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.

Xenophobia: Nigeria Asks South Africa To Protect Foreigners

South Africans Attack Foreign Nationals In PretoriaNigeria has appealed to the South African Government to take every step necessary to protect its citizens in the face of renewed wave of xenophobic attacks in the country.

The call was made by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mrs Khadijat Bukar Abba, at a news conference in Abuja.

Mrs Abba urged Nigerians to be calm while assuring them that the government was taking steps to address the matter.

The appeal followed the protest by Nigerian students at the premises of some South African businesses in the Federal Capital Territory.

Earlier in response to a summon, South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Lulu Mnguni, briefed the Foreign Affairs Ministry on what was being done by his country to stop the attacks.

The Nigerian community in South Africa had confirmed the attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West in South Africa.

The group, led by Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, said that they had reported the incident to the Nigeria Mission and South African Police.

The Senior Special Assistant to Nigeria’s President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in a statement described the attacks as an unnecessary setback.

She advised Nigerians to be extra cautious, saying it appears the South African Government seems to have no control over the attacks.

House Cmtte’ Blames FG For Xenophobic Attacks On Nigerians

House of Representatives, JudiciaryThe House of Representative Committee on Diaspora has criticised the Federal Government for failing to stem the attacks on Nigerians living abroad.

The Chairperson of the Committee, Rita Orji, stated this on Monday while speaking to journalists at the National Assembly on the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

She said the failure of the Federal Government to address previous attacks of Nigerians in South Africa was responsible for the incessant killings of Nigerians abroad.

The lawmaker recounted some of the killings of Nigerians in South Africa, Libya and other countries, claiming that the committee had investigated some of the cases and sent a report to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with no visible action taken.

Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant to Nigeria’s President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in a statement said the Nigerian community in South Africa confirmed the attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West on Saturday.

The group, led by Mr Ikechukwu Anyene, said that they had reported the incident to the Nigeria Mission and South African Police.

Honourable Dabiri-Erewa described the attacks as an unnecessary setback and advised Nigerians to be extra cautious, saying it appears the South African Government seems to have no control over the attacks.

She also urged the African Union to intervene urgently in the renewed xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

“We have lost about 116 Nigerians in the last two years and in 2016 alone, about 20 were killed.

“This is unacceptable to the people and Government of Nigeria,” the Presidential aide said.

Fashola Calls For Caution Over Expenditure Of Road Funds

Fashola, road fundsThe Minister of Works, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has called for caution in the setting up of a national roads fund.

This according to him, is especially as it has to do with collecting taxes for the proposed road fund.

The minister made this appeal during the public hearing on two bills that seek to establish the national roads fund, which will house funds for the development and maintenance of national roads.

The minister also called attention to the fact that local governments have the largest road networks and that there is need to ensure that local governments get more funds.

This follows a statement by House Of Representative member, Okechukwu, who on Sunday, said the objective of the National Roads Fund Bill include: to establish the National Roads Fund which will serve as repository for revenues accruing from road user related charges and other sources for financing the development, rehabilitation, maintenance and other activities related to the provision of national roads.

The bill is also to establish the national roads fund board , which would be responsible for the management of the roads fund, in accordance with the provisions of the act, while promoting sustainable development and operation of the road sector in Nigeria.

Another bill to be considered is the federal road fund bill, which seeks to establish the federal road fund to be a pool of dedicated funds that would finance the maintenance of federal roads in Nigeria and promote the sustainable development and operation of road networks across the country.

Also expected to be engaged by the committee on works, chaired by Rep. Toby Okechukwu, are the Ministers Of Budget And National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister Of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu and the Attorney General of the Federation as well as Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami.

With various on-going re-habilitation projects, the federal government says it has so far spent over 73 billion Naira on road projects across the country.

Reps Demand Framework For N500 Billion Naira Social Intervention Fund

House of Representatives, social intervention fund, RepsThe House of Representatives demanded framework and details of 500 billion naira social intervention fund on Thursday in Abuja.

The legislators had directed a joint committee to ensure that the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Social Protection Programmes makes available the framework.

The motion resulted to a heated debate among lawmakers.

While some members supported the bill and sought that the Federal Government stop further disbursements of the fund, other lawmakers however opposed calls for the programme to be stopped.

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.

Wada Confident Of PDP’s Victory In Kogi Governorship Election

wadaThe Kogi State Governor, Idris Wada, says the repositioning and reorganisation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, have empower the PDP to win the forthcoming governorship election.

Wada made the statement in an interview with Channels Television in Lokoja, the capital of the state, during the State Congress election on Friday.

He said his party was on a systematic and steady path for a successful governorship election on November 21.

Delegates of the PDP sat in order of their constituency at the Lokoja Township Stadium to vote a candidate of their choice amidst tight security to forestall any disruption.

The election would give the delegates opportunity to elect leaders that would pilot the party’s activities before and after the governorship election.

The State Congress had been long awaited by the members.

Governor Wada in his speech, urged the delegates to be law abiding and maintain peace during the congress so that leaders, who would build a stronger party, could be elected for the forthcoming election.

At the end of the speech, the Chairman Electoral Committee for the congress, Olisah Metuh sorted out the ballot papers for voting.

The Chairman told the delegates to avoid clustering together or threatening to cancel the election while voting was on.

The statement did not go well with the delegates, as they all reacted negatively.

The Kogi State Governor, however, appealed to them and a new voting system was later introduced and saw the voting to a conclusion.

Mr Metuh, who spoke to reporters, said his action was geared towards a transparent and credible election.

While Honorable Tajudeen Yusuf, a member of the House of Representatives, said the chairman’s decision was in order, Governor Wada said the process of the election was transparent, noting that the PDP in the state was stronger and ready for the governorship election.

Done with voting and counting, Mr Metuh announced the names of the winners.

Mr Sam Otua from Central Senatorial District, won as the State Chairman while Mr Samuel Abenemi from the Western Senatorial District, emerged as the Deputy Chairman.

Retired Health Workers In Kogi Appeal To FG To Harmonize Pension

health workersThe retired health workers in Kogi State have appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan; Senate President, David Mark, and Speaker Aminu Tambuwal of the House of Representatives to prevail on the State Governor, Idris Wada, to assist in harmonizing their pension with the new salary structure, the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) to enable them meet the present economic realities.

Speaking with journalist in Lokoja the state capital, Chairperson of the group, Dr Onimisi Smith, said that the harmonization would put them on same CONHESS with those who retired recently from the service.

The health workers of the Kogi State Civil Service had been on strike in the last three months demanding from government 100% payment of their CONHESS, payment of accumulated leave bonus and salaries, and to implement 2011 to 2013 promotion.

They held placards reading different inscriptions, chanting solidarity songs as they walked down to the NUJ press center demanding government to harmonize their pension as their current earning is no longer acceptable to them.

The health workers said that they had served the State Government for 35 years in the health sector and still earn below their expectation.

They further stated that they had cried to the government through various means but got no response which led to protest.

The Secretary of the Association, Mr Simon Mesole, who retired in 2006 and still earns 30,000 naira, spoke to Channels Television.

Mr Mesole has been critically ill and admitted at the Federal Medical Center (FMC), Lokoja where he is undergoing dialysis, he wept as he recounted his present predicament, appealing to the Governor to harmonize their salaries.

The State Head of Service, Dr Moses Atakpa, in his reaction, explained the process taken before salaries are harmonized but promised that despite the dwindling allocation coming to the state, government would look into their plights and take necessary action.

Governor Gaidam Swears In 2015 Election Team To Actualise Return Bid

Ibrahim_GaidamThe Yobe State Governor, Mr Ibrahim Gaidam, has inaugurated a committee that will work out strategies that will ensure his return to office during the 2015 general elections.

Chaired by a grass root mobiliser and House of Representative hopeful, Sidi Karasuwa, the governor said the choice of Sidi Karasuwa was based on his track records in mobilising and galvanising the electorate towards ensuring victory for the All Progressives Congress (APC) at all levels.

Inaugurating the committee at the Government House in Damaturu, Governor Gaidam said the appointment and subsequent inauguration of the committee was sequel to his recent endorsement by APC delegates in the state as the sole governorship candidate and stressed that campaign of such magnitude needed collective efforts towards achieving the desired success.

He described the chairman and members of the committee as people with vision, dignity, proven integrity and confidence and expresses optimism that APC would record huge success in the forthcoming general elections.

“His ability to Marshall Men and resources to achieve results has recommended him once again to lead my 2015 campaign organisation. I have immense pleasure to announce the appointment of Hon. Sidi Karasuwa, popularly known as “GUGUWA FASA LAIMA” as the Director General of Ibrahim Gaidam 2015 Campaign Organisation. I congratulate him and remind him that we have high expectations of him and his team to do more in 2015 and surpass previous records” the governor said

He listed the terms of reference of the committee to include; map out calendar for events of the campaigns, address problems promptly and proffer immediate solutions, organise fund raising and maintain the campaign financial accounts among others as well as strategist measures that will ensure the success of the APC at all elections.

Mr Ibrahim Gaidam also asked the committee to make the best use of the social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google and the YouTube in publicising their activities.

The convener of the inauguration, who is also the Secretary to the Yobe State Government, Mr Baba Goni Machina, described the choice of Mr Sidi Karasuwa among other members of the committee as excellent choice and said their efforts resulted to the landslide victory recorded during the 2011 General Elections.

He expressed optimism that with the support and cooperation of the Governor and well-meaning people of the state, the committee would perform more than what it did in the previous elections.

In his speech, the Director General of the campaign organisation Mr Karasuwa said that with the current political situation in the country, the team decided to tag the 2015 campaign as “Operation Win Your Local Government”.

While commending the governor for having confidence in them, the Director General also told party loyalists to remain watchful on the activities of the opposition in the state particularly on rigging policies.

Court Places Clause On Lawmakers’ Investigation Of Diezani

PowerA Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, has set aside the letter of invitation issued by the House of Representatives to the Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke, to appear before the House to account for the 10 billion Naira allegedly spent by her on a private aircraft charter .

The court voided the invitation by the House on the ground that condition precedent in line with section 88 of the constitution were bridged by the lawmakers

The condition were that the House has to publish in the National Assembly journal and the gazette of the Federal Government the resolution directing the probe of the minister.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed, in the judgment, held that until the conditions precedent are followed ,the National Assembly cannot issue summon on any public officer for the purpose of investigation.

However, the court ruled that in the instant case, the permission of the President was not needed before the Minister could appear before the House, because the allegation against the Minister was on unofficial use of public fund to charter private aircraft .

The court, however, advised the minister or any public officer to always honour invitations once the conditions precedence are followed because the National Assembly has power to summon any public officer.

Lawmakers Urge Sport Minister, Sports Commission To Resolve NFF Crisis

House-of-Rep-The House of Representatives has urged the minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission to resolve the crisis in the Nigeria Football Federation which led to its suspension by world football governing body, FIFA.

The Aminu Tambuwal led House of representatives, on Wednesday, specifically told the minister and the Director General of the NSC, Gbenga Elegbeleye to meet with those involved in the dispute to save Nigeria from further sanctions by FIFA.

Mr Muhammad Ali-Wudil, a lawmaker from Kano State, who raised the issue during plenary, asked the House to urge the Minister of Sports and the DG, National Sports Commission, to as a matter of urgency, summon all the parties involved with a view to resolving the matter to avoid the suspension lingering.

Ali-Wudil recalled that FIFA had extended the earlier deadline of July 15 to July 17 to give Nigeria more time to reverse the court judgement that sacked the Aminu Maigari-led board of the NFF.

With just 24 hours to the expiration of the deadline, the House expressed hope that inviting the parties to iron out their differences could possibly lead to the withdrawal of court cases already filed by some of them.

Ali-Wudil’s motion read: “The House regrets that the decision, if not reversed, will mean that no teams or club sides from Nigeria can have any international sporting contact with teams or club sides from any other country.

“The House is worried that the suspension will deprive Nigeria of representation in any regional, continental or international competitions.

“Aware that the immediate result of the suspension is that Nigeria will no longer participate in the upcoming FIFA U-20 Women World Cup coming up in Canada between August 5 and 24 if the suspension order is not lifted by July 17.

“The House is also worried that neither the NFF nor any of its members or officials will benefit from any FIFA or Confederation of African Football development programmes, including courses and training programmes during the the period of the suspension”.

The lawmakers are concerned about the adverse effects the suspension could have on the careers of Nigerian footballers and the consequent loss by the nation generally.

FIFA had suspended Nigeria from football activities on July 9, for what the World Football governing body termed as government’s interference in the affairs of the NFF


Prepare To Vacate Your Seat- PDP Alerts Remi Tinubu

remi tunubu The Lagos State Chapter of the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) has vowed to stop the return of Senator Oluremi Tinubu to the Senatorial district, cautioning the Senator to stop her “unparliamentary, unpatriotic and inexperience manner of carrying out ordinary legislative functions and privileges”.

The Party’s stance is on the heels of reports of two interviews allegedly granted in two different National Newspapers, wherein Senator Tinubu “disparaged the Senate as nonentity and also described the hallowed Chamber as not befitting enough of her likes to return!”.

The said interviews were brought on the floor of the Senate, by Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba.

The PDP, in statement by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary, Mr Taofik Gani, noted that the Senate has “asked the committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to investigate the Lagos central Senator following her statement that except the All Progressives Congress (APC) becomes the majority, she has had her fill in the senatorial seat and adding that the Senate has failed Nigerians”.

The party also noted that the Senate Majority Leader warned “Senator Tinubu to stop disgracing the State by her unparliamentary, unpatriotic and inexperienced manner of carrying out ordinary legislative functions and privileges”.

The PDP also vowed that “unless the Senator is lucky to escape reprimand by the Senate, it shall mobilise voters in Lagos Central Senatorial District to invoke section 69 of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution. The said section talks about Powers and Processes to recall a Senator or Member of the House of Representatives.

“First, we want to re-assure Senator Remi Tinubu that indeed she has had her Fill in the Senate and can never return to the Senate in 2015, at least not as a Lagos Senator.

“As a matter of urgency, her completing this present term is hanging and imbalance. Unless she is lucky to scale through the senate and be cleared by the Senate committee asked to investigate her, we shall mobilise voters from her Senatorial District to commence the process of her recall as allowed under Section 69 of our Constitution.

“Lagosians are now too embarrassed by the ignoble actions of this APC Senator who we expected would be a fast learner and graduate from being a rookie Senator to an experienced Senator.

“Indeed, we do recognise her Right of freedom of expression, however, she ought to exercise same within the Rules of the Senate. Persistently making same mistakes shows that she is either Treacherous or inexperienced, consequently Unfit to remain in the Senate” the party said.