Disagreement Trails Statutory Instrument Bill Hearing

Statutory Instruments Bill It appears not everyone agrees that the National Assembly should carry out the function of oversight and legislative scrutiny of statutory laws and policies, before they come into force.

There were disagreements on Friday between participants at a public hearing on who should oversee the scrutiny of statutory instruments.

The public hearing on the provision of the Statutory Instrument Bill 2015 was organised by the House Committee on Justice in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Razak Atuwa, highlighted the objectives that the bill intends to achieve.

“The statutory instruments themselves should carry a bit more weight on one hand, and on the other hand, should have some scrutiny so as to avoid conflicts,” Honourable Atuwa explained.

However, participants disagreed on who should manage the oversight and scrutiny of the statutory instruments.

They suggested that the bill should be jettisoned, calling on the standing committees at both Lower and Upper chambers to carry out the oversight function rather than making another bill.

House APC Caucus Pledges Timely Passage Of 2017 Budget

House APC Caucus Pledges Timely Passage Of 2017 BudgetMembers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the House of Representatives have assured the leadership of the party of their commitment to the timely passage of the 2017 budget.

The lawmakers made the pledge during a meeting with members of the APC National Working Committee led by the party’s National Chairman, John Oyegun.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Oyegun said the leadership of the party is impressed with the performance of the lawmakers.

He told reporters that the visit was made to appreciate the House of Representatives for a job well done.

The meeting took place on Friday at the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

President Buhari Meets With Army, Air Force Chiefs

President Buhari Meets With Army, Air Force ChiefsPresident Muhammadu Buhari has met with the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Baratai, and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Abubakar Sadique.

The meetings took place one after the other on Tuesday in the President’s office at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

While the meetings may have discussed the increasing spate of insecurity in the country, President Buhari is said to have tasked the service chiefs to live up to their responsibilities.

Fielding questions from State House Correspondents, General Buratai said he met with the President to give him an update on security issues under the purview of the Nigerian Army.

He said the President was happy with the military and assured that the Nigerian Armed Forces would continue to live up to its responsibilities.

Also speaking to reporters, Air Marshall Sadique described his meeting with the President as routine.

He assured Nigerians of the resolve of the Air Force to ensure that the country was secure while citizens carry out their activities freely without any fear.

FG To Revitalise National Primary Healthcare

FG To Revitalise National Primary HealthcareThe Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to repositioning the health sector through the revitalisation of the primary healthcare system.

The Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole, stated this on Saturday at the launch of the National Primary Healthcare Supply Chain in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Professor Isaac Adewole said the revitalisation of the nation’s primary healthcare system was the only way for the Federal Government to deliver on its election campaign promise of affordable and accessible healthcare for all.

“The revitalisation exercise signifies a major commitment of Mr President to provide leadership in an effort to reposition the nation’s health system.

“Many of us who have been actively involved with the health system recognise that what we’ve practiced hitherto was an inverted pyramid with the tertiary healthcare system at the tip and the primary at the base.

“When the pyramid is inverted, it is not a stable pyramid and most Nigerians will access help by visiting the next or the most available tertiary institution and I did mention that this cannot stand.

“As part of efforts to revitalise the nation’s health system, we recognise clearly that repositioning the primary healthcare system is the way forward.

“It also enables us to translate the agenda of the APC administration; that manifesto simply stated accessible healthcare system within three to five kilometres radius with affordable healthcare to the people.

The Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, on his part commended the Federal Government’s plan.

Dr. Shuaib expressed optimism that the programme would accelerate the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage.

NEMA Deploys Helicopter, Ambulances To Kaduna

NEMA Deploys Helicopter, Ambulances To KadunaThe National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has deployed a rescue helicopter, three Mobile Intensive Care Unit (MICU) Ambulances and three Rapid Intervention Vehicles to Kaduna State.

This according to the agency is to join other stakeholders in providing support for emergency operations in the state, following the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

A statement issued on Friday by the spokesman for NEMA, Sani Datti, explained that the helicopter would be used for medical patrol, while the MICU ambulances with the Rapid Intervention Vehicles are stationed along Jere and Katari Towns, Kaduna-Abuja road and Kaduna International Airport.

“The MICU ambulances are used to administer first aid treatment and stabilisation for trauma victims on their way to the hospital, as it serves as a mobile hospital with the capacity to carry one critical and one less critical victim.

“The Rapid Intervention Vehicles are used for search and rescue, fight fire rapidly and extrication of victims trapped in accident vehicles or collapsed structures,” he said.

NEMA asked the public to contact it through its North West Zonal office at number 15 Wurno, Road Unguwan Sarki, Kaduna.

The agency said it can also be reached through its emergency call number: 0800CALLNEMA (080022556362) or the National Emergency Number 112, stressing that all calls are toll free.

IPAC Advocates Amendment Of Electoral Act

IPAC Advocates Amendment Of Electoral ActThe Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has advocated the need for amendment of the 2010 Electoral Act ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The National Chairman of IPAC, Mr Mohammed Nalabo, said this on Wednesday while addressing a news conference at the end of the Council’s general assembly meeting in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Nalabo noted that an amendment of the act would reduce the spate of inconclusive elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“IPAC is working assiduously with INEC to strengthen the capacity of political parties through voter education, sensitisation of members and the general public, to completely minimise inconclusive elections and promote level playing ground for all political parties.

“We commend INEC in its recent step to discipline erring staff that were allegedly involved in corrupt electoral malpractices.

“IPAC is calling on the constitutional and electoral committee to work assiduously with the National Assembly to ensure effective and prompt amendments of 2010 Electoral Act before the 2019 general elections.

“IPAC urges political parties to imbibe internal democracy in carrying out their activities; we are worried about the increasing leadership disagreement in some political parties.

“We urge leaders of the affected political parties to embrace dialogue and political solution to resolve their differences,” said the IPAC Chairman.

New FCT Police Commissioner Pledges Effective Security

FCT Police, Abuja, Musa KimoThe newly appointed Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Musa Kimo, has assured residents of Nigeria’s capital of effective security.

Mr Kimo stated his willingness to partner with well-meaning individuals, groups and security agencies in securing Abuja and its environs.

Speaking shortly after taking over the affairs of the FCT Command from the immediate past Commissioner of Police, Kimo noted that the Police under his watch would be professional, fair, just and God-fearing in the discharge of their duties.

He commended his predecessor, Mr Mohammed Mustafa, for the role he played in maintaining security within and around the FCT.

The new FCT Police Commissioner promised to sustain the legacies he met, in line with the vision and mandate of the Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris.

Senate Admonishes Culture, Tourism Ministries Over Revenue Generation

Federal Government Recovers Loot
Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed

The Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism has faulted the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, for the inability of the ministries of culture and tourism to generate sizable revenue in 2016.

The committee members made the criticism on Tuesday during a budget defence session at the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

They noted that the culture sector which is under the Ministry of Information generated only 620,000 Naira in 2016.

The Chairman of the committee, Senator Matthew Urhoghide, described the revenue as extremely low.

He stressed that the ministry’s officials must shore up their revenue profiles.

Mr Mohammed, however, argued that the ministry was not designed to generate revenue.

Nigeria Seeks Partnership To Attain Food Sufficiency

Agriculture, Food Sufficiency, The Federal Government is seeking partnerships that will assist Nigeria in her attainment of food sufficiency.

The Director in charge of Planning and Policy at the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Awul Maidabino, made the disclosure during a joint steering committee meeting of the ministry in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Maidabino emphasised that the ministry was responsible to partner with major stakeholders to develop effective policies that would create conducive environment for better private sector participation in the agriculture sector.

He explained that officials of the ministry were meeting with local and international organisations under the joint sector review committee, to discuss agriculture promotion policies and evaluate their strength and weaknesses.

In their remarks, the President of the Nigerian Women Agro Allied Farmers Association, Lizzy Igbine, and an official representing the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, USAID, Baye Sylvester, highlighted the importance of the policies.

The meeting provided a platform for state and non-state stakeholders to assess the performance of the government, as well as and assist in setting sector policy and priorities.

Nigeria has a huge agricultural potential with over 84 million hectares of arable land of which only 40% is cultivated, and a reliable rainfall in over two thirds of its territory.

In spite of possessing some of the richest natural resources for agricultural production in the world, the country is not a major player in the global agricultural market.

The government is hoping to improve its activity in the agriculture sector through a policy thrust that looks at diversifying the economy.

President Buhari Meets With Gowon

Buhari GowonPresident Muhammadu Buhari has met behind closed doors with a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (Rtd) at the Presidential Villa.

The meeting was held inside the President’s office for about 30 minutes.

The former military leader did not speak to reporters after the meeting.

The meeting of the two leaders was the second one in two months. The first was in August, just before the former head of state travelled abroad.

Among other matters, the August meeting focused on the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption campaign, which the former leader expressed support for.

In a chat with newsmen after the meeting, he encouraged the Nigerian leader to deal with the situation which he said had created serious setback to Nigeria nationally and internationally.

He also expressed delight at the Federal Government’s determination so far in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents and efforts to rescue the missing Chibok girls.

General Gowon said at the time that the government would soon get credible information that would lead to the rescue of the girls abducted in April 2014 from their school’s dormitory in Borno State.

He urged Nigerians to be patient with the President who he said took over power at a time Nigeria was witnessing dwindling crude oil price.

It was the same month that President Buhari agreed to the idea of swapping Boko Haram prisoners for the Chibok girls and just as Gowon predicted, the government went on to secure the release of 21 of the abducted Chibok girls.

The release was the outcome of negotiations between the Nigerian government and the Boko Haram, brokered by the International Red Cross and the Swiss Government.

President Muhammadu Buhari has also said his government would sustain efforts to free the remaining girls, kidnapped by the jihadist group.

 “About 100 more (girls) are still in the hands of the terrorists,” Buhari told reporters in Berlin after a meeting with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. “We hope we’ll get some … intelligence to go about securing the balance.”

Nigeria Restores History Into Education Curricula

Nigeria, Education, School, HistoryThe Nigerian Government has reintroduced history as a core subject in the primary and secondary schools’ curricula.

The Federal Government also restored history as a stand-alone course at the tertiary level.

The reintroduction comes after the subject was earlier merged with social studies, following complains that pupils and students no longer like to study the course.

The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who disagreed with the rational, made the announcement on Thursday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Adamu stated that no nation would progress without recourse to its past.

He added that given the critical nature of Nigeria’s history and the effect it could have on the nation at present and in the future, it has become imperative to reintroduce history as a core subject.

The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Folashade Yemi-Esan, on her part, corroborated the minister’s remarks.

She expressed hope that the restoration would help the young citizens learn and appreciate the diversity of Nigeria as a country.

Yemi-Esan added that it would also serve as a medium to reduce the incidences of religious and ethnic intolerance.

Electoral Institute Stresses Need For Electoral Reform

Electoral Institute, Electoral ReformThe Electoral Institute says Nigeria needs to improve its electoral service delivery and get the reform process right in order to stabilise its democracy.

The Director-General of the Electoral Institute, Professor Abubakar Momoh, made the remarks on Thursday during a meeting with stakeholders in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He said that although series of talks and committees had been formed to establish a panacea to credible elections, the independence of the nation’s electoral body had come into question.

Highlighting the role of the media, Professor Momoh pointed out that the issues of rising poverty, corruption and erosion of public institutions should not easily sway media practitioners.

He said that the media has a huge role to play in solving the many challenges bedevilling the nation’s electoral process.

The guest lecturer, who is a professor of Political Science at the University of Ibadan, Adigun Agbaje, posited that the attitude of politicians was largely to blame for Nigeria’s eroding democratic values.

Other experts at the gathering also cited the experience at the Edo State governorship election as one of the ways politicians erode the foundation of democracy.

They maintained that the culture of impunity during elections must be addressed.

The stakeholders said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s renewed focus on reforming the electoral process should be sustained to the letter.

The Federal Government had constituted an Electoral Reform Committee headed by a former Senate President, Mr Ken Nnamani.

The government said the committee was set up, not as an imitation of the Justice Mohammed Uwais’ panel, but to improve on the preceding one.