmes to educate, and empower women and young girls with the tools, resources and skills necessary to build productive lives for the benefit of the society”, he stated.

The governor who expressed optimism for the repayment, noted that the scheme has recorded a 75 per cent repayment rate, while also stating that women have greater incentive to utilize the funds prudently and repay on schedule.

Uruan Residents Laud Governor Emmanuel For Road Construction

udom-emmanuelThe Acting Paramount Ruler of Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom, Mr Edidem Eyen-Owo Nicholas Eyo Ukpong, has poured encomiums on the state Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, for flagging off the construction of a new road.

The new Anua –Mbak –Ishiet road cuts across over 28 villages in Uruan Local Government.

The paramount ruler also praised the governor for supplying school desks to primary schools across Uruan.

Mr Eyo Ukpong, said this when the Special Assistant to the Governor on Research and Documentation, Emmanuel Nicholas paid him a solidarity visit in his palace to deliver items to the Royal throne for the celebration of the yuletide.

The Governor’s aide presented a live cow, bags of rice, 250, 000 Naira for empowerment of widows, one indigenous goat to the Uruan Traditional Rulers Council for the celebration of the Christmas and New year.

The paramount ruler praised Governor Udom Emmanuel for having his people in mind in his quest to deliver good governance.

“You have made us in Uruan to feel that we are no more a marginalized local Government. It feels better as a people after years of neglect. You have awarded the construction of this Anua-Ishiet Road, that was a night mare to all of us.

Also commenting on the supply of the school items, he said the primary school children once used to sit on the bare floor to learn.

“Today our schools have been given desks for the pupils to have a conducive learning environment. We are a grateful people,” Eyo Ukpong said.

The royal father assured the governor’s SA of continued support from the traditional fathers in the area.

“We shall remain supportive of the policies of the Udom Emmanuel administration. This is the only way to show our appreciation for the efforts of the administration towards alleviating the sufferings of Uruan people”.

Addressing the people, Mr Nicholas said: “Let me assure you of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s commitment to making life better for the people of Uruan, through the provision of basic amenities, and wealth creation through industrialization.

“I urge you to continue to give total support and loyalty to his administration. This is the only way to keep enjoying more dividends of democracy, ” he said.

In his response, the political leader of the ward, Obong Uduak Etim Bassey, further eulogized the aide of the Governor, describing him as a worthy Ambassador of the ward noting that: “in a very short time of your appointment as the Governor’s Special Assistant, you have sunk portable water in the area and every December you have given to the less privileged in the area.

“You have shown us that if we support you to gain a higher office, you will be able to bring back more empowerment to our people.

“Look at the women, they are happy because you have been giving to them for over five years now. God will protect and bless you for being a blessing to our people,” the political leader prayed.

Okowa Restates Vision For Development In Delta State

ifeanyi-okowa-speaksDelta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has reiterated that his vision for the state is to build and promote critical infrastructure.

This, he believes would create a conducive environment for investments to thrive in order to encourage meaningful engagement of Deltans, most especially the youth, upon whom the future lies.

Okowa stated that the vision is all encompassing in his administration’s SMART Agenda.

According to him, this has initiated an economic development approach aimed at integrating the entire landmass of the state through good network of roads that link communities and cities across the three senatorial districts of the state.

The Governor who was represented by the state Commissioner of Information, Mr Patrick Ukah, disclosed this during the 4th biennial public lecture of the Enuani Democratic League (EDL), which took place at Ejeme-Aniogor in Aniocha South Local Government Area of the State.

In his words: “Our vision is to achieve sustainable development by building necessary infrastructure and creating the conducive atmosphere that would encourage investments and the meaningful engagement of our people, especially the youths to whom the future really belongs.

“Our economic development approach aims at integrating the state through good network of roads that link communities and cities across the state.

“This will also include the building of a befitting state capital. It is our goal to see that the completion of on-going projects across the length and breadth of the state is to give nerve and impetus to commerce”.

He however called on all Deltans to encourage investors and also contribute their quota in the task of developing the state, assuring that the state government would continue to encourage and assist genuine investors, who are out to serve as agents of positive social and economic change.

Maku Tells Journalists To Engage More In Investigative Journalism

Labaran-MakuFormer Minister of Information Labaran Maku, has called on Journalists in Nasarawa state to imbibe the spirit of investigative Journalism.

He believes that investigative reporting is the only solution that relieves the people from the clutches of misrule.

The state governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) challenged the press to exhibit the courage and habit of rural Journalism instead of focusing on issues that has to do with the government alone.

“Investigative reporting is the only tool that can keep those in the helms of affairs on their toes; this will help people at the grassroots whom have been excised from day to day livelihood” he said.

“Investigative journalism will help the citizenry to know what came in and what goes out of the state” Maku stressed.

Furthermore, he expressed displeasure with the way reporters give prominence to government activities.

“Move to the grassroots and report activities there, do not give priority to government activities and proclamations alone”

He also tasked the press to create awareness in the cause of their reportage, stating that scores of communities are disconnected from government presence.

Army Says Sambisa Forest Is Under Its Control

army1Army Spokesman, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, says Sambisa forest is now under the control of the Nigerian army.

He said ahead of the new year, the army is working out modalities to take complete possession of the vast forest which served as the headquarters for Boko Haram terrorists.

Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast show Sunrise Daily, Sani confirmed that there are no terrorists left in the forest located in Borno state.

In the last seven years, the insurgents have pushed for the establishment of an Islamic State and an end to Western education in the region.

The Sambisa forest constituted the main base for the terrorists in which they held many captives, including the over 200 Chibok school girls who were abducted from their hostel on April 14, 2014.

Although the Nigerian Army had promised that the force would bring an end to the insurgents before the end of 2016 and has recorded significant progress in the fight, it has still continued to ensure peace and stability is sustained in the northeastern region.

The General Officer Commanding, 3 Division of the Nigeria Army, Major General Peter Dauke, challenged troops fighting the Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria to remain committed despite successes being recorded at the theatre of war.

Full of excitement, the troops danced and jubilated, as they welcomed the Chief of Army Staff Lt. General, Tukur Buratai and the Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, to Damasak.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),  recently praised the military for its successes especially in the clearing of the Boko Haram terrorists’ stronghold.