The Nasarawa State Government has promised an increase in salaries of government workers, while assuring them that ongoing payment of the emoluments will soon be over.
This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Haruna Osegba, during a press briefing at the end of January Joint Account Committee of the Ministry.
The Commissioner, while fielding questions from journalists also hinted that the sum of 160 million Naira has been approved by the State Governor, Tanko Al-Makura, which is to settle gratuity of deceased pensioners.
On the issue of percentage payment of emoluments to local government employees, Mr Osegba gave an assurance that it would be a thing of the past as the state government is looking to resolve it sooner than later.
“With the increase in January allocation, there was a marginal increase of 32 million Naira and I’m hopeful that the local government would continue to witness a marginal increase in salary.
“What we got in December 2016 was 864,563 million Niara but January allocation to be shared in February is 896,899 million Naira.
“With the 32 million Naira, any local government under the category of 70 percent will now collect 72 per cent, while those under 60 per cent will get 62 percent, 50 percent will get 52 percent and 40 percent will get 42 percent”, he said.
The commissioner assured that the ongoing construction of 625 bridges and culverts in all the local government and development areas will soon be completed.
In furtherance of the fight against environmental pollution in Rivers state by black soot, the state Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, on Friday, ordered the arrest of 15 mechanics, said to have been engaged in illegal burning of used tyres and condemned engine oil.
The governor ran into the mass illegal burning of tyres on Aba road, around the Oyigbo axis, while returning from Oyigbo where he attended the funeral service of Late Sir Precious Oforji.
He was said to have gone into the large mechanic workshop where the mechanics had used an open field to burn the tyres.
Thereafter, he directed the State Fire Service to put out the fire, while stating that the government would liaise with relevant security agencies to ensure they are prosecuted.
The governor was in the company of the Former Acting National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, Rivers State PDP Chairman, Bro Felix Obuah and Former Rivers State Governor, Sir Celestine Omehia.
Wike noted that his administration is working with all stakeholders to ensure that the black soot polluting the atmosphere is brought under control.
He said nobody would be allowed to endanger the lives of the people of the state through harmful environmental practices.
Furthermore, the governor assured residents that the Task Force set up to tackle the black soot issue, had been duly empowered to ensure that the state’s environment is safe for all residents.
The Imo State government says it has spent over40billion naira on its free tertiary education policy since inception four years ago.
The State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, made the disclosure at the Heroes Square in Owerri, the Imo State capital in southeast Nigeria.
He was speaking during the ongoing revalidation and verification exercise organised for Imo indigenes who are beneficiaries of the free education programme in all state-owned tertiary institutions in the state.
Addressing the students, Governor Okorocha who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Uche Nwosu, noted that the state government has decided to concentrate on Imo indigenes and drop non-indigenes from the programme.
He explained that the state government has spent about 40 billion naira to sustain the policy, adding that it would have to drop non-indigenes from the scheme as Imo indigenes in other state-owned schools across Nigeria do not enjoy such benefit.
The governor, however, assured the students of the government’s commitment to sustaining the programme beyond the life of the present administration.
“Nothing less than 40 billion has been spent in the last five years to sustain this free education policy.
“But as you know, our Imo sons and daughters in other schools outside Imo State are not benefiting any similar scheme in their various schools and we can’t keep shouldering their expenses.
“Like the saying: charity begins at home; we need to take care of our own first before others. So we have decided to drop non-indigenes from the exercise,” he said.
Governor Okorocha explained further that the essence of the ongoing revalidation and verification of students was to generate the accurate data of students and to also ascertain that students enjoying the programme were majorly of Imo extraction.
“The idea of this exercise is to capture (those) who are exactly Imo State citizens and to build a data base of who they are, and to inculcate in them the fact that government is training them for free, despite the very lean resources that is available to the government.
“From the form, they have to go back to their villages and get endorsement from their traditional ruler and also get endorsement from the secretary of the CGC (that is President-general).
“By that, we will know that they are from so so and so local government (and) let me tell you that some of them don’t even know their local government.
“The free education has come to stay,” he noted.
Dreams Of Better Educational Standard
In an interview with Channels Television, some of the students said that the free education programme has actually helped them achieve their dreams of a better and higher educational standard without payment.
A student said “because of the free education, I could achieve a lot in the medical school.
“I have not paid a dime since I got admission into the university (and) my siblings are here.
“If not for the free education, I don’t think there is a way we can do it but I just thank the government for giving us the free education”.
At the inception of the Governor Okorocha led administration in 2011, education was declared free at primary and post-primary levels in all public schools in Imo State.
The government subsequently extended the gesture to all the state-owned tertiary institutions on February 14, 2012, including the Imo State School of Nursing and Health Technology.
As an extension of the free education programme in November 2012, the government slashed the tuition fee of non-indigenes schooling in the state-owned tertiary institutions by 50%.
However, the revalidation and verification exercise is supposed to last for two weeks of which students are meant to take their forms to their traditional rulers and government liaison officers in their communities for identification and return the form to the state government within the specified period.
Students of the Ogun state-owned Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun have staged a peaceful protest against what they termed outrageous fees being paid by students of the institution.
The protesting students in their hundreds stormed Abeokuta, the state capital, saying that the lofty ideas of the institution’s founding fathers are under serious threat with the alleged high-handedness of the management of the institution.
The students opposed increase in acceptance fee of new intakes from N30,000 to N40,000; final clearance fee for graduating students from N25, 000 to N45,000; increase in vocational studies fees from N1,000 to N25,000; payment of N10,200 as Student Tax; N7,500 as payment for replacement of lost final clearance and N1,500 fee for any reprint of school fees receipt.
In a letter of protest addressed to the State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, the students identified victimization of students’ activists, inadequate learning facilities, under-funding of the school by the state government, inadequate learning facilities as some of the challenges confronting the school.
The letter reads partly, “Education is supposed to be the leading social responsibility of the government. It is supposed to be seen as the major way of giving back to the society, but has turned to source of income and revenue for some people. Education is totally commercialized in TASUED. You pay for everything!
“As a result of several complaints and cries from the students, the leadership of the students’ Union government tried all they could to engage the school management to look into our plights in view of the present economic reality in the country and see ways of managing the situation at hand.”
Addressing the students at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in the state capital, Governor Ibikunle Amosun asked them to show more understanding and cooperation with government, especially in the face of the current economic recession in the country
”in Ogun state, education is free from primary to secondary but not free in our tertiary institutions and if you want your certificate to be worthwhile, you have to pay.
“It cannot be totally free, if you don’t want to pay, that means you may not get the type of education you rightly deserve,” he noted
The Governor, however, promised to liaise with the institution’s management with the view of getting a way out of some of the challenges confronting the students.
The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons has flag off humanitarian support Programme to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Yobe State, north east Nigeria.
The Federal Commissioner of the agency, Mrs Sadiya Umar-Farouck, flagged off the programme in Damaturu the state’s capital on Wednesday.
She says the first phase will include supply of both food and non-food items to the IDPs in the affected area.
The supply is coming at a time that UN agencies have raised concerns over severe cases of malnutrition in the region triggered by insurgency that has left the northeast region devastated.
UNICEF said getting ‘nutritious food’ items to the region had been hampered by activities of Boko Haram terrorists and even counter-terrorism operations in the area.
In the last few weeks, however, the IDPs in Damaturu have continue to receive assistance of food and non-food items from philanthropies, government, non-governmental organisations and spirited individuals across the country and beyond.
This time it is the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and IDPs that have brought succour to the displaced.
While kick-starting the distribution of the relief materials to the IDPs at the Pompomari Camp in Damaturu, Mrs Sadiya Umar-Farouck, said that the first phase would be distribution of food and non-food items while the second phase would focus on durable solutions that would make the return of the IDPS a memorable one.
The state governor, Ibrahim Gaidam, represented by his Deputy and Chairman of the Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Relocation of IDPs in the state, Mr Abubakar Aliyu, called for more assistance to the remaining IDPs still taking refuge at the Pompomari Camp.
He revealed that 2,500 IDPs were currently taking refuge at the Damaturu official camp, as many more have returned to their ancestral homes sequel to the return of peace in some affected areas.
“The need for more assistance to the IDPs became necessary, as all those at the camp and the returnees have not engaged themselves in meaningful means of livelihood for several years.
“The Yobe State Government has carried out lots of reconstruction and rehabilitation works to improve the lives of the IDPs and we appreciate the efforts of the government, philanthropists, NGOs and other spirited individuals for the untiring support to the displaced,” he told the gathering.
Assistance received from the various philanthropists have been shared to the IDPs in the official camp in Damaturu and to those who have returned to their ancestral homes.
The idea is to support them as they strive to lay a foundation for their means of livelihood that had been taken away by over seven years of insurgency in the region.
Over two million persons have been displaced in the region while over six million are in dire need of humanitarian aid, as the northeast region had been cut out of food supplies in the heat of insurgency.
Boko Haram, a terrorists group, had, within the last seven years, pushed for the establishment of an Islamic state and an end to Western education in the region.
The popular Fayose market in Ado Ekiti, the state capital has been closed following the order of the State Governor, Ayodele Fayose for not complying with the rules and regulations of the market.
Channels TV correspondent reports that the market has been under lock and key for the past few weeks and this has not been the best of time for the traders, considering the season and as the yuletide approaches.
The Commissioner for Information, Lanre Ogunsuyi, has explained that “the market was closed due to the attack on the enforcement officers of the state government, (and) for now the market remains closed until the traders learn their lessons”.
The Governor has also explained that the market was closed “for not complying with the laws and order rules guiding the market”.
He said that traders should see themselves as brothers and respect the state government order.
Traders in the market have been warned in the past to stop obstructing access roads and walkways with their goods.
Efforts have been made by the traders to appeal to Governor Fayose for an amicable resolution of the matter but the efforts have not yielded the desired result.
For now, traders remain on the streets hoping that the market would be opened as soon as possible.
The Super Eagles of Nigeria have beaten the Desert Warriors of Algeria 3-1 in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.
Chelsea forward Victor Moses scored Nigeria’s first goal in the 26th minute after a mix up in the Algerian defence.
Captain Mikel Obi added a second on 42 minutes after beating the offside trap set by the Algerian defence.
Nabil Bentaleb pulled one back for Algeria in the second half but Victor Moses’s 2nd goal of match wrapped up all three points for the Super Eagles.
Nigeria now have six points from the two matches played and have created a 4-point lead after Cameroon and Zambia played a 1-1 draw in the group’s other game.
Cameroon are second with two points while Zambia and Algeria who have both lost to Nigeria have one point each.
Georges Leekens’ men are now in danger of missing out on the 2018 World Cup in spite of having some of the continent’s most in-form players and being ranked third in the continent behind the Ivory Coast and Senegal.
Before the match, Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, promised Super Eagles players $10,000 for every unreplied goal they score against Algeria, in the World Cup qualifier.
Governor Udom made this promise, when he visited the team at their Le Meridien Hotel camp, accompanied by his predecessor, Godswill Akpabio.
The Governor had donated 10million naira to the three-time African champions, after they defeated Tanzania 1-0 in September.
The Ekiti state government has signed a peace agreement with the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria on the anti-grazing law.
The State Governor, Mr Ayo Fayose said there is no going back on the law as he insisted that government’s responsibility is to ensure the safety of the lives and property of Ekiti citizens.
The south-west chairman of the association, Alhaji Kabir Mohammed promised that the herdsmen will do everything to ensure peace prevails in the state.
The operations of the Grazing Enforcement Marshall, established to enforce the Ekiti State Government’s Anti-Grazing Act was suspended on Tuesday after issues were raised by the herders’ association, claiming that some of the animals were killed by the officials.
Governor Ayodele Fayose said they would stay suspended for few days to enable the state address issues raised.
“They have demanded that I should allow them three days for them to move some of these cattle to permanent areas where they will be grazing. So, I have suspended the activities of the marshals for the next five days,” he saidd.
Governor Fayose expressed happiness that the leaders of the of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeder’s Association, decided to contact the state government instead of listening to rumours being peddled around by the opposition.
He, however, debunked the claims that cattle were killed by the marshals.
“The marshals are not armed. There is total misinformation about killing of cows, shooting of cows. It is pure political and misinformation,” he said.
The Ekiti State Government’s Anti-Grazing Act prohibits herders from indiscriminate movement within the State with their animals at specified time.
The Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has presented the 2017 Appropriation Bill of 301 billion naira to the state House of Assembly.
Christened ‘Budget of Infinite Transposition’, the budget, according to the Governor, seeks to achieve three cardinal objectives of improving and expanding infrastructure through Public Private Partnership, planting the tree of the state future revenue generation and gradual industrialization of the state.
Giving a breakdown of the budget, N81,142,339,895.32 is allocated for recurrent expenditure while N220,060,873,053.48 is allocated for capital expenditure.
The recurrent expenditure represents 24.8% of the budget while the capital expenditure represents 75.2% of the budget estimate.
He said that the state intends to fund the budget from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Statutory Allocation, Capital Receipts and Projected Investor Revenue from Direct Foreign Investments.
According to the estimate, N81,142,339,895,32 is expected to be generated through IGR, N41,676,220,113.64 from statutory allocation, 76,070,524,023.85 from donor agencies, 38,474,892,065.29 from the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery Fund and 63,839,236,850.70 from revenue from investments.
Making the presentation, Ayade informed the Assembly that it was the desire of his administration in 2017 to focus on the superhighway because it is the main energy that will open up the vista of opportunities for prosperity.
Describing the size of the appropriation bill as ambitious, Ayade said he was optimistic that it can be achieved because when there is cash deficiency, the intellect takes over.
Cross River State government in southern Nigeria has announced plans to float a state’s shipping line that will service countries along the coastal line.
The State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade, announced the plan on Friday at a meeting with 21 indigenous Merchant Navy Maritime Students from the Philippines. They were on a courtesy visit to his office, in Calabar.
Assuring them of the government’s continuous support, the governor said that as a result of the new development, coupled with the fact that Cross River now has well trained maritime experts, his administration would see to the creation of Maritime Services Department in the state.
Governor Ayade further told the visitors that, the Maritime department would oversee the affairs of the students and ensure that they got to the peak of their chosen career.
Leader of the group, Deck Cadet Olom Gabriel Odey, thanked the governor for the role he played in facilitating their admission into Maritime Universities of Cebu and Lecyean, both in the Philippines, as a serving Senator.
The trainees further requested for an opportunity to have sea time experience which is the perquisite for their training programme.