Senate Accuses EFCC Of Abuse Of Service Wide Votes

Senate Spokesman Confirms Receipt Of Letter From BuhariThe Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crime has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), of abusing the process of getting funds from the Service-Wide Votes.

Appearing before the Senate Committee to defend his agency’s 2017 budget, Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, told the lawmakers that the EFCC approached the presidency and secured an additional 1.8 billion Naira from the Service-Wide Votes.

The Committee Chairman, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, however expressed displeasure at the EFCC for failing to inform lawmakers of the extra budgetary allocation.

The EFCC is presenting a budget proposal of 17.2 billion Naira for 2017, representing an 8.5% decrease from that of 2016.

Kogi Govt. Uncovers 18,471 Ghost Workers

Kogi Govt. Uncovers 18,471 Ghost WorkersKogi state government has uncovered 18,471 ghost workers and unintended beneficiaries in the state civil service and pension.

The Staff Review and Complaint Committee Chairman, Yakubu Okala, stated this during the reading of the final screening report in Lokoja the state capital.

He noted that the unintended beneficiaries have gulped over 2.6 billion Naira from the state government every month.

Judges, members of the state legislative arm of government, top government functionaries, staffs of agencies and parastatals, organised labour, APC members and supporters, all attended the official presentation of the final screening report at the glass hall of the government house.

While submitting the report to Governor Bello for implementation, the audience were all amazed as the committee chairman read out their findings.

Mr Okala also noted that his committee discovered quite a number of minors in the state and local government pay rolls, while some were earning double salaries from the state government’s pause.

Governor Bello commended the committee for a work well done and promised to implement all the committee’s recommendation.

He also promised to engage those who would no longer be included in the state pay roll.

The committee was set up on July 26, 2016 by Governor Yahaya Bello to look into what was described as a shoddy work earlier done by the General Okutimo (Rtd) and Dr. Jerry Agbaji committees.

They had the mandate to come up with a recommendation that would “re-position the state civil service and public service for optimal performance.

“To subject to scrutiny the list of staff that have been adjudged, identified and authenticated by the screening and verification committee.

“To receive complaints from staff and determine the genuineness or otherwise of their complaints to determine and set out criteria for accessing thoroughness among others.”

Obaseki To Present Edo State’s 2017 Budget On Monday

Godwin Obaseki To Present Edo State's 2017 Budget On MondayEdo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki will on Monday present the 2017 budget appropriation bill to the state House of Assembly for consideration.

The Chairman, House Committee on Budget Appropriation, Damian Lawani, revealed this to newsmen after a meeting of the Executive and Legislative Joint Committee at the weekend in Benin.

He said the proposed Monday’s budget presentation followed the agreement by Executive and Legislative Joint Committee on the Edo State 2017 budget, after all grey areas had been captured.

Lawani said that the meeting became necessary to ensure that all the good intentions of the new administration is properly captured before presentation.

“You are aware that Mr. Governor wrote a letter to us last week intending to present the budget on Friday, but going through the budget, we saw the need for us – executive and legislative arms of government to meet and finalize the details of the appropriation bill before presentation on Monday.

“There are areas in the appropriation bill that need to be touched. That is why both teams are here to put finishing touches to the budget. By Monday we should be ready for presentation,” Lawani said.

Extortion From IDPs Despicable And Inhumane – Humanitarian Committee

Humanitarian committee, IDP'sThe Senate ad-hoc committee on humanitarian crisis, led by Senator Shehu Sani, has described as inhumane and despicable, the alleged extortion of materials from IDP camps.

Senator Shehu Sani said this during his visit to Yobe state, while performing the committee’s assignment.

While in the state, the team was received by the Deputy Governor, Abubakar Aliyu, who stood in for the Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam.

Addressing the Deputy Governor, on their mission to the state, Mr Sani expressed concern that some persons were profiting from the tragedy and unfortunate situation of the IDPs as an opportunity to enrich themselves.

“We have seen exaggerated reports and corruption of industrial scales, in the name of IDPs and sometimes, your name as government and institution is being used.

“It is inhumane and despicable that individuals see this as an opportunity for themselves and so surprisingly, many of you that hold positions of power at the state level are not accessible to even know and don’t have even the knowledge of the kind of money that is being pumped from the federal site”, he said.

He revealed that the committee would visit the IDP camps in the state to see for themselves the situation of the displaced, which would help them during the public hearing that will be organized much later after the tour.

He said: “We are here within this very short period of time to go round and have a practical knowledge of what is there on ground and to listen to you with a view of going back to the National Assembly to conduct a public hearing and invite those persons that are concerned to do what we need to do”.

Mr Sani, while also observing that there is corruption at monumental scale in handling the IDP issues, stated that “whoever is involved will surely be prosecuted”.

According to the Governor, the crisis became serious in 2011 and affected 12 local government areas with Gujba and Gulani, worst hit by the insurgency.

He, however, said that despite the destruction caused to the state by the insurgents, “the administration in the state, has since commenced the rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement process”

yobe-idp2

Listing some of the activities involved, he mentioned the reconstruction of the Katarko bridge and the Damaturu- Buniyadi-Magza road.

“The challenges before us have now been how to effectively address the humanitarian crisis and further facilitate the recovery of the victims, before full scale reconstruction of the affected areas.

“In order to manage the situation and implement our planned programme for the resettlement, reconstruction and rehabilitation, a high powered committee under his excellency, the Deputy Governor Abubakar D Aliyu, has been set up,” the Governor said.

Furthermore, he mentioned that the the committee had spent millions of Naira in the restoration of water and health facilities, in addition to supply of food and essential non-food items to the returning communities and the IDPs.

The committee later visited the Pompomari IDP camp, located in Damaturu, the state capital, where they went to find out about the mode of feeding, water supply and health facilities as well as the general wellbeing of the people.

Gbajabiamila Group Walks Out Of APC Lawmakers Meeting

Femi-GbajabiamilaSome members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House of Representatives loyal to the Majority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, walked out of the party’s caucus meeting on Tuesday.

The action brought another twist to the crisis over the composition of committee chairmen in the House, as the lawmakers alleged that there was a plot to remove Mr Gbajabiamila from his position.

According to a lawmaker, Mustapha Dawaki, the meeting was to discuss a news conference held by some members of the House the day before.

At the press conference the organisers said that the distribution of the committee was not acceptable and that they were speaking on behalf of the APC caucus.

But Mr Dawaki dismissed their claims.

“The statement attributed to the APC caucus is not in the interest of the APC caucus. Two people out of over 200 cannot come and speak on behalf of the APC caucus,” Mr Dawaki said.

“We Get Along”

One of the lawmakers that left the meeting on Tuesday, Honourable Ahmed Kaita, also said that the Speaker, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, had gone against the wishes of the party.

“Yesterday [Monday] while we were having a meeting at the National headquarters of the party, texts messages were flying by the same group of people that do not want the APC to succeed in this House… that Gbajabiamila is going to be removed today and they actually planned it.

“We came and they could not do anything. We have the majority and as long as this House is going to be dictated by the Peoples Democratic Party, we will resist it,” Honourable Kaita said.

Addressing reporters on the issue, the Majority Leader, however, said there was no issues between him and the Speaker.

“The Speaker and I have no issues. We get along. If those that claim they are with the Speaker and those who claim they are with me have issues among themselves, it is for the speaker and I to resolve these issues for them and not for us because we have no issues,” Mr Gbajabiamila said.

“Nigerians Are Tired”

Ado Dogowa
Chief Whip of the House of Representatives, Ado Dogowa says the House’s leadership has no crack

The Chief Whip of the House, Ado Dogowa, also denied any plot to remove the Majority Leader, saying the leadership of the House is united.

“The leadership has no crack as far as we are concerned.

“As I am talking to you, Honourable Dogara and the leader of the House is in the same room in the office of the Speaker discussing and trying to see how we can move ahead. Nigerians are tired of this waiting,” Mr Dogowa explained.

“Any speculation made that there is a plot to remove the Majority Leader is unfounded and it is not from the APC,” he said.