Gov El-Rufai Reshuffles Cabinet, Drops Four Commissioners

Nasir El-Rufai, Kaduna, Commissioners, CabinetKaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Tuesday, sacked four commissioners from his cabinet.

In a minor change of cabinet, Governor El-Rufai nominated replacements for the sacked commissioner for confirmation by the Kaduna State House of Assembly (KSHA).

The Clerk of the House of Assembly, Umma Hikima, was appointed as the Commissioner of Justice and Attorney-General of the state, while Professor Kabiru Mato was nominated as the Commissioner for Agriculture and Forestry.

Hafsat Baba was also appointed as the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development and Jafaru Sani as the Commissioner for Local Government.

The governor also redeployed the Commissioner of Justice to environment, the Commissioner for Agriculture to Commerce and the Commissioner for Environment to the newly created Ministry of Stakeholders Relations.

“The commissioners swapping portfolios include Amina Sijuwade, moved from Ministry of Justice to Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, while Maigari Manzo moved from Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

“Shehu Balarabe moves from Ministry of Environment to become Commissioner, Stakeholder Relations, while Mohammed Bashir Saidu who is now Chief of Staff, relinquishes the office of Commissioner for Local Government.

“Rabi Abdulsalam, former Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, becomes Special Adviser on Social Development, while Shehu Adamu, former Commissioner of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, returns to academia,” said a statement released by the governor’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan.

Governor El-Rufai also reassigned three special advisers namely: Uba Sani as Special Adviser, Political Matters and Intergovernmental Relations; Chris Umar, Deputy Chief of Staff is to become Solicitor-General, while Murtala Dabo, Special Adviser, Economic Matters, is appointed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport.

He further announced the appointment of eight new permanent secretaries.

They include Mohammed Shuaibu, Ministry of Health and Human Services; Chris Umar, Ministry of Justice; Rabilu Ibrahim, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources; and Joseph Steven, Ministry of Local Government.

Also appointed as permanent secretaries were Habiba Shekarau, General Services, Office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG); Lawrence Shemang, Ministry of Water Resources, Murtala Dabo, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport; and Abdullahi Sani, Cabinet Affairs and Special Services, Office of the SSG.

Mr El-Rufai stated that five permanent secretaries have been redeployed as follows: Hauwa Umar, Ministry of Women and Social Development; Ibrahim Jere, Bureau of Establishments, Management and Training; Ibrahim Sambo, Ministry of Rural and Community Development; Nuhu Buzun, Public Service Office, Office of the Head of Service; and Aishatu Mohammed, Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

However, five other permanent secretaries have retired.

The governor thanked all members of the team for the successes the State Government has recorded so far and wished them good luck in their future endeavours.

El-Rufai Creates New Ministry, Appoints Commissioner-Designate

zariaGovernor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has created a new ministry to the 13 his government is currently operating with.

The Governor has also appointed a Commissioner designate for the newly created Ministry.

Mr El-Rufai nominated newly Mrs. Balaraba Aliyu-Inuwa, as the Commissioner designate for the newly created Ministry.

In a statement signed by the governor’s spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, said  the appointment of the commissioner designate is subject to confirmation by the Kaduna State House of Assembly.

Until her nomination, Mrs Aliyu-Inuwa was the Special Adviser to the Governor on Rural and Community Development.

This brings the number of ministries in the state to 14.

Electricity Workers Protest Arrest Of Colleagues

ElectricitySeveral employees of the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company on Thursday protested against what they termed as the “unfair arrest and detention of two of their colleagues”

The employees also alleged that the arrest was a carried out on the orders of the Deputy Speaker of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, Mr. John Audu.

The aggrieved workers, under the Umbrella of National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), claimed that two staffs of the distribution company, were arrested on Wednesday July, 1st 2016 by policemen from the Sabon Tasha Police station in Chikun Local Government Area of the state on the orders of the Deputy Speaker, for disconnecting his residence following his inability to settle his electricity bills for several months.

The Assistant General Secretary of the Union, Moses Amedu who led the protest, told reporters that the embattled Deputy Speaker had failed to pay his electricity bill for over a period of five months, a situation which he said prompted the officials to cut-off power supply to his house.

He viewed the behaviour of the lawmaker, as an abuse of authority, and stressed the need for the safety and security of workers.

The members of the NUEE protested against alleged inhuman treatment meted against their colleagues by Mr. Audu, carrying placards and chanting solidarity songs.

The workers marched to the residence of the deputy speaker to demand why he ordered the arrest of their colleagues who were merely discharging their official duties.

For close to two hours, the deputy speaker who was at home refused to address the protesters. He also refused to speak to journalists to give his own side of the story.

The electricity workers who laid siege at his gate in Mahauta area of Sabon Tasha, describe his action as inappropriate of a man who is supposed to make laws for the people.

Also, the management of Kaduna Electric, through its spokesman, Abdulaziz Abdulahi condemned the action of the deputy speaker, describing it as sheer impunity.

The company said that after discovering that the House had been reconnected without following due process, their men disconnected it again only for the deputy speaker to order their arrest.

Kaduna Govt Holds Round Table Forum Over Religious Preaching Bill

Kaduna-Religious-Preaching-Bill-Preaching-Regulation-LawThe Kaduna State government has organised a roundtable forum for stakeholders to make their inputs on Religious Preaching Bill.

The government held the interactive forum before the passage of the bill by the Kaduna State House of Assembly, sequel to the criticisms that have trailed the proposed religious preaching regulation law.

The bill, which has been attracting opposition from the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Jamatul Nasril Islam (JNI), had already scaled through second reading in the floor of the State Assembly.

The governor represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, highlighted the importance of the bill.

Addressing stakeholders at the forum, the Director General of Kaduna State Inter-Faith Centre, Namadi Musa, said the proposed religious bill was not in any way intended to oppress religious groups.

He added that it was not aimed at preventing them from freedom of worship or association, explaining that the bill was aimed at protecting them against extremism and religious intolerance.

However, the religious stakeholders at the round table forum seemed not to be comfortable with the religious preaching regulation law bill.

The Secretary General of CAN, Kaduna State, Reverend Sunday Ibrahim, and the Secretary of the Christian Lawyers Fellowship in Kaduna State, Kalu Ifeanyichukwu, described the bill as unconstitutional and capable of fueling crisis in the state if not handled with caution.

They called for a thorough review of the bill in order to remove all contentious issues such as the regulation of preaching in churches and mosques, as well as the alleged move to license preachers.

The convener of the meeting, Maji Peterx, said that engaging critical stakeholders in such meetings was paramount in resolving all the contentious issues and suspicions about the bill.

According to him, such meetings would be conducted across the three senatorial zones of the state, to enable other stakeholders make their inputs before the passage of the bill.

CAN Meets Kaduna Govt. Over Preaching Regulatory Bill

Preaching Regulatory BillThe leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Kaduna State on Wednesday met with the State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, over the proposed Religious Preaching Regulatory Bill that is presently before the State House of Assembly for passage.

The clergymen, led by their Chairman, Bishop George Dodo, met with the Governor, who was represented by his deputy, Bala Bantex, on Wednesday in Kaduna State, northwest Nigeria.

The Deputy Governor explained that the Religious Preaching Bill was only aimed to curb religious extremism and hate speeches that could trigger religious violence in the state.

He informed the Christian delegation that government has a duty to ensure that religious violence no longer threatens the relative peace being enjoyed by citizens of the state.

Mr Bantex added that the Kaduna State Government is committed to ensure that religious activities are practiced in a safe and secure climate.

He said that was the first time that the law is passing through a democratic process, stressing that the proposed amendment was a deliberate decision by the government to subject the law to public scrutiny, rather than to just enforce the provisions of the edict as passed since 1984.

The Deputy Governor also explained that there was nothing in the Bill that suggests any effort to abolish, stop or derogate the freedom of religion in the state.

Rather, he clarified that the Bill merely seeks to ensure that religious preaching and activities in Kaduna State were conducted in ways that do not threaten public order, public safety, and to protect the rights and freedom of other persons.

In his remark, Bishop Dodo commended Governor El-Rufai for conveying the meeting, saying that CAN would submit its position to the House of Assembly and the State Executive Council during the public hearing on the Bill.

A member of the delegation and Chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Reverend Femi Ehimidu, raised an alarm that some people who parade themselves as government officials were already seeing out religious practice licence forms to some clergymen at the cost of N4,000.

He also identified some grey areas in the Bill, which he said infringed on the right of the people such as obtaining licence from government before preaching.

The meeting followed speculations from some sections of the public that the bill, if passed into law, would gauge the freedom of worship and association as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.

El-Rufai Signs 171.7bn Naira Budget Into Law

el-rufaiKaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, has signed the 2016 Budget into law with a promise to fulfill all his campaign promises to the people of the state.

This comes as citizens of the state task the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government on ensuring that all the projects assigned and budgeted for in the 2016 Budget are completed.

The governor had on November 28, 2015, presented a budget of 171.7bn Naira to the State House of Assembly for approval, explaining that the budget was made up of 109.3b Naira capital and 62.4bn Naira recurrent expenditure.

The budget named, “Budget of Sacrifice, Restoration and Change” according to the Governor, is aimed at making Kaduna great again.

Speaking shortly after signing the appropriation bill into law, El-Rufai said the budget proposals restore the minimum of 60:40 ratio in favor of capital expenditure. He commended the State House of Assembly for the speedy passage of the budget and promised to implement it to the latter.

For some indigenes of the state, effective budget monitoring and implementation therefore, remains one sure route to the state’s economic and socio-infrastructural rejuvenation.

They pleaded with the government to revive the education, health and other critical sectors in the state, and also initiate programmes that would create more jobs for the teeming unemployed youths.

The people also urged the El-Rufai-led government to embark immediately on the diversification of the state’s economic framework by a way of strengthening its revenue base.

In the 2016 budget, Works, Housing and Transport got the largest share of 31,352,898,071.95 Naira with education coming behind with 27,548,679,874.2 Naira.

SURE-P Funds: Kaduna APC Lawmakers Threaten Gov Yero With Impeachment

Sure-PThe All Progressives Congress (APC) caucus of the Kaduna State House of Assembly have threatened to impeach the State Governor, Muktar Yero, over attempt by the outgoing government to appropriate and disburse N2.7 billion Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) funds belonging to the 23 Local Government Areas (LGA) of the state.

In a session with media after an emergency meeting, the APC members, led by the Deputy Minority Leader, Aminu Shagari, alleged that the move by the outgoing executive to tamper with the LGA SURE-P funds amount to last minute looting and squandering of public funds.

They wondered why a government that has only about two weeks to go can successfully execute any project with such money except for ulterior motive.

The APC legislators, who are 14 in number also alleged that the State Government’s ceding of 50% of the said fund for road project is in total violation of the laid down regulations regarding the SURE-P funds, revealing that this having been indicated in the handing over note of the outgoing government suggests an attempt of last minute looting.

One of the lawmakers, Dr Shehu Adamu, said that any attempt by the Governor to go ahead with plans to access the fund would be resisted through all legal means.

Another lawmaker, Yusuf Zailani also corroborated this adding that SURE-P was conceived by the Nigerian Government arising from the partial removal of subsidy on fuel prices in the country and should be managed properly.

The lawmakers expressed their displeasure with the development, warning the Governor to refrain from dipping hand into the LGA funds.

Yet to respond to the allegation, the Kaduna State Government had constituted a committee in January 2012 with a view to identifying programmes, projects and activities that would be undertaken by the government with its share of the SURE-P funds.

Kaduna Assembly Members-elect Promise Effective Representation

KadunaMembers-elect of Kaduna State House of Assembly have assured their constituencies and the entire people of a better representation.

The lawmakers from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), promised to make education, security and infrastructural development their major priority for the benefit of the state.

Both old and new members-elect told Channels Television that the issue of party differences would not affect their main reason of being elected into the House.

The legislators, who made the promises shortly after collecting their Certificates of Return at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office in Kaduna, also promised to work collectively with the executive for the overall development of the state.

They also pledged not to be a rubber stamp to the executive, but vowed to be independent-minded in discharging their functions.

The elected legislators include Ishaku Kantiok of Zonkwa Constituency, Bako Obadiah of Jaba Constituency, Yusuf Liman of Makera Constituency, John Audu of Kachia Constituency amongst others.

Kaduna State Budgets 203.7bn Naira For 2015

YeroGovernor Mukhtar Yero of  Kaduna State in northern Nigeria on Tuesday presented the 2015 Appropriation Bill of 203.7 billion Naira to the House of Assembly for approval with Works and Transport taking the lion share of 29.4 billion Naira .

Presenting the budget, Governor Yero said the state would generate about 27 billion Naira internally during the year, while internal and external loans during the year would amount to about 60.3 billion Naira.

Also in the sectoral allocation, education and health got 20 billion Naira and 12 billion Naira respectively while water Supply got 16 billion Naira and Agriculture seven billion Naira.

The budget, tagged ‘Budget of Consolidation and Continuity’, he said, was higher than that of 198 billion Naira presented in 2014.

Addressing the lawmakers, Yero said for the 2015 budget, Recurrent Expenditure was pegged at 72.8 billion Naira, representing 35.72% of the total budget while a total sum of 130.9 billion Naira was set aside for capital expenditure, which translates to 64.28% of the budget.

He said the 2015 budget had been tagged ‘Budget of Consolidation and Continuity’, based on his administration’s determination to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people of the state, stressing that it would help to sustain development.

The Governor said: “As part of efforts at prudent management of resources, my administration has ensured that the bulk of the revenue accruable to the state is channeled to infrastructural development for the improvement of the overall living conditions of the people”.

He further stated that the budget was projected on a non oil revenue estimate which would rely mainly on internally generated revenue.

Governor Yero further assured the citizens of the state that all ongoing projects must be completed by next year to enable his government initiate new ones.

After the Governor’s presentation, the speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mr Shehu Tahir, assured the governor of speedy passage of the bill to enable the government continue with its developmental programmes for the people of the state.

Kaduna Assembly Suspends Member Over N10m Bribe Allegation

The Kaduna state House of Assembly has suspended its former minority leader,  Dr Shehu Adamum  from legislative activities for a period of  six-months  for alleging that 18 members of the House received N10 million bribe each to impeach the former Speaker, Mu’azu Usman Gangara and other principal officers of the assembly.

The decision of the House followed a motion by Hon. Muhammad Ali, the member representing Kawo constituency, who drew the attention of members to an interview granted by Dr Shehu Adamu in national dailies, where he made the allegation.

However, 16 members known as G16 have opposed the suspension of Adamu, insisting that he had not violated any rules of the house to warrant his suspension.

Presenting the report of the suspension, the Chairman of the Committee on Education, Ethics and Privilege, Mr Philemon Gidan-Mana, said that the former minority leader refused to appear before the committee on three occasions to defend himself, and bluntly indicated that he would not appear before the committee.

Gidan-Mana noted that the provision of the Legislative Houses (power and privileges) Act 1990, Cap L12 section 24(1) a, b and c says “any statement, whether in writing or otherwise, which falsely or scandalously defames a Legislative House or any committee thereof shall be guilty of an offence”.

He added that “the standing penalties for misconduct by a member would result in reprimand or demotion, withdrawal of privileges and expulsion from the House.”

Kaduna Speaker Impeached, New One Elected

The Speaker, Kaduna State House of Assembly, Hon. Usman Gangara, from Giwa East Constituency and his deputy, Dr. Dogara Mato from Lere Constituency were today, impeached by 19 out 34 members of the  Assembly.

The former speaker, his deputy and six other principal officers of the House were all absent when the impeachment proceeding presided over by Hon. Philemon Usman was carried out.

19 out 26 eligible voters from 34 members that were present during the session endorsed the impeachment.

A new speaker was immediately elected.

Hon. Shehu Usman Tahir representing Giwa West Constituency was elected while Peter Adamu representing Kagarko Constituency was elected Deputy Speaker.

Addressing journalists shortly after his election, the new Speaker debunked the claim that Vice President Namadi Sambo and Kaduna state governor, Mukhtar Yero were behind the impeachment adding that the desire to change the leadership was to have a robust lawmaking in the state which was lacking in the last leadership.

As at the time of filing this report, the impeached speaker and his deputy are yet to respond to the development.

The aggrieved members had last month issued the former speaker and other principal officers of the house a 30-day ultimatum to resign on grounds of incompetency and alleged gross misconduct.

A member of the House loyal to the embattled speaker, who craved for anonymity, told Channels Television that the impeachment of   the speaker and his deputy was done with the encouragement and support of the executive arm of government on grounds of not being loyal to the state government and the Vice President.