Reps Hold Public Hearing On Dormant Accounts

House Holds Public Hearing On Dormant AccountsThe House of Representative Committee on Banking and Currency has opened a public hearing on how to address dormant accounts in commercial banks.

The Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Jones Onyerere, said the amendment of the Financial Institution Act would help address the use of funds from dormant accounts as income for commercial banks.

The hearing session, which took place on Monday in Abuja, had in attendance representatives from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) among others.

In their various remarks, the CBN official, Kofo Abdulsalam-Alada, and the NDIC Director of Legal Services, Belema Taribo, suggested how to manage dormant accounts.

However, government agencies disagreed on who should manage the funds from dormant accounts.

Recent statistics from the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System reveal that the total number of inactive bank accounts in Nigeria stands at 30.2 million, despite efforts by banks to retain old customers and attract new ones.

About 64.128 million accounts that represent 68.7% of the total activated accounts domiciled in commercial banks are said to be functional.

Financial experts have described amendment of the Financial Institution Act to better manage dormant accounts as timely.

The passage of the bill is expected to eliminate the possibility of banks to convert dormant account balances into income, as well as strengthen risk management.

Kwara Assembly Wants Education Monitoring Fund Reviewed

kwara, labour leaders, salary paymentIn the bid to consolidate the feat recorded at the on-going education reform, the Kwara State House of Assembly has sought an upward review of 1.36 million Naira to 2.99 million Naira.

This if for the allocation of the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit of the State Teaching Service Commission in the 2017 budget. 

The House also called for the strengthening of the unit to enhance effective teaching and learning in schools across the state.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, House Committee on Education and Human Development in the State house of Assembly, Hon. Jimoh Akanni Abdulrahman said, for government to justify its huge investment in education, monitoring and evaluation unit must be strengthened.

He urged the commission to come up with the proposal of 2.99 million Naira to ensure provision of necessary logistics for effective performance.

In another development, the House appealed to the State Ministry of Environment and Forestry to increase its funding and staffers of the State Environmental Protection Agency and restore the glory of the state as one of the cleanest states in the country.

However, Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Ahmed Ibn Mohammed, lamented that the House would ensure the agency was strengthened for effective performance, to forestall outbreak of epidemic diseases in any part of the state.

Oil Licences: House Orders CBN, DPR, NNPC To Produce Records Of Payments

House, CBN, DPR, NNPC, Oil LicensesThe House of Representatives has given the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) one week to produce records of payments of application fees, signature bonuses and other fees paid by oil companies.

The decision followed a meeting between the House ad-hoc Committee on Oil Prospecting Licenses and Oil Mining Leases and representatives of the different agencies who had been invited to give details of the transactions.

Also present at the hearing on Monday were officials from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and some oil companies.

The committee also heard from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on its role in such transactions involving oil companies.

The Chairman of the committee, Representative Gideon Gwani, said they have not received records of accounts where the fees for the oil prospecting licenses and the oil mining leases were lodged.

He stated that the committee was determined to resolve what he said had become a lingering problem in the petroleum sector.

The CBN Deputy Governor in charge of Operations, Mr Adebayo Adelabu, who sought to put things in perspective, explained what was being done to provide the needed records.

Health Minister Says $400m Polio Donor Funds Not Stolen

Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewale on polio donor fundsThe Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, has denied reports that a $400 million donor funds meant to eradicate polio in Nigeria was stolen.

Professor Adewole dismissed the reports at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Health Services.

It was held to consider ways of revitalising the Primary Healthcare System and avert health crisis in Nigeria.

The public hearing was the opening of the ceremony that will hold for two days.

Addressing the lawmakers, the minister pointed out steps that must be taken to reverse the situation in the country’s health sector, emphasising the need for more funding.

The Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Chike Okafor, asked the executives to implement the National Health Act and ensure the funding of basic health care.

On his part, the Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, of the House and Chairman of the Committee said there was an urgent need to address the nations’ health situation.

Other members of the House Committee on Health Services, the wife of the Senate President, and other operators in the sector were present for the event.

It is expected that the forum would not only come up with practical and workable ways of enhancing the country’s Primary Healthcare System but will make sure it becomes a reality.

Institutions’ Health Committee Asks FG To Amend TETFUND Act

health, FG, TETFUND Act The Committee of Chief Executives of Tertiary Health Institutions, is calling on the Nigerian government to urgently amend the TETFUND Act of 2011, to accommodate Tertiary/Teaching Hospitals in terms of funding.

This is according to the Chairman of the committee, Dr Thomas Agan, who is also the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH).

Dr. Agan said: “It is possible that formulators of the Act were not sufficiently informed at the time. It is however not late to address this pathetic situation.

“The Act should be amended to incorporate Tertiary/teaching Hospitals.

He also suggested that section 7(1) sub-section 3 of the Act should read thus: “The distribution of the fund, shall be in the ratio of 2:1:5:1, between Universities, Tertiary Hospitals, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education”.

In a letter by the Chairman, to the House of Representatives Committee on Health Institutions, through the Federal Ministry of Health, the doctor said: “The Teaching/Tertiary Hospitals can be called the “workshop” of the Universities”.

This, according to him, is so because over 80% of all students graduating through any medical school of a university must have their training through the Teaching or Tertiary Hospital.

He wondered why the proponent of TETFUND did not consider it necessary to recognise Teaching/Tertiary Hospitals in Nigeria as Tertiary Institutions”.

Expatiating further, he said “a teaching hospital all over the world is considered both as a tertiary health institution as well as a tertiary training institution.

“The activities intrinsic in a teaching hospital are obvious and can therefore be ascertained.

“I therefore, with due respect, believe that either the original advocates of this noble idea of TETFUND did not consult widely, or they must have been engulfed in ignorance of the mandates of a teaching/tertiary hospital”.

Nigerian Army To Relax Movement Restriction In Northeast

Nigeria Army on movement restriction in NortheastThe Nigerian Army has announced plans to relax movement restriction in the north eastern states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe.

The plan was disclosed on Monday by the Director In Charge of Operations of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Bassey Etuk, during a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee on Army.

Brigadier General Etuk told the lawmakers that with the current success over the Boko Haram insurgents, it was possible to review and relax some restrictions placed on human and vehicular movements in some parts of the region.

The Chairman of the Committee, Riman Shawulu, in his opening remarks said that the meeting was convened to address issues raised by farmers in Yobe State on their inability to access Premium Motor Spirit ( PMS ) to power generating plants used in their farms.

Earlier The House of Representatives and the Nigerian Army disagreed over the continued closure of roads in some liberated towns in the nation’s northeast.

The lawmakers voiced their displeasure with the restriction during a meeting with the Theatre Commander of the counter-insurgency war tagged “Operation Lafiya Dole”, Major General Lucky Irabor.

The House Defence Committee had visited the theatre command in Maiduguri, Borno State’s capital.

The seven-man committee led by Honourable Aliyu Isa said that their visit was part of a resolution of the House to investigate repeated complaints and petitions by members of the public in the region.

Farmers/Herdsmen Clashes: Fact Finding Committee Visits Al-Makura

Orange MarketThe Fact Finding Committee from the Defence Headquarters has visited Governor Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State north central Nigeria on the incessant farmers/herdsmen clash in the region.

The Committee is constituted by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Abayomi Olonishakin, to investigate the causes of farmers/herdmen clashes in affected states and the way the military can come in .

According to the Chairman of the Committee, who is also the Director Of Communications, Defence Headquarters, Major General Edward Nze, the Defence Chief is worried about the turn the clash has taken and says it (Committee) is poised to co-ordinate the activities of security personnel to put an end to the menace.

The Governor who expressed appreciation for the visit believes that all stakeholders must participate in curbing the menace.

FG Says Payment For Civil Service Jobs’ Forms Is prohibited

House of Representatives in Nigeria on job seekersThe Nigerian government has proscribed any kind of payment for forms for civil service jobs, a government official said on Tuesday.

The Director for Legal Services and Prosecution from the Federal Character Commission, Oluwatosin Bodunde, gave the government’s position during a public hearing in the House of Representatives.

He had come to the House of Representative on a one-day public hearing focused on two resolutions of the House on extortion of employment seekers by government agencies’ recruitment firms and called for state of emergency and legislative intervention on the employment crisis in Nigeria.

Representatives of different Ministries, Department and Agencies were before the House of Representatives Committee on Labour, Employment and Productivity.

The Deputy Minority Whip of the House, Binta Bello, who declared the hearing open, said the number of the unemployed persons in Nigeria was a thing of concern.

The Chairman of the Committee, Onyewuchi Ezenwa, said some people were taking advantage of the situation to extort job seekers.

Lawmakers Work Towards Providing More Funding For EFCC

imo-state-house-of-asemblyThe House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes says it will work towards providing enough funds for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to enable the commission carry out its fight against corruption.

The Chairman of the Committee, Kayode Oladele, made this clear after the lawmakers visited the EFCC’s permanent site in Abuja on Wednesday.

Honourable Oladele said the National Assembly was ready to support the agency in any way they could.

The anti-graft war had heightened in Nigeria since President Muhammadu Buhari took over office in May, with the EFCC going after top government officials and government agencies’ bosses, in an attempt to recover stolen funds.

The President during his campaign said it was time to ‘kill corruption before it kills Nigeria’.

House Of Reps Begins Hearing On CCTV Contract

CCTVThe House of Representatives on Thursday began hearing on the failed contract for the installation of CCTV cameras in Abuja and Lagos.

At the hearing, the former Managing Director of the Nigeria Communication Satellite Ltd, Engineer Ahmed Rufai, placed the blame on the Federal Government for the failure of the $470 million National Public Security Communication Project.

Some of the agencies present at the hearing denied having any knowledge of the project or being involved in it.

The Chairman of the House committee investigating the CCTV contract, Ahmed Yerima, and the Chief Whip of the House, Garba Alhassan, spoke on the focus of the investigation.

According to report, the House had investigated the issue before in the 7th Assembly without coming out with a verdict.

The committee, however, gave the assurance that they would complete their own investigation as speedily as possible to ensure the project helps address the country’s security challenges.

NERC Denies 2.7bn Naira Severance Package

NERC Denies 2.7bn Naira Severance PackageThe Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has dismissed claims that it set aside 2.7 billion Naira as severance pay for its commissioners.

The NERC Chairman, Dr Sam Amadi, refuted the claims on Tuesday when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Power investigating the alleged plan by the commission to make the payment.

Declaring the public investigation open, the Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun, said there was an urgent need to address a lot of issues in the power sector.

The Chairman of the committee, Honourable Daniel Asuquo, listed some of the objectives of the hearing.

The committee is also probing the power sector to understand the challenges faced by major players in the sector and how the parliament can help address them.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, also made a brief appearance before the committee.

Also in attendance were representatives of regulatory agencies, electricity distribution companies and power generating companies.

The hearing is expected to continue on Wednesday.

Senate Will Confirm Amaechi As Minister Without PDP Senators – Ndume

NdumeThe Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, has said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) members in the Senate would ensure that the former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, scales through confirmation as Minister.

This is contrary to insinuations that the former governor might not be confirmed by senators when they resume plenary on Tuesday, October 27 due to the protest against Amaechi by PDP members in the upper chamber.

In an interview with Channels Television in Kaduna, Senator Ndume expressed displeasure with the tension being generated by the Rivers State chapter of the PDP over the nomination of Amaechi as minister, stating that despite all the protests and petitions, the former governor remained qualified to be confirmed as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

According to him, with the APC having the highest number of members in the Senate, the PDP cannot stop the Senate from confirming Amaechi or other nominees as ministers.

Senator Ndume also debunked reports of him being under pressure from the APC national leadership to resign his position as Majority Leader and allow Senator Ahmed Lawan to occupy the position.

Instead, he maintained that quitting his position was beyond him, as he could only do so if his colleagues from the North-East were on the same page with the position of the party’s leadership.