Shun Reckless Borrowing, Senate Warns Federal And States Government

The Senate on Monday warned state governments not to embark on reckless borrowing of money which would enslave future generations of Nigerians.

The members of the Senate committee on local and foreign debts handed down the warning when state commissioners of finance appeared before the committee to defend the loans which they intend to get from international organizations.

The state governments have applied for loans totalling about $3.39billion while the federal government applied for a loan of $4.8 billion.

The Chairman Senate committee on local and foreign debts, Ehigie Uzamere said the senate will not give blanket approval to the states for the loans to prevent states from creating debt burdens for future generations.

“Most of the states of the federation were not seeking foreign loans for projects and programmes that would have direct impact on the lives of their people,” he said.

Mr Uzamere added that “it is very sad the way we are going in this country especially in terms of borrowing. Our children yet unborn may suffer from what they don’t know anything about. When we approve these loans, our committee will visit the states to see what the governors are doing with the loans.”

Another member of the committee, Gbenga Obadara, charged the states to align their borrowing plans with the needs of the masses.

“There is no reason for any state to over-borrow. The governors must think of people that will pay the debt in 10 years’ time. We, as lawmakers, find it difficult to see the states in debt trap. We have states seeking $100million. Their debt will continue to pile up.

“One percent of loan interest today will become very huge in 10 years’ time. We should shun reckless borrowing as much as possible. Our committee therefore advises state governors to cut their cloths according to their sizes.”

The Ondo State Commissioner for Finance, Yele Ogundipe had earlier submitted a request of $50 million request for health programmes and another $27.9m for youth employment; while his Enugu State counterpart, Ralph Nnaji, submitted a request of $50 million loan for watershed management project, $40 million for youth empowerment, $18 million and $40 million for energy project.

Governors should also give more powers to local government – Peter Esele

The president of the Trade union Congress (TUC) has urged the state governors to support the push for local government autonomy as they (the governors) are as well demanding for more power from the Federal Government.

Mr Esele, made the plea on our breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily in Port Harcourt, where he noted that to make the local governments functional, “there must be a law to make the local governments independent and functional.”

Obi flags off reconstruction of three bridges worth over N2 billion

In a quiet ceremony at the site of the bridge at Ozubulu, Ekwusigo local government area of the state, Anambra state governor, Peter Obi, has flagged off the reconstruction of three bridges along Atani/Ozubulu road which is under construction.

The bridges awarded at the cost of over N2 billion  bring to 20 the number of bridges executed by the present administration with some of them already completed.

Mr Obi, said 15 per cent of the contract sum has been paid the contractor to ensure speedy execution of project at record time.

The first bridge at Atani axis is 60 metres in length, while the remaining two at Ozubulu are 45 metres respectively. They have also been expanded from four feet to 12 feet, width wise, and its height increased to eight feet.

The economic importance of the road was captured by the governor and secretary to the state government.

Also the commissioner of works reminded the people on the need to be supportive of government’s effort.

Member representing Ekwusigo Local Government Area in the state House of Assembly, Mr Paulinus Onyeke, commended the present administration for its dedication to duty and service to mankind and urged his constituents to lend support by way of taking ownership of the construction.

 

Bayelsa govt. vows to keep up support for HIV/AIDS victims

As part of measures geared towards alleviating the plight of HIV/AIDS victim, the Bayelsa State Government held a charity football match hosting the Creek Haven Young Stars and Creek Haven All Stars to mark the 2012 World HIV/AIDS Day at Gloryland Castle field in Government House, Yenagoa.

Bayelsa State government has reaffirmed its commitment to the wellbeing of people living with HIV/AIDS, saying it has made several approvals for their welfare. The Governor, Seriake Dickson stated this at a charity football match.

Speaking at the venue, Hon. Dickson said government approved stipends that would be disbursed to them through the State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS (BYSACA) on a regular basis.

According to him, the football event was part of efforts at sensitizing the people on the dangers of HIV/AIDS and expressed concerns over the high prevalence rate of the pandemic.

Governor Dickson pointed out that government would continue to use sports as one of the instruments to promote healthy living.

Chairman of the occasion, General Owoye Azazi (Rtd) commended the state government for its show of concern for persons living with HIV/AIDS and stressed the need for more campaigns against stigmatization.

Also speaking, former Super Eagles Coach, Mr. Samson Siasia called for more help for HIV/AIDS victims and concerted efforts to encourage prevention of the disease.

The charity football match, which was keenly contested ended 2 – 1 in favour of the Creek Haven Young Stars.

Ogun state governor effects minor cabinet reshuffle

The Governor of Ogun state; Ibikunle Amosun has effected a minor cabinet reshuffle saying this is to enable government to invigorate and strengthen the administration to achieve its five-point economic blueprint through the re-building process.

This is according to a press statement signed by the secretary to the state government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa.

Chief Olu Odeyemi, formerly Of the Ministry of Culture & Tourism will move to the Ministry of Special Duties, Hon.  Ayo Olubori, formerly of the Ministry of Agriculture will move to the Ministry of Forestry.

Others are Dr Lanre Tejuosho, formerly of the Ministry of Special Duties will move to the Ministry of the Environment.

Mr Adebayo Fari, formerly of the Ministry of Environment will move to the newly created Ministry of Physical Planning; while Hon. Falilu Adebisi, formerly of the ministry of forestry will move to the ministry of Rural Development.

Meanwhile, the Governor has sent names of Commissioners-designate to the House of Assembly for consideration.

According to the statement, the exercise will take immediate effect.

Four die in Ogun road accident

Four persons were confirmed dead while others sustained injuries in a fatal auto crash which occurred in front of the Ogun State Governor’s office, along the Oke-Mosan-Kobape-Sagamu dual carriage way in Abeokuta, the state capital.

The mangled bodies of the victims were reportedly removed from the wreckage of the auto crash after sympathizers had axed their way into the wrecked car they were travelling in.

The accident which involved a Toyota Tundra Jeep with registration number Lagos: FC 787LND and a Nissan Primeria car with registration number FZ 914 LSR was said to have occurred when the jeep heading for Shagamu crossed the median while the driver was receiving a phone call and hit the car with six passengers.

It took the intervention of the Ogun State rescue team of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDS), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and the Ogun State Traffic Compliance Agency (TRACE) before the dead bodies could be removed from the wreckage.

Confirming the incident, the team leader of the state traffic enforcement and compliant, Mr. Oladele Badmos said those who were injured are currently receiving treatment at the federal medical centre, idiaba while the remains of the dead will be deposited at the mortuary.

Leadership Series Event: Nigerian leaders advised to adopt participatory governance

Nigerian leaders are to ensure that governance gets to the grassroots because it is one of the tools and ways that democracy can thrive in the country as well as adopt an inclusive participatory government where everybody is a stakeholder.

This is the view of notable Nigerians during a leadership series event at Enugu State.

While speaking to channels television, former information minister, Dr.Walter Ofonagoro, disclosed that regional insecurity can be brought to a halt when the leaders co-operate with the government in authority to fish out those involved in causing insurgencies within their locality as it is expected that as a leader they should be aware of what happens within their communities.

Dr. Walter hinted that despite the enormous problems been experienced in the nation that Nigeria is not a failed state if all the leaders can perform their responsibilities in a patriotic and selfless manner.

According to Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe representing Abia south, participatory governance would assist in solving most of the challenges facing the country if all stakeholders are allow to be part of the government irrespective of status, class in the society.

State governments are crippling Local councils – Babatunde Rotinwa

Former Head of Service in Lagos State, Babatunde Rotinwa on Monday accused the State governments in Nigeria for usurping the powers and responsibilities of the local government councils.

Mr Rotinwa disclosed this while responding to questions on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

He said the structure of the local government council according to the first schedule of the Nigeria constitution consists of elected officials whose primary responsibilities is to bring government closer to the grassroot communities.

“Rather than allow them perform these functions, the state governments come under the excuse of so many things to corner the resources of the local governments and make the delivery of services at the grassroot almost impossible,” he said.