Akpabio Resigns As Senate Minority Leader

Election violence

 

A former Governor of Akwa -Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, has resigned his position as the Minority Leader of the Senate.

Akpabio, who represents Akwa-Ibom North-West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, addressed the letter to the Deputy Senate Minority Leader, Emmanuel Bwacha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In his tweet on Tuesday, the Senator had tendered his resignation letter on August 4, before making it public.

While thanking the Senate Minority leadership and the opposition PDP of the opportunity to serve, he urged them to “please accept the assurance of my highest esteem.”

He added, “This letter is to formally inform you of my resignation as the Senate Minority Leader with effect from August 4, 2018.”

Reps Task Executive On Proactive Measures To Tackle Recession

Reps, Executive, Recession, House of RepresentativesThe House of Representatives has called on the Executive to take more proactive steps to abate the hardship being experienced by citizens due to Nigeria’s economic recession.

The appeal was made on Thursday following a motion sponsored by a member of the House from Benue State, Representative Emmanuel Orker-Jev.

The motion was supported by the Chief Whip of the House, Representative Alhassan Dogowa, and the Chairman of the House Committee on Banking, Representative Jones Onyereri.

Although the lawmakers acknowledged that the Executive was taking steps to address the situation, they stressed the need to do more.

The House consequently set up an ad-hoc committee to monitor the various steps and policies being taken by the Federal Government to check the situation.

The committee has been given three months to complete its work, while the House revealed its plan to have a sectoral debate on the matter.

The Minority Leader, Representative Leo Ogor, hinted that the focus of the deliberation was on the economy when the House resumed the debate on the 2017 budget for the third day.

While the debate also continued in the Senate, the bill passed through second reading in both chambers.

Nigerians are expecting National Assembly to conclude its debate on the proposal and bring out a “budget of recovery and growth”.

Reps To Probe FRC Over Corporate Governance Code

Reps To Probe FRC Over Corporate Governance CodeThe House of Representatives has ordered its Joint Committee on Delegated Legislation and Public Accounts to carry out a public hearing on the activities of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria.

The F.R.C. had introduced the Corporate Governance Code which led to the stepping aside of General Overseer of the Redeemed Christians Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye.

The new regulation pegged the leadership tenure for religious leaders at 20 years.

The House took the decisions after considering a motion sponsored by Minority Leader, Representative Leo Ogor, who described the Council’s action as unconstitutional.

Jim Obazee
Former FRC Executive Secretary, Jim Obazee

Representative Ogor accused the Council of usurping the powers of the National Assembly, wondering where the Council derived its powers as encapsulated in the Code of Corporate Governance for the bodies, without the approval of the Legislature.

The House at its plenary asked the Council to suspend the code while the panel investigating its activities is expected to submit a report within four weeks.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, sacked the Executive Secretary of the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRN), Mr. Jim Obazee, and ordered the reconstitution of its board.

The President consequently appointed Mr Daniel Asapokhai as the new Executive Secretary and Mr Adedotun Sulaiman as the new chairman of the council.

 

Adedotun Sulaiman
New FRC Chairman, Mr Adedotun Sulaiman

President has also instructed the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, to invite the 19 Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government and private sector organisations specified in the FRC
Act to nominate members of board of their councils.

Don’t Lose Hope On Economy, Ajimobi Urges Nigerians

Don’t Lose Hope On Economy, Ajimobi Urges NigeriansThe Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has called for a renewed hope from the country’s citizens on the ability of the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government to salvage the country from the pervading economic challenges.

The Governor made the call in his New Year message issued by his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mr Yomi Layinka, in Ibadan.

Although the Governor said he was not unmindful of the telling effect of the recession on the populace, he, however, said they should continue to trust in the Federal Government’s ability to put the economy back on track judging by the ongoing rejigging efforts.

While expressing happiness with the success so far recorded by the military in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East, the Governor appealed to the Niger-Delta militants to sheath their swords and allow peace to reign in the zone.

Ajimobi saluted the gallantry of the country’s army and other security agencies, calling for prayers and support for the families of officers and soldiers who paid the supreme price or lost limbs in the patriotic fight that culminated in liberation of the dreaded Sambisa forest.

The Governor said: “The economic recession currently staring us in the face in Nigeria called for concerted efforts on the part of all and sundry to play the roles expected of us to ensure that the country survives these trying times.

“Part of these efforts is for the restive Niger-Delta youths to cease fire and allow peace to reign. They should stop the sabotage of oil installations and embrace dialogue. They should realize that it is only in an atmosphere of peace that the desired development can be achieved.

“To the good people of Oyo State, I want to assure you that with your cooperation and support, the administration under my leadership will continue to work towards the recovery of our economy.

“Recall that in my budget speech on Thursday, I reported how much work had been done to enhance our revenue base by expanding the tax net; by blocking financial loopholes, fixing leakages and institutionalizing prudence in all spheres of the administration.

“May I, therefore, urge you to play your part in this direction.”

The Governor thanked the people of the state for maintaining peaceful co-existence and for their commitment to the growth and development of the state.

He, however, restated his warning that any attempt to plunge the state into chaos and lawlessness would be crushed with the full force of law.

Ajimobi said that his government would not relent in its efforts at ensuring the sustenance of the ongoing infrastructural revolution and economic re-engineering aimed at improving the general wellbeing of the citizenry.

Ajimobi Presents N207bn Budget Of Self-Reliance In Oyo

Ajimobi Presents N207bn Budget Of Self-Reliance In OyoThe Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi has presented a total budget of N207.671 billion for the 2017 fiscal year to the State House of Assembly, which represents an increase of 19.13% over the 2016 budget.

The Governor, while presenting the budget titled “Budget of Self Reliance”, explained that the recurrent expenditure will cost N126.87 billion which is 61.09% of the budget while the capital expenditure will take N80.80 billion or 38.91%.

Governor Ajimobi stated that Personnel Cost, made up of salaries, allowances and promotion arrears stands at N56.04 Billion or 26.99% while overhead cost accounts for N20.04Billion which is 9.75%, adding that N50.79bn or 24.45 is meant for the Consolidate Revenue Fund Charges to sum up the total Recurrent Expenditure of N126.87 billion.

Ajimobi said that the budget has been designed to be Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) driven, emphasizing that N107.23bn or 51.64% of the proposed N207.671 billion Budget is to be funded from IGR, N66.49bn or 32.01% from Federation Account while N33.97bn or 16.35% is expected from capital receipts, which is restructuring and reallocation of funds to priority areas.

The Governor stressed that the state’s restructured Board of Internal Revenue was poised for enhanced performance to ensure a realistic budget tenure adding, “in the face of the challenges in the outgoing year, arising from almost complete reliance on Federal Allocation which has grave consequences, as Federal Statutory Allocation itself is dependent on extraneous factors, this budget has been designed to be Internally Generated Revenue driven.

“In the Informal sector, the Board is targeting 20% of the population which is presently pegged at 6million individuals with presumptive tax rate of N3000 per annum.”

Governor Ajimobi noted that the government anchored the 2017 budgetary proposals on Infrastructure, Agriculture and its value-chain framework, Education and Health, pledging that other sectors would be given adequate attention in order to ensure that the budget achieves it theme as budget of self-reliance.

He reiterated the conduct of the local government elections in the state in 2017, saying, “I wish to reiterate and remind us, that February 2017 is around the corner when we shall all have the opportunity to elect our leaders at the grassroots level.

“The leaders that are expected to emerge are those that will be able to key into and consolidate our developmental agenda.  I, therefore, solicit your support for the successful conduct of the elections.”

The Governor gave the assurance that the government would pursue projects and programmes that will “attract Assistance and Sponsorship from Development Partners, Promote Public-Private-Partnership initiative as a vehicle in the delivery of infrastructure and services, Stimulate Citizens’ interest in Micro, Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurships as well as Efficient and Effective Utilization of Resources through rigorous monitoring of the implementation and evaluation of the impact of projects and programs on the citizenry”.

While lamenting the poor revenue of the state in 2016, Governor Ajimobi said that as at September 30, 2016, the overall budget performance was 46.09% or N79.939bn out the N173,429bn approved estimates for the present fiscal year.

“It is no gainsaying that the laudable “Agric-Oyo” programme implemented in 2016 has raised the level of food production in the State by 27.5% and GSP by 1.5%.

“Consequently, Government will extend “Agric-Oyo” activities to the remaining Local Government Councils that have shown a willingness to collaborate with the state Ministry of Agriculture,” the Governor pointed out.

Responding after the Governor’s presentation, the state House of Assembly commended the Governor Ajimobi for ensuring that there is a cordial relationship among the arms of government in the state.

In his remarks, the Hose of Assembly Speaker, Micheal Adeyemo said that the 8th Assembly has enjoyed great support from the present administration as expected, calling for the urgent need to review the rates and taxes in the state to ensure that the government realizes its vision of funding the budget through IGR.

In his own words, Hon. Oyebamiji Joshua, an Accord Party member, representing Akinyele 1 described the Governor as a courageous person, adding “despite not being in the same party with you, I commend the governor for his vision.

“Only those with vision will have mission. This budget proposal has shown that despite the low revenue, the governor is ready to ensure that Oyo is setting the pace again”

The Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Joshua Olagunju Ojo representing Oriire State constituency commended the Governor for providing adequate security for the people, for his infrastructural development insight as well as creation of Local Council Development Areas to bring government closer to the people.

Edo Election: PDP House Caucus Express Concern Over INEC’s Neutrality

Insurance FraudMembers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Caucus in the House of Representatives on Tuesday expressed concern about some arrangement put in place for the governorship elections in Edo State.

These concerns, according to them, may not guarantee free and fair elections.

The lawmakers, led by Minority Leader, Rep. Leo Ogor, said information available to them showed that some staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) have been compromised to rig the election.

They also alleged that INEC unlawfully agreed with some security agencies to move collation centres to a police station.

They urged INEC to be an independent and unbiased umpire and ensure free and fair elections in the state.

Budget Padding: Gbajabiamila Seeks Police Investigation To Clear Name

Gbajabiamila on Budget paddingThe House of Representatives Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila, has asked the police to investigate his role in the 2016 budget padding scandal to clear his name.

Honourable Gbajabiamila gave a hint on his request for investigation in a statement on Friday issued after a meeting with some other Principal Officers of the House.

According to him, the meeting was held to address the several allegations made by the former Chairman of the Appropriation Committee in the House, Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin.

He said that he had met with the police authorities for a proper and thorough investigation of his “role if any in this whole bizarre episode”.

The Statement read: “I returned from the United States just yesterday [Thursday] after a three-week break.

“I called the Speaker a day before my return to urgently fix a Principal Officers meeting so we could address the several allegations made by Hon Jibrin.

“At the meeting, Speaker Dogara, Deputy Speaker Lasun, Chief Whip, Honourable Ado Doguwa and Minority Leader, Hon Leo Ogor passionately and vigorously clearly stated their innocence.

“A prepared text was read and we all agreed to sign. For me as the Leader of the House I felt it was important to give them the benefit of doubt which in any case is what our constitution says”.

Honourable Gbajabiamila said that the decision to relieve Honourable Jibrin of his duties was indeed a collective decision of which he was part of.

He, however, claimed that he gave a caveat before the press release was signed, stressing that he had to clear his name.

“I made it clear to my colleagues in the leadership that because somehow my name had been sullied in all of this and fake documents and publications had been put out there in traditional and social media which stated I was also involved in the so called padding of the budget, that I would need to clear my name.

“And that even though no petition was filed against me by Honourable Jibrin and no invitation was extended to me by the police, I would be submitting myself on my own volition to the police for investigation.

“This is important to me as insinuations have been made from many quarters that I along with others were sponsoring Honourable Jibrin,” the statement further read.

Intervene In Immunity Clause Face-off, Balarabe Musa Urges Buhari

Balarabe Musa, Immunity ClauseA former Governor of Kaduna State, Mr Balarabe Musa, wants President Muhammadu Buhari to step in and resolve the ongoing executive-legislative face-off over the immunity clause.

He made the call in an interview with Channels Television, stating that this is to avoid anarchy in the land.

There were attempts by some lawmakers to alter Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution in order to extend immunity to the Senate President and his deputy and this led to a rowdy session at the first plenary after resumption from the Eid-el-Fitr break.

“I think the way forward for Nigeria is first for the President who is the most responsible representative in the country to go into this matter and solve this crisis.

“He has the moral authority and the legal mandate to go into this matter and solve it amicably.”

He warned about the likelihood of the legislature not cooperating with such effort by the President but urged him to try. “The public will judge,” he admonished.

The motion was sponsored by the Minority Leader, Rep. Leo Ogor but was vehemently opposed by the Majority Leader, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, who said that the timing of the bill is wrong, insisting that Nigerians will not support it.

He also noted that no legislation in the world provides immunity for its presiding officers.

Mr Balarabe Musa agreed with this and condemned the plan to extend the immunity provision to the Senate President and his deputy as ill-timed.

Mr Musa, however, described as also unhealthy for the country, the allegation of illegality levelled against the two principal officers of the National Assembly.

House In Rowdy Session Over Immunity Clause

House-of-Representatives-in-Nigeria-fightMembers of the House of Representatives are divided over a bill seeking to alter Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution.

This has caused a rowdy session at the first plenary after resumption from the Eid-el-Fitr break.

The motion was sponsored by the Minority Leader, Rep. Leo Ogor but was vehemently opposed by the Majority Leader, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, who said that the timing of the bill is wrong, insisting that Nigerians will not support it.

He also noted that no legislation in the world provides immunity for its presiding officers.

In his verdict, the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara explained that any bill(s) that seeks to amend the constitution are normally allowed to pass through the 2nd Reading, before being sent to the adhoc committee on the review of constitution.

This decision, however, attracted more rowdiness on the floor of the House.

Kogi House Of Assembly Speaker Impeached

KogiPandemonium was let loose in the Kogi State House of Assembly as the Speaker of the House, Jimoh Lawal was impeached along with two other principal officers, Deputy Speaker and Minority Leader.

While addressing pressmen in Lokoja, the Chairman House Committee on Information, John Abbah, stated that the action of the 17 members of the House became imperative in view of the demand to remove the Speaker before now.

Abbah explained that there have been several moves earlier to remove the Speaker, noting that when the 17 members could no longer manage him and others they had to impeach them.

Abbah, who is the new Deputy Speaker, stated that the Speaker was impeached because of incompetence, greed and betrayal of its members.

Those who were removed along with Lawal are the Deputy Speaker of the House, Alih Akuh and Minority Leader, Hassan Bello.

Meanwhile the House has elected a new Speaker, Godwin Osuyi, while John Abbah was elected as Deputy Speaker and Eneche Ojochenemi Linus is the new Minority Leader.

In a separate press conference in his office in Lokoja, while briefing journalists, the impeached Speaker, Hon Momoh Jimoh Lawal, described their action as not only illegal but unconstitutional.

He said that it was an action orchestrated by those he described as aggrieved members of the House that decided to take the laws into their hands. He said he still remains the Speaker and noting can change that for now.

PDP Senators’ Walkout Does Not Affect Legality Of Ministerial Confirmation – Ndume

WalkoutSenate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, has said that the decision of PDP senator to stage a walkout to protest the confirmation of former Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi does not render the confirmation illegal.

He explained that the Senate session had a full attendance in the morning and formed a quorum when the meeting started, adding that the PDP senators decision was voluntary and would not affect the attendance on record.

He also added that the number of senators required to form a quorum was 33 while the APC senators had 48 members in the Senate. Therefore, despite the walk-out the Senate maintained a quorum.

He described the walk-out as an expression of feelings democratically, “I have the experience, I was one time the Minority Leader and I did that too. This happens in some democracy,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, described the confirmation as a deliberate effort by the APC senators not to follow laid down rules.

“It was agreed in previous sittings that when a petition is made against any nominee and he is at the point of confirmation, we shall discuss the outcome of the petition.

“Majority of those who signed said that this particular case that concerns our brother is in the court and in normal circumstance it becomes sub judice; it is even in the Court of Appeal and we have to give an opportunity to the court to make a determination.

“We are not against the clearance of any nominee or Mr President because as senators we want the President to succeed but we also have to follow the rules, we have to make sure that Nigeria is a country of laws and not a country of impunity.

“That was the reason why we staged a little bit of walkout to protest the fact that we were going against our rules and we were more or less breaching a major aspect of legality,” Akpabio said.