Osun Assembly Cautions MDAs To Stop Spending Unapproved Money

Osun Assembly Cautions MDAs To Stop Spending Unapproved MoneyThe Osun House of Assembly has warned Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) in the state against extra budgetary spending.

 

The House Committee Chairman on Finance and Appropriation, Mr Kamil Oyedele, gave the warning when the management of the State Ministry of Information, Home Affairs, Tourism and Culture appeared to defend its N435 million budget for 2017.

Oyedele, who noted that many of the MDAs were in the habit of spending unapproved money, said the Assembly would no longer accept such action.

He said that any head of MDAs caught spending unapproved money, would be handed over to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC).

Kamil said Section 32 of the state’s Appropriation Law clearly states that no money should be spent outside the amount approved in the budget.

He said in line with Section 224 and 225 ICPC, spending unapproved government money was an offence.

According to Kamil, spending money not approved by the Assembly is criminal, adding that MDAs should always inform the Assembly for approval for extra money for developmental projects.

Kamil urged the MDAs to familiarise themselves with the public procurement law recently passed by the Assembly to guide them on government spending.

Also speaking, the House Committee Chairman on Information and Strategy, Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, urged MDAs to support government drive to improve Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Oyintiloye said government needed improved revenue to meet the yearning of the people.

He also charged the Ministry to engage in proper dissemination of government activities.

The House Committee Chairman on Environment, Mr Ajibola Akinloye, frowned at poor services been rendered by the State Fire Service which is under the Ministry.

Akinloye said that there had been complaint of slow response of the fire fighters to fire outbreaks in the state, adding that such attitude was not good for the state.

In her response, the Coordinating Director of the Ministry, Mrs Webster Esho, said that they would continue to do their best in the proper dissemination of government activities.

On the poor response of the fire service to fire disasters in the state, Esho said that lack of personnel and necessary facilities were the major challenge.

Management of State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC) and Reality Radio Vision Services also appeared before the committee.

While OSBC presented N658 million budget for 2017, Reality Radio Vision Services budget was N133 million for the year.

Lagos Defends Action On Oshodi Demolition

oshodiThe Lagos State government has come out boldly to defend its action in the demolition of Owonifari market in Oshodi, insisting that the action was taken in the overall interest of public good, safety and security.

The state government made its position known at a joint press briefing addressed by the state’s Ministries of Information and Strategy, The Environment, Physical Planning and Urban Development, Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, and the Office of Civic Engagement.

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Steve Ayorinde, said that there was no illegality in the demolition as the traders were adequately notified before the exercise took place as required by law.

He explained further that government engaged with the leadership of the market severally before carrying out the demolition exercise.

In addition to this, the State Government said it has constructed an alternative market stall for the traders which can conveniently accommodate over 600 shops and hundreds of key clamps.

They agreed to subsidize payment by giving shops at the new market at a monthly give away price of 5,000 Naira.

Ogun Govt. To Scale Up Effort On HIV/Aids Prevention

ogunThe Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Babatunde Ipaye, has asked government at all levels to scale up action on inadequate sites that offer HIV services, reduce stigma and discrimination, while domestic funding must be improved.

This was the message at a press briefing held in Abeokuta, the state capital to commemorate the 2015 World Aids Day, putting in focus the need for Nigeria to end the pandemic of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, AIDS by 2030.

The Commissioner informed the media that Ogun State remains with the second lowest HIV/Aids prevalence in the south western part of Nigeria with 0.6% with higher prevalence of 3.8% noted in urban areas of the stateOgun

Also addressing reporters at the event, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Dayo Adeneye, said that the state government was doing everything possible to reduce the pandemic through adequate disbursement of fund and scaling up of treatment centres across the 20 local government areas of the state.

Lagos Govt. Promises Better Welfare For Teachers

Lagos Comm Olayinka OladunjoyeLagos State Government, mindful of the pivotal role of Education and the critical role of teachers in the development and economic growth of any nation, says it would continue to be responsive to their welfare and that of other members of its workforce.

The State Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, said this while briefing newsmen at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, on Thursday.

She disclosed that this conviction of Government has been the driving force behind its huge investment in Education as well as training and welfare of teachers in its quest to become a model of excellence in Education in the African Continent.

She said that in order to provide qualitative education to the citizenry as well as overcome some of the challenges facing the Education sector; the State Government recently employed no fewer than 1,775 new teachers into the system as secondary school teachers.

She reiterated that Government has been doing this in the face of the limited resources available to it against the background of the competing demands for the resources, adding that Lagos remains perhaps the only state that has consistently and doggedly paid its workforce including teachers up to date and when due.

The Commissioner debunked the insinuations in some quarters to the effect that Lagos State teachers were not happy with the Government, restating that one of the hallmarks of the present administration has been its responsiveness and priority attention to the welfare of its workforce.

The Commissioner said teachers in the state are happy “because before now they did not have the kind of empowerment that they have been provided with” adding that with the EKO Education Project, teachers in the State have been empowered and given some level of accountability which is unprecedented in the nation’s Education history.

Assuring of the State Government’s willingness to complete payment of the 27.5 percent Special Teacher’s Allowance, Mrs. Oladunjoye said that Government was working assiduously with a view to paying the balance of the Special Allowance to the teachers.

“Government therefore craves the understanding of its teachers on this, bearing in mind that government will not hesitate to pay the balance of the allowance as soon as possible. Suffice it to say that the State Government is also determined to make the teaching environment and learning process very conducive to enhance efficiency and effectiveness”, the Commissioner said.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, who was also at the briefing, said that the State Government enjoys a robust relationship with the teachers, adding that the Government could not afford to toy with the welfare of such an important player in its Education sector.

The Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello, who was also at the briefing, said that while the State Government was not joining issues with any publication, with the advent of new theories in political circles and the possibilities of bandwagon effect, there was a need to put issues in proper perspective.

Later in an interview after the briefing, the State Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Teachers, Mr. Segun Raheem, said that the NUT was not just a labour union but also a professional group which knows how to go about its agitations, stressing that such agitations does not always lead to anger.

He added that from the way the discussion was going along with the Government, there was hope that the State Government would pay the balance of the allowance.

He said that there have been commitments from the State Government on the allowance which has seen the payment of an initial 9.2percent and later another 9 percent with the remaining 11.5 percent being expected.

Raheem said that two months ago, the NUT wrote to the State Government on the balance and that the matter was presented before the Joint Negotiation Council and a pay policy committee was set up with the teachers also invited to present their case, which it did and a subcommittee was set up to look into the financial implication.

The briefing was also attended by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Establishment, Training and Pensions, Mrs. Sade Jaji.

Unknown Traffic Controllers Invade Lagos

LASTMA officialsPolice in Lagos have intercepted a group of people posing as traffic officials on Lagos roads.

According to a statement by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lateef Ibirogba, the group, numbering about 35, dressed in grey and black uniforms, stormed Lagos roads like Ojota, Toll Gate and Ikorodu Road at about 7a.m., causing confusion on the roads in their attempt to take over the job of LASTMA.

The statement read: “The unknown people, whose intention could not be easily ascertained, were seen positioned in strategic locations where they engaged LASTMA officials who challenged them in arguments, claiming that they were sent to take over Federal Roads.

“They took Lagosians by surprise and instilled fear in a lot of people who were going to their offices early, as many could not explain their mission in the areas noted for being peaceful and hitch-free.”

Ibirogba further revealed that it took the intervention of the Police from the Lagos Command, to get them off the road and return normalcy on the roads after about four hours of causing confusion, attempting to fight LASTMA and generally disturbing the peace of the areas.

In view of this, the Lagos State Government has appealed to the public to remain calm and go about their normal duties, no matter any form of provocation or intimidation.

The Government also asked Lagos residents to be more security conscious and report cases of strange movements to the Police, making use of the emergency numbers – 767 or 121 to abate or avert trouble.