Supplementary Budget: Senate Asks Executive To Include Lagos-Calabar Rail Project

Nigerian-SenateThe Senate is asking the executive to include the disputed Lagos Calabar Rail project in a supplementary budget and forward it to the National Assembly.

Briefing journalists in Abuja, Senate Spokesman Aliyu Abubakar said the Senate is ready and willing to consider a supplementary budget from the executive which would include the rail project.

There’s been a back and forth between the executive and the National Assembly over allegations that a 60 billion naira Lagos Calabar Rail Project was removed from the 2016 Budget.

The Ministry of Budget And Planning had come out with its position on the controversies surrounding the 2016 budget.

The ministry in a statement said the President is yet to take a position on the budget after receiving details from the National Assembly on April 7.

On the controversial Calabar-Lagos rail project, the ministry confirmed that there were indeed some errors in the initial budget proposal sent to the National Assembly by the President in December.

The statement, however, added that the errors were corrected, submitted and subsequently accepted by the relevant committees of the National Assembly.

The statement read in part, “It must be emphasized that the two rail projects are part of those for which the President is currently negotiating funding with the Chinese government.

“The 60 billion Naira provided in the budget for the Lagos – Kano and Calabar – Lagos rail lines, respectively, is counterpart funding, to support the Chinese financing for the projects.

“These projects are part of the strategic implementation plan of the government which was disclosed by the Minister of Budget and National Planning at The National Economic Council retreat in March 2016, in the presence of state governors.”

The statement added that it was the corrected version that was defended by the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and his team.

Obasanjo Prays For Continuous Peace In Nigeria

olusegun obasanjoA former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has joined other Nigerians at a church service held at the Chapel of Christ the Glorious King in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, to mark the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

The former president, while praying at the occasion, prayed for continuous peace and unity in the land.

He also asked that the message of love and salvation embedded in the celebration, should be made to reflect on citizens’ daily activities.

Giving a road map of what ought to be done to reduce the effects of the hard times the Federal Government asked Nigerians to brace up for, the former president challenged all arms of government and Nigerians in general to make the necessary sacrifices to ensure economic recovery and growth in the coming year.

“I believe that the government has tried to let us know what the situation is likely to be, but I believe that we have done it before, we have had downs in our economy before, we have risen again, we have made money, we have squandered it and we must now know, if we are sensible at all, that there must be an end to squandering – squandamania. That is the first thing by everybody.

“I still believe that there are still areas of government that are not serious enough to make us feel that what is being said is something that will concern all of us.

“It will be very difficult for the people of this country to see that certain arms of government are living in luxury while the government is asking some of the ordinary people to continue to make sacrifice.

“I believe that all arms of government; the executive, legislative, judiciary, parastatals and indeed, the private sector should realise that if they are going to shorten the time of this hardship or have any cushioning effect for the ordinary people, there will have to be sacrifice made by those who have to make more sacrifice,” he said.

Plateau Assembly Members Get Certificate Of Return

inec presents certificate of return to Plateau members of the house of assembly Elected members to the Plateau state House of Assembly have been presented their Certificates of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Members representing Riyom constituency assured of adequate representation of the people towards a better and developed state.

The Eighth Assembly in the state will be having only three members returning to the house, a situation which makes 21 of the legislatures to be new members of the Assembly which can slow down legislative functions as observed by a Former Speaker of the House.

Meanwhile, the Governor-elect in the state has promised to run a collective government without discrimination on the basis of ethnic, religious or political affiliation, in the interest of the state.

Buhari To Revisit NNPC’s ‘Missing’ 20bln Dollars

20billionNigeria’s President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, says that his administration would revisit the allegation made by the former CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido, that about 20billion dollars oil revenue was not remitted into the federation account.

Retired General Buhari stated this while receiving delegates from Adamawa State.

The President-elect, who spoke in Hausa language at the meeting, said that 20billion dollars is too huge a sum to ignore and must be investigated.

Retired General Buhari also said that the All Progressives Congress, APC, has drawn up a road map to address the issues of insecurity, youth unemployment and corruption in the country.

Sanusi had told the Senate Committee probing the allegation of unremitted funds, that the NNPC shipped 67billion dollars in crude and only 47 billion dollars had come back to the Federation.

The then CBN Governor insisted that the NNPC had to proof where the 20billion dollars was.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, at the time dismissed the allegation, calling it baseless.

A forensic audit was also conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) on the alleged missing 20billion dollars, the report of which the Group Managing Director of the NNPC said did not indict the corporation in anyway.

Fashola Asks Civil Servants To Vote Wisely

civil servantThe Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, met with civil servants in the state on Thursday, ahead of the 2015 general elections.

Governor Fashola told them to cast their votes wisely, in order to enjoy the dividend of democracy.

The Governor also reminded the civil servants of what he termed “experience”’ in Lagos State, which he said had been that of good partnership between the civil servants and the Executive.

The presidential elections is in less than 28 hours and all efforts are being made to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

Campaigns have ended in Nigeria, with the electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission on the other hand doing all it can to ensure a hitch free exercise.

Missing $20b: Reps Issues FG One Week Ultimatum To Submit Forensic Audit Report

missing $20bnThe House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has given the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, and the Auditor General of the Federation, Mr Samuel Tokura, a one week ultimatum to forward the report of forensic audit on the alleged missing $20bn oil funds by the PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC ) to the house or risk sanctions.

Chairman of the Committee, Solomon Adeola said this in the National Assembly, while speaking with journalists.

The lawmaker said despite several demands made to the executive and a resolution of the House passed demanding the full report of the forensic audit, the report has not been given to the legislature.

The House of Representatives had earlier asked the Presidency to tender the full report of the forensic audit conducted by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC) on the alleged missing $20bn NNPC fund.

A motion raised by Femi Gbajabiamila said that more than eight months after the Federal Government engaged the international audit firm, and over two weeks after formal presentation of the forensic report, the Federal Government is yet to present the full details.

Governor Abdulfatah Assures Civil Servants Of Job Security If Re-elected

governorThe Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has assured civil servants that his government would not retrench workers if re-elected, despite dwindling federal allocation.

While addressing workers at an interactive forum jointly organised by Trade Union Congress and Nigerian Labour Congress, Governor Ahmed noted that the state fund would continue to be used judiciously for the development of the state.

The hall was filled with workers of different cadre who came to listen to the governor, especially on what he would do for workers if re elected.

On whether his government would sack workers or demote them based on the dwindling federal revenue, the governor noted that reducing the staff strength is not the solution, but proper planning of the economy.

Governor Ahmed added that serious attention would be given in managing the resources of the state to cater for the needs of the people. The governor also urged collaboration between the three tiers of government for the benefit of the people.

At the end of the interactive forum, some of the people described the presentations of the governor as an eye opener.

The third part of the interactive session would take place next week.

Adamawa Governor Impeached, Speaker Is Acting Governor

nyakoThe Adamawa State House of Assembly’s speaker, Umaru Fintiri, has been sworn-in as the Acting Governor after the House impeached the state governor, Murtala Nyako, on allegations of financial impropriety against him and his deputy, Bala Ngilari.

The governor was impeached on Tuesday by the lawmakers after reviewing the report of a panel of inquiry set up to investigate the allegations against him and his deputy.

Earlier, the state Deputy Governor, Bala Ngilari, resigned from office to avoid being impeached.

Mr Ngilari’s resignation letter was read at plenary by the speaker of the Assembly, Umaru Fintiri, after which the lawmakers approved it.

The seven man panel, chaired by Mr Bala Kaigama, who submitted the report to the speaker, observed that the panel encountered initial problem of having a venue for sitting but eventually overcame the challenge and produced four volumes of the report on allegations levelled against the governor and the deputy.

Both the governor and the deputy did not appear before the panel, but it continued with the investigation.

Receiving the report, the Speaker of the House, Honourable Umaru Fintiri, assured the panel that the report would be given appropriate attention, considering the importance of the panel in shaping democracy in Nigeria and the state in particular.

One of the accused, the deputy governor, had expressed concern on the procedure that led to the establishment of the panel, citing it as his reason for not appearing before the panel to defend himself on allegations of improper conduct against him.

Impeachment Rumour Will Not Distract Governor Al-Makura- Aide

vlcsnap-2014-07-12-16h15m41s186The Special Adviser on Public Affairs to Nasarawa State Governor, Mr Abdulhammid Kwarra, has described the ongoing impeachment saga involving the governor as “a mere allegation”.

Speaking on Channel Television’s Saturday breakfast programme, Sunrise, Kwarra stated that the rumour of the House of Assembly getting rid of the governor is untrue.

“We do not have a specific issue being mentioned as contentious between the executive and legislature, it is not on record in the State Assembly over any attempt to impeach the Governor.

“The so called allegation over the removal of the Governor does not deter the governor’s determination to be constructive in ruling the state, we see it as a distraction and my governor has never yielded to this distraction, he is very focused to accomplish the test of his own mandate,” he said.

Speaking alongside, the governor’s aide was the Defence Correspondent of Blueprint Newspaper, Jibrin Baba Ndace, who was of the opinion that the issue of stability and good governance should be looked beyond Nassarawa State.

He accused Mr Kwarra of being ignorant of the House of Assembly’s threat to impeach the Governor, insisting that it is in all “Social Media”.

He further claimed that major newspapers and online blogs published the alleged impeachment plot by the State House of Assembly members.

“It was stated in reports (online and print media) that a meeting was held in Abuja by some members of House of Assembly to impeach the Governor”, he said.

He further indicated that the military poses lesser threat to the development of democracy than politicians, who are saddled with the responsibility of developing the state.

“The action and inaction of our politicians is a threat to how our security forces perform their duties, what they say and do not say” he added, insisting that “party politics” also contributes to the major problems in the State.

Last month, Pioneer Chairman of defunct CPC, Mohammed El-Yakub, threatened legal action against the state Governor, Tanko Al-Makura, over the alleged embezzlement of the state’s internally generated revenue.


National Assembly’s Score Not In Tandem with Nigerians

The self-assessment of the National Assembly might not be in tandem with Nigerians as the parliament is always embroiled in controversies during the time under review and Nigerians are not pleased about this.

This is according to Chike Chude, a public analyst who was a guest on our breakfast show Sunrise Daily which focused on the National Assembly’s midterm report.

“All the organs of government has given itself pass mark, the judiciary has fared well, the executive have done wonderfully well from what they say and the legislature. So you ask yourself why are things not working and then most importantly, why are Nigerians not happy with their institutions” he asked.

Chude further claimed that President Goodluck Jonathan walked into his own trap by assessing his own administration himself and giving it a pass mark.

“I think the President emphasized on that when he was talking about his own scorecard and talked about the need not to run away from being subjective and of course, he also walked into his own trap by assessing his own administration by giving it a pass mark which is subjective. And that is also what you have seen on the floor of the National Assembly by assessing themselves so well.”

Committee Will Work With Executive On Privatised Assets– Sen. Olugbenga

The Senate Committee on Privatisation is looking at ways it can work with the executive arm of government to make sure that all the privatised enterprises are taken through international standards best practiced.

This is the information conveyed by Senator Olugbenga Obadara;  the Chairman Senate Committee on Privatisation, while he was guest on Business programme Business Morning live from the Abuja studios.

The Federal Government has come under so much pressure when it comes to the way the disposition of government’s assets which in the view of some Nigerians would be better managed by entrepreneurs or the private sector.

The senator said the senate committee on privatisation is making sure that due diligence are being taken and rules be adhered to thoroughly, as this will make sure the nation is not short-changed in anyway.

Watch complete interview for more details.

Government plans to increase spending by 5 per cent

Data and information analyst Babajide Ogunsanwo said from his observation of the 2013 budget compared to the 2012 budget government is planning to increase expenditure by 5% as the 2013 budget increased to N4.9 trillion to the 2012 budget of N4.7 trillion.

He gave an analysis that if the government is spending N4.7 trillion in 2012 and is planning to spend N4.9 trillion in 2013 and if you adjust those numbers for inflation you get to find that an expected growth of 5% on one hand and an inflation of about 12% on the hand.

Watch complete interview below.