Osun Assembly To Begin Probe Of Aregbesola Over 34.5bn Naira Bailout Fund

Osun-State-House-of-AssemblyThe Osun State House of Assembly has directed some officials of the state government and organisations to appear before it on Wednesday for questioning on how the 34.5 billion Naira bailout fund given to state by the Federal Government was used.

The planned probe followed the decision of the Senate to commence similar probe.

There have been allegations of misappropriation against the Governor of the south-west Nigerian State, Mr Rauf Aregbesola.

Those invited to appear before the Osun State House of Assembly are the Accountant-General, Permanent Secretaries Ministry of Finance, Office of Budget Planning and Ministry of Local Government.

Others are the Director-General of Debt Management Office and officials of Wema Bank, Zenith Bank and First Bank.

Also invite to be part of the proceeding are Chairmen, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Joint Negotiation Council (JNC), Nigeria Union of Local Government Employee (NULGE), Market Women, as well as representative of Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) and Civil Society Organisations (CSO).

A statement by the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, urged the invitees to arm themselves with all the necessary information and document on the bailout fund given to the state.

Mr Oyintiloye explained that the exercise had become very necessary in line with its constitutional powers, as enshrined in the Nigerian Constitution.

He said those invited were expected to appear before the House with useful documents and necessary information concerning the bailout fund given to the state government.

The federal Government had given bailout funds to states to enable them meet some financial obligations, especially payment of workers salaries.

Drama In Ado Ekiti Markets As Iyaloja Forcefully Reduces Foodstuff Prices

Drama In Ado Ekiti Markets As Iyaloja Forcefully Reduces Foodstuff PricesDispleased by the skyrocketing prices of food items in Ekiti markets, the monarchs under the Council of Traditional Rulers, in conjunction with Market Women Association of Nigeria, have commenced forceful reduction in prices of some commodities in all the towns in the state.

This led to a drama in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital on Tuesday, when the Iyaloja, Mrs Omowaye Oso, led a task force that went round some markets to force down ‘high’ prices of foodstuff on sale.

Similar exercises were carried out in major towns in the state under the supervision of the monarchs superintending over the communities.

The task force carried out the exercise at Bisi Egbeyemi Market at Okeyinmi and ordered a drastic reduction of prices of goods, especially food stuff which she personally sold to buyers who accused traders of selling at cut-throat prices on the excuse of the appreciation of the American dollar.

The foodstuffs affected by the new development were garri, local rice popularly known as “Buhari rice” and palm oil.

A bowl of garri which used to sell for N200 was reduced to N100, while 20 liters of palm oil which used to sell at N22,000 was reduced to N15,000 while a bowl of local rice was sold at the market at N400 as against N500.

Oso said the raid would be a continuous exercise as she and her team enjoy the backing of the state government and the Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Adeyemo Adejugbe, whom she said are also concerned about the exorbitant prices of goods and service in the town.

“The cost of goods especially foodstuff are too high in Ado Ekiti and it is the state capital that prices of goods and services should be the cheapest. The market women should have mercy on the poor because things are too expensive here unlike other Ekiti towns and villages.

“It is very unfortunate that market women in other communities don’t want to sell in their places, they know bring their wares to Ado because they believe they will sell it twice the price of what they supposed to sell it in their communities.

“As the Iyaloja, one of my responsibilities is that people don’t buy at cut-throat prices and we have the support of the state government, the Ewi and his chiefs in carrying out this exercise which will be a continuous one and be repeated in all markets in Ado.

“It is unfortunate that 20 liters of palm oil which sells at N14,000 in Ikole is being sold at N22,000 in Ado but we have sold it at N15,000 now as against the N22,000 they hitherto sell it.

“The Kabiyesi has said he does not want hardship for the people of Ado.

“We have forced down the price of a rubber of local rice from N500 to N400, garri from N200 to N100. Ado is now getting a bad reputation for high prices of goods and services but we will not allow this to continue.

“We will continue to carry out our raids until our market women comply and anyone who cannot comply must look elsewhere to sell her wares. If you can’t sell your Palm oil at lower prices don’t bring it down to Ado again.”

Ladipo Market Demolition: Leadership Recounts Experience, Counts Losses

Ladipo MarketTraders at the popular Bakassi spare parts in Ladipo market, Oshodi axis of Lagos State have lamented the demolition of the market.

This is coming after the traders’ shops were demolished over the weekend by persons believed to be officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Environment.

Recounting the experience, the market’s spokesman, Ezeigbo Nkire, described the act as ‘disheartening’ in the face of the current economic challenges.

“Two weeks ago, we discovered that the Ministry of Environment came to lock this market and after the locking this market, they put a seal.

“After two days, we went to the Ministry of Environment to find out what was the problem (and) they said that this place is very dirty and they need the people to go and do environmental sanitation there an after that, they will come and open the place,” he said.

The exercise allegedly carried out at night in which at least 4,000 traders were displaced, took them unawares and left behind trails of losses.

As at the time Channels Television crew visited the scene, most of the traders affected were short of words as they searched through the remains of their shops, attempting to salvage what was left.

Women In Abuja, Akwa Ibom Preach Peace, Fairness

WomenMembers of the Garki Market Women Association in Abuja are urging Nigerian women all over the country to educate their children on the need for peace saying this is the only way to guarantee the return of lasting peace in the country.

The women who made the appeal during the International Women’s Day celebration said women are the peace builders of the society and must begin to assume that position.

They said that while women have several needs for their daily subsistence, these cannot be provided in the absence of peace in the society.

The market leaders said that asides finances which many women require to function, there is need for a lot of support and help as they are said to function best when full encouragement comes from the men.

Also in the southeast, thousands of women from the 31 Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State gathered at the popular Ibom Hall Grounds in what turned out to be a carnival to celebrate the International Women’s Day in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.

The State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, who was the special guest of honour at the event, acknowledged the contributions of women to Nigeria’s development over the years.

Governor Emmanuel challenged them to develop themselves to be relevant in the scheme of things while assuring them of the needed support.

In her speech, Wife of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel, commended the state government for integrating females in governance by implementing the 35% affirmative action through appointments into positions of authority and went further to ask for 50%.

While the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Glory Edet, praised the government for accommodating women in various positions of authority, Mrs Dorothy Ufot (SAN) added that they were not challenging the authority of the men in seeking equality with them.

Unemployed Graduates, Civilian JTF To Benefit From N5,000 Stipend

Ngige-StipendThe Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, says the Federal Government will target unemployed graduates, market women and the Civilian Joint Task Force in the north-east as beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s campaign promise to provide stipends for the poor and vulnerable.

The Minister made further clarifications in Abuja during an interview with journalists. He explained that the 5,000 Naira stipend will be disbursed through a social security scheme.

Ngige gave the assurance that while the Federal Government empowers unemployed graduates through a teacher conversion scheme,other unskilled individuals, including market women and the civilian JTF in the north-east will undertake training at various skills acquisition centres across the country.

The Minister also said that the promised stipend for the unemployed will vary, depending on the programme a candidate is engaged in.

Addressing Youth Unemployment

Dr. Ngige recently called on Nigerian youths to embrace technical skills in order to wriggle out of joblessness.

He was speaking to Channels Television after President Muhammadu Buhari’s presentation of the 2016 budget at the National Assembly on Tuesday, December 22.

With a promise that the 2016 budget would focus on addressing youth unemployment and cater for the vulnerable, Channels Television sought to know the plans of the Ministry of Labour and Employment on the implementation of this key feature of the 2016 budget.

“We will give employment that will be decent. For example, one of the programmes we are going to execute is the conversion of graduates into the teaching cadre. We’ll give them training after Youth Corps, 1-year post Youth Corps, 2-year post Youth Corps, that is the bar and we will start form there; get them into teaching.

“Whether you are an engineer or lawyer, we will convert you and use that as a transition job for the time being.

“We are also going to do skill acquisition. All our skill acquisition centre scattered all over the country are going to be raised into performing their roles,” he said.

NAFDAC Destroys Fake Goods Worth N500 Million

TNAFDAChe Director General of National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii, has commended drug traders at the Bridge Head market, Onitsha, Anambra state, for voluntarily regulating themselves against importation and distribution of fake drugs and substandard food products in the state.

Dr. Orhii said this during the destruction exercise of fake and substandard drugs with other food products worth about N500 million in Awka, Anambra state capital.

According to the NAFDAC Director General, some of the fake drugs destroyed were voluntarily surrendered by the Onitsha traders.

At ASWAMA dump site, Agu Awka, the venue for the destruction exercise, Dr. Orhii, was present with other officials and many high ranking officers of other security agencies in the state including the Police, Immigration, Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC and Civil Defense.

Dr Orhii said the support of the security agencies in the war against fake, substandard drugs and food products could not be overemphasized adding that NAFDAC would not renege in its war against fake drugs as they are battling the reintroduction of such products into the market on daily basis.

Dr. Paul commended the drug traders at the Bridge Head Market, Onitsha, on their resolve to voluntarily regulate themselves and monitor any incidence of fake drugs circulation among them in the market.

The Director General of NAFDAC added that the reason for burning the dangerous products is to ensure they do not go back into circulation in any way or form again.

Why We Did Not Approve Fayose’s Commissioners – Omirin

Adewale OmirinThe reportedly impeached Ekiti State House of Assembly Speaker, Hon. Adewale Omirin, on Friday explained why the House had not approved a request by the Governor, Ayo Fayose, to screen three commissioners.

Appearing as guest on Sunrise Daily, following the appointment of a new speaker by seven PDP lawmakers of the House on Thursday, Omirin recalled that the House members, majority of whom belong to the opposition party (APC), had promised to work with the governor, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party.

However, issues had begun before the governor’s inauguration on the 16th of October, 2014.

Omirin said that the new governor, Ayo Fayose, had accused him of being against his inauguration, as a result of an existing court case, which had nothing to do with him (Omirin) or his party (APC).

“He even went to the market place telling all the market women that please help me beg Omirin. He doesn’t want me to be inaugurated. So, because of this incitement, I did not go for the inauguration because I didn’t want to be lynched.”

Omirin, who denied being a member of the E11, said the governor had accused him of planning to become acting governor, but yet, he went ahead to attend the thanksgiving ceremony following the inauguration.

He explained that the one month recess declared by the House following the inauguration was prompted by rumours that miscreants were going to invade the Chamber.

This he said was done to allow tensions to reduce.

Asked why the decision was taking in view of the new administration which would need to begin work, Omirin noted that, as at the time the recess was agreed upon, the governor was yet to send any request and that the House could have easily reconvened if such was done.

On the request to approve three commissioners which was rejected by the House, Omirin explained that it was the custom of the House to first read the letter on the floor and thereafter members would request for the profiles of the applicants, after which a date would be set for the screening exercise.

However, the applicants had come to be screened on the same day the letter was read and so they could not be attended to on the same day.