2020 Budget: Senate Approves N140.3bn For NCC

Failed Data Tariff Increment Decision Was To Protect Consumers – NCC‎


The Senate has approved the sum of N140, 383,591,000 for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for the 2020 fiscal year.

In a statement by the Special Assistant on Press to President of the Senate, Ezrel Tabiowo, the approval came following consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Communications during plenary on Wednesday.

Chairman of the Communications Committee, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, while giving a breakdown of the Commission’s total expenditure for the year 2020, said that N39, 297,044,000 is for recurrent expenditure and N20, 863,699,000 for special projects.

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The lawmaker added that out of the total budget for the Commission, the sum of N8,129,462,000 is for capital expenditure, N64,208,446,000 for Transfer to Federal Government, and N7,500,000,000 as Transfer to the Universal Service Provision Fund.

Similarly, the Senate also approved the sum of N11,594,920,847 for the Universal Service Provision Fund for the 2020 fiscal year.

The approval came after consideration of the report of the Committee on Communications chaired by Senator Tinubu.

Out of the total amount approved, N2,354,055,799 is for recurrent expenditure, N196,108,610 for capital expenditure and N9,044,756,438 for USPF projects and programmes.

Bill To Cater For Inmates’ Babies Scales Second Reading At Senate

Senate, Inmates' BabiesThe Senate has passed for second reading, a bill which seeks to protect babies born while their mothers are serving jail terms in prisons across Nigeria.

The sponsor of the bill, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, enlightened lawmakers at the Upper House on the benefits of the proposal.

Senator Tinubu explained that if passed into law, the bill would ensure that prison authorities provide special accommodation to meet prenatal and postnatal needs of pregnant inmates.

She told her colleagues on Wednesday that the condition of babies and mothers serving jail terms in Nigerian prisons was disheartening and should be of serious concern to the parliament.

“There is need for a Crèche, Nursery and a separate facility to improve conditions of Nursing Mothers and Children in Prison,” Senator Tinubu stressed.

Appalling Condition Of Prisons

The lawmaker further expressed displeasure with the condition of most of the prisons, saying they do not provide for nursing mothers serving their jail terms.

In a similar development, the Senate decried the situation in Nigeria’s major prisons, describing it as appalling.

It pointed out that the prisons needed improvement, something that a bill for an act to repeal and re-enact the Prison Act may be addressing at the completion of the process.

The bill was also brought before the Senate for its second reading on Wednesday.

It was sponsored by Senator Shaba Lafiagi who also led the debate on the bill.

FG To Ban Felling Of Trees To Avert Desertification

Felling of Trees, Desertification, The Federal Government is working towards putting a ban on felling of trees as a means of addressing the challenge of desertification in Nigeria.

The Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, announced the plan on Wednesday at a public forum on desertification and deforestation organised by the European Union.

Mrs Mohammed laments that about 1.5 million trees are cut daily in Nigeria, thereby creating room for desert encroachment.

On his part, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, hinted that the Senate was considering a bill to improve forestry in Nigeria.

At an earlier event to flag-off the ‘Keep Kaduna Green Project’, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed worry that Nigeria has the highest rate of deforestation in the world in spite of campaigns against such acts.

Restore The Environment

The President was represented by the Environment Minister at the event designed to plant one million trees annually in Kaduna State.

He pointed out that over 576 million trees were lost annually due to deforestation, adding that the situation had led to the increased rate of desertification, flooding and drought in some parts of Nigeria.

Environmental Auditors, AFROSAI, Implementation

President Buhari feared that with the upsurge in the rate of deforestation, the Federal Government’s effort to achieve the forest cover and restore the environment by 25% might be a tall dream.

Paid For Growing Trees 

In another development, the Federal Ministry of Environment reiterated its commitment to forestry development with a view to checkmate the effects of climate change in Nigeria.

The Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin, stressed the importance of agriculture and forestry to national economy and security.

He also expressed concern over the negative destruction of the nation’s forests which he said had led to numerous environmental challenges.

Mr Jibrin called on farmers and other stakeholders to come up with solutions on how to combat climate change and deforestation in Nigeria.

If Nigeria could enact a law that would proscribe felling of trees, the nation could be added to the list of countries getting paid for keeping their forests.

Over eight countries get the REDD+ (Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) funds.

REDD+ is the UN led mechanism which helps countries earn dollars by not cutting trees and saving carbon dioxide in forests.

Environmental experts estimate that if a nation upholds deforestation and also plant new trees, it can earn $4 – 12 billion

Senate Blocks Provision of Special Grants To Lagos

Senate, gender equality,The Nigerian Senate has thrown out a bill which seeks the provision of special grants to Lagos state.

The bill entitled the ‘Lagos State Special Economic Assistance Programme’, is seeking a one per cent grant from the Federal Government for the share of the revenue accruing to the Federal Government.

The sponsor of the bill, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, argued that although Lagos State generated much of Nigeria’s income outside the oil sector, the economic activities and huge population of the state places a huge strain on infrastructure and services in the state.

Lagos state is one of Nigeria’s richest states, with huge internal revenue coming from tax and the state recently joined the list of oil producing states.

The request for economic assistance for Lagos State is coming at a time that the nation’s economy is in recession, with a report of the National Bureau of Statistics showing that the nation’s Gross Domestic Product index contracted by 2.06% in the second quarter of 2016.

Lagos, Special Status
There have been calls for a special status for Lagos due to its position as Nigeria’s economic epicenter

Plan Has Not Changed

Every revenue counts now for the nation that depends largely on crude oil sales for revenue and the Federal Government had in the past months handed down a bailout to states that could not pay workers salaries.

On what the government is doing to address the economic crisis, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said the tactical plan of the Nigerian government to address its economic challenges had not changed in spite of the official confirmation that the country had gone into a recession.

Mrs Adeosun was the guest of Channels TV’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, September 20, where the conversation centered on the state of the Nigerian economy.

She recalled that the country had been in negative growth since 2012 with the hope that it would avoid recession but since the reality of the recession has dawned on the nation, the government is prepared to address it.

“Our plans haven’t changed. We need to stimulate the economy and we are going to do so largely by redirecting expenditure from recurrent into capital because we believe that capital expenditure will create jobs and create more productivity in the economy in the long run and help us to diversify,” she said.

The Finance Minister noted that the solution to Nigeria’s problem has been the same and getting out of recession remains dependent on how productive the economy becomes as well as how well it can create jobs.

“To do so, we’ve got to invest in our capital infrastructure,” she maintained.

Senate Raises Alarm Over Rising Cases Of Child Abuse

Child Abuse, Nigerian Senate, Children's DayThe Nigerian Senate has highlighted the need to address the increasing cases of child abuse across the country.

This came ahead of the Children’s Day celebration on Friday, May 27.

The Upper Chamber made these resolution after a federal lawmaker, Senator Oluremi Tinubu raised a motion on the 2016 Children’s Day celebration.

Senator Tinubu had raised an alarm at the rising cases of violence against children in Nigeria.

She presented from the newspapers, the case of an 18-month-old boy who was allegedly attacked by his step-mothers and was left with broken limbs and injuries to his private parts.

She described the incident as disheartening and emphasized the need to ensure that the Senate enacts more laws to protect children and take all necessary steps to bring such violence to an end.

The Senate has also appealed to the Federal Government to ensure the rescue of the Chibok girls who are currently in the captivity of Boko Haram insurgents.

They also asked the joint committees on Women Affairs and Health, to visit Internally Displaced Persons’ camps and celebrate Children’s Day with the children there.

Prepare To Vacate Your Seat- PDP Alerts Remi Tinubu

remi tunubu The Lagos State Chapter of the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP) has vowed to stop the return of Senator Oluremi Tinubu to the Senatorial district, cautioning the Senator to stop her “unparliamentary, unpatriotic and inexperience manner of carrying out ordinary legislative functions and privileges”.

The Party’s stance is on the heels of reports of two interviews allegedly granted in two different National Newspapers, wherein Senator Tinubu “disparaged the Senate as nonentity and also described the hallowed Chamber as not befitting enough of her likes to return!”.

The said interviews were brought on the floor of the Senate, by Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba.

The PDP, in statement by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary, Mr Taofik Gani, noted that the Senate has “asked the committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to investigate the Lagos central Senator following her statement that except the All Progressives Congress (APC) becomes the majority, she has had her fill in the senatorial seat and adding that the Senate has failed Nigerians”.

The party also noted that the Senate Majority Leader warned “Senator Tinubu to stop disgracing the State by her unparliamentary, unpatriotic and inexperienced manner of carrying out ordinary legislative functions and privileges”.

The PDP also vowed that “unless the Senator is lucky to escape reprimand by the Senate, it shall mobilise voters in Lagos Central Senatorial District to invoke section 69 of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution. The said section talks about Powers and Processes to recall a Senator or Member of the House of Representatives.

“First, we want to re-assure Senator Remi Tinubu that indeed she has had her Fill in the Senate and can never return to the Senate in 2015, at least not as a Lagos Senator.

“As a matter of urgency, her completing this present term is hanging and imbalance. Unless she is lucky to scale through the senate and be cleared by the Senate committee asked to investigate her, we shall mobilise voters from her Senatorial District to commence the process of her recall as allowed under Section 69 of our Constitution.

“Lagosians are now too embarrassed by the ignoble actions of this APC Senator who we expected would be a fast learner and graduate from being a rookie Senator to an experienced Senator.

“Indeed, we do recognise her Right of freedom of expression, however, she ought to exercise same within the Rules of the Senate. Persistently making same mistakes shows that she is either Treacherous or inexperienced, consequently Unfit to remain in the Senate” the party said.

Fashola, Tinubu, Jakande, Others Honour Departed APC Chieftain, Alhaji Odunsi

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Saturday joined Former Governor and National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and first civilian Governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande to pay their last respects to a leader of the APC in Surulere, Alhaji Babatunde Odunsi.

The Governor who was one of the earliest callers at the Surulere residence of the deceased in the early hours of Saturday also joined others at the Janazah prayers held at the Wahab Folawiyo Central Mosque, Surulere later in the day.

The remains of the deceased were later interred at the Vaults and Gardens in Ikoyi after the traditional dust-to-dust rites was performed by the children and relatives of the deceased. They were supported by political associates of the late leader including Governor Fashola, Asiwaju Tinubu, lawmakers from the National and State House of Assemblies among others.

Governor Fashola described the departed leader as a foremost organizer and coordinator who would be sorely missed by all particularly in his Surulere constituency and Lagos State as a loyal party man and thorough grassroots mobiliser.

While condoling with members of Alhaji Odunsi’s family and the teeming party faithful on behalf of the Government and people of Lagos State, Governor Fashola prayed to Almighty Allah to admit the soul of the departed into Al-Jannah Firdaus.

Aged 82, the late Alhaji Lateef Babatunde Odunsi was a founding member of several progressive platforms having gone into politics since 1957 starting with the Action Congress to the Unity Party of Nigeria, the Action Congress of Nigeria and the APC.

Collective responsibility is the catalyst for national development – Senator Oluremi

Senator Oluremi Tinubu has called on Nigerians to be involved in the effort in rebuilding Nigeria and rescuing it from its many woes.

Senator Oluremi made this call in Surulere at the 4th edition of her annual Town Hall Meeting with her constituents, who emphasized that “Collective responsibility is the catalyst for national development”.

She also mentioned the level of woes currently surrounding the nation, saying Nigeria is grappling with looming dangers of worsening crime rates, insecurity and unemployment.

She further said: “more than ever before, we must emphasize strongly the need for all of us to collectively rise up and play our part in achieving positive change and development.”

She also reasoned that “evolving challenges in Nigeria indicate that at this critical juncture in our history, we must collectively strive towards achieving change.”

She listed signs of underdevelopment pervading the country to include inaccessibility to job opportunities, healthcare, power, potable water, food, education and housing.

“The negative effects of the aforementioned societal ills affect every member of the society,” she noted adding that the trend “is part of the reasons all citizens must shun apathy and get more involved.”

Senator Oluremi argued that the prevalent crises in the land should propel every well-meaning Nigerian to embrace “new efforts aimed at entrenching progressive principles and genuine development across the Nigerian federation.”