Nasarawa Ready To Access Loan From Federal Government

nasarawaThe Nasarawa State Government has already submitted an expression of interest to access the concessional loan granted to states facing financial discipline by the Federal Government.

Speaking to Channels Television, the State Commissioner of Finance, Dr. Dominic Bako, said that he was optimistic that the state would fulfil the 22 conditions given by the Federal Government.

He said that the state had already put to practice some of the conditions for a long time.

He added that the conditions were in the best interest of the state to prevent diversion of funds.

He guaranteed that in line with the vision of the Federal Government, the loan would be properly utilized.

Niger State Governor Wades Into Pandogari Crisis

Niger State, Abubakar Bello, Beji ElectrificationThe Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, has asked the people of Pandogori in Rafi Local government Area of Niger State to exercise restrain over the crisis that erupted in the community.

This call was contained in a statement by the spokesman for the Governor, Jibrin Baba Ndace.

The Governor advised residents of the community, the state and indeed the country to abstain from giving the incidence a religious or tribal coloration.

“It will be a disservice and an attempt to overheat the polity if the incidence in Pandogari is given religious or tribal colouration. We must exercise restraint in our actions as well as comments on traditional and online media. It is neither a religious or tribal crisis,” he stressed.

The Governor also expressed displeasure over the outcome of the incident, insisting that it was always better for various stakeholders to pursue the path of dialogue, consultation and peaceful resolution of any conflict, than resulting to violence.

“Pursuing the path of peace, dialogue is cheaper and safer than violence. Violence is a distraction and costly path in any society. That is why I always sue for peace in our communities across the state,” he stated.

Mr Bello emphasised that the State was known for peace and that the incidence in Pandogari was an isolated case of breakdown of law and order which security agencies had been directed to maintain law and order and to ensure protection of lives and property in line with their constitutional role.

“I have directed the security agencies to ensure that law and order is maintained within Pandogari and its environs. Any one person or group of persons found to be involved in any act capable of causing further crisis will be dealt with according to law,” he told reporters.

He said that the Niger State government had set up an investigative panel to establish immediate and remote causes of the crisis.

The Governor also directed top government officials to visit Pandogari for on the spot assessment of the crisis.

“I have directed Deputy Governor, Mr Mohammed Ahmed Ketso, Secretary to State Government, SSG, Alhaji Umar Shehu Danyaya, Commissioner of Finance, Mr Ibrahim Balarabe, Commissioner for Local Government, Mr Kabir Abbas, member , Niger State House of Assembly, representing the area, Danlami Bako to visit Pandogari today (Wednesday).

“Also to be part of the visit are Special Adviser Security, Brigadier General Imam rtd, Director General Niger State Emergency Management Agency, NSEMA, Mr Ibrahim Inga, Chairman Rafi Local government, Mr Gambo Abubakar Bojo, representative of Emir of Kagara, Galadima Kagara, Mr Abubakar Katako, representative of Brigade Commander, representative of Police Commissioner and other security agencies.

Governor Bello then assured Niger residents of his determination to ensure peace and security in the state and urged all stakeholders to support government’s resolve in that direction.

Agatu IDPs Seek Protection From Herdsmen, Scramble For Supplies

Agatu-IDPsInternally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the Agatu crisis, are asking the state government to beef up security at the Apa IDPs’ camp to prevent further attacks, amidst challenges of food shortage and lack of medical aids.

A traditional ruler in Apa Local Government Area, Mr John Anteyi, made the demand on behalf of the IDPs, whom he said were vulnerable to further attacks and lacking basic needs.

Responding to the rumoured attack on the IDPs’ camp in Apa by herdsmen, the state government represented by the Commissioner of Finance, David Olofu, said intelligence had been passed on to security agencies to act accordingly.

He assured the IDPs of immediate security response to the area for protection.

Last week, the Benue State Deputy Governor, Mr Benson Abounu, visited the IDPs’ camp in Apa with four Hilux trucks loaded with food items, but the supply ran out so fast due to the huge number of IDPs at the camp.

The lack of humanitarian aid to the IDPs also led to the food crisis.

The development prompted a retired Permanent Secretary from the Federal Ministry of Defence, Mr Mike Onoja, some Benue State Commissioners and the Otukpo Diocese of the Catholic Church to reach out to the IDPs.

Mr Onoja made a donation of 500,000 Naira while the commissioners and the Catholic Church handed over some food items to the camp manages.

The traditional ruler and the Catholic Bishop of Otukpo Diocese, Michael Apochi, said food and medical supplies were important, but security was the most pressing need at the camp.

While fighting and intense hostilities seem to be abating in Agatu, the herdsmen have turned attention to the Tiv land as Buruku, Logo and Kwande Local Government Areas have being attacked.

Former Benue Governor Suswam Invited By EFCC

suswamThe former Governor of Benue State, Mr Gabriel Suswam, has been invited by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Spokesperson of the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwajuren, confirmed this to Channels Television.

Mr Suswam arrived at the anti-graft agency’s office in Abuja on Monday morning at about 10AM to answer questions relating to alleged corruption in Benue State when he was Governor.

Mr Suswam joined several other past state governors under investigation by the EFCC for alleged corruption during their times.

The Commissioner of Finance under Mr Suswam was said to have also visited the agency’s office on related issue a week before his former boss.

Mr Suswam served two terms from 2007 to 2015.

Kwara Governor Takes Step To Improve State Finance, Youth Empowerment

The Kwara State Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed has expressed his readiness to promote skill acquisition and youth empowerment through issuing of loans to Kwarans for them to be self-reliant and employers of labour. 

Governor Ahmed made the disclosure while receiving the state dividends cheque as shareholder from the management of the KCMB micro-finance bank, Ilorin at government house, Ilorin.

He said the government deliberately took the decision to invest in KCMB micro-finance bank as a demonstration of its determination to improve on its finance and revenue base in order to meet the needs of the people.

He assured the management of the KCMB that the government would continue to support and partner with the bank in kind and cash to enable it give out loans that will promote youth empowerment and skill acquisition in the state.

He thanked the management of the bank for working up to the expectation of the government and urged them to sustain the tempo so as to achieve the purpose for which the bank was established.

The Chairman Board of Directors of the Bank and Commissioner of Finance,  Demola Banu had earlier at the end of the  annual general  meeting of the bank with shareholders announced that  the financial statement of the bank currently stood at twenty four million naira while the bank had distributed over one billion naira as loans to eleven thousand customers

Banu explained that since the establishment of the bank, the distribution of dividends to stakeholders was the first to be held by the bank and gave assurance that the bank would continue to partner with the state government especially on youth empowerment and skill acquisition schemes.

Some of the shareholders of the bank expressed satisfaction with the performance of the bank which they noted had improved the economic wellbeing of the poor in the society.