REVEALED: How Accidental Airstrike On Rann IDP Camp Happened

Details have began to emerge on how the accidental bombing of an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Rann, Borno State happened.

According to report, the Air Force bombing of the camp on Tuesday was based on an intelligence alert by a foreign country.

The report added that the Air Force was not aware of the existence of the IDPs camp due to lack of synergy among the military, the Emergency Management bodies and the Borno State Government.

According to a source, who gave technical  insights into how the error occurred,  the incident was due to “failure of intelligence”.

The source said: “What happened was that a foreign nation, which had been assisting in the counter-insurgency, provided an intelligence alert on the regrouping of some insurgents in Rann.

“The foreign country based its alert on what its surveillance radar picked. The alert indicated that the insurgents must be smoked out as early as possible. It was on this basis that the Air Force deployed its jet.

“The error occurred because the IDPs camp was not among the list of camps made available to the Air Force. There is a strong suspicion that the camp was recently set up by emergency bodies and Borno State without updating the list given to the military.”

The source pleaded that the country’s name should not be revealed. He stressed that there was no coordination between the military and the emergency bodies on the camp in Rann.

“Yet, we cannot blame the foreign country because it had always given credible intelligence to the military, especially on Operation Lafiya Dole,” the source said.

Another source, who pleaded not to be named, spoke of a technical investigation of how the incident happened. The probe involves the military and security agencies. “It is going to be a comprehensive audit of the information available to the Tactical Air Command, the directives given to the pilot and his crew, how the flight took off, why the plane could not distinguish a settlement from  insurgents’ clusters and why the bombing was done,” the source said, adding:

“It is going to be a classified investigation because a lot of international and national forces/ intelligence agencies are collaborating in the Northeast.”

The pilot and his crew have been grounded for interrogation as part of the preliminary investigation.

“I think we will all come out stronger after this investigation. This is an Air Force that has recorded 6,000 hours of counter-insurgency missions without hurting any civilian. Everyone is actually sad here,” the source said.

Analysis: Sokoto’s 2017 agric allocation supercedes that of every other State

By Abayomi Fidelis

With allocation of N14.6 billion to agriculture in the 2017 budget, Sokoto State has allocated more funds to the sector than all states in the federation, an analysis of this year’s budget estimates from across the country has shown.

Sokoto’s 2017 allocation followed a pattern from last year when Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal allocated over N14 billion to the sector.

Being the mainstay of the state’s economy, experts have commended the government for its consistency and practical efforts to develop the sector, which employs more persons than any other sector in the state.

Available data indicate that over 85% of the state’s estimated five million inhabitants engage in one form of agricultural activity or another.

Analysis published Monday by Abuja-based Daily Trust newspaper indicated that after Sokoto, only Ogun State allocated two-digit figure to agriculture in the 2017 budget estimates. For this year, Ogun allocated N11.6 billion, while it voted the sum of N10.2 billion to the sector in 2016.

Kebbi State, which voted N12.5 billion for the sector last year, hasn’t yet presented its 2017 budget.

The report added: “States with above N5 billion budgets for agric are Kogi (N8 billion), Katsina (N8 billion), Akwa Ibom (N7.4 billion), Borno (N7 billion), Bauchi (N6.7 billion), Kano (N6.6 billion), Jigawa (N6.1 billion), Yobe (N5.7 billion), Anambra (N5.4billion) and Plateau (N5.1 billion).”

In a section it termed “unfriendly agric states,” the report said states with the least budgets for agric include Enugu (N465 million), Bayelsa (N535million), Edo (N1.1 billion), Kwara (N1.13 billion), Nasarawa (N3 billion), Imo (N3.2 billion), Zamfara (N3.5 billion), Bayelsa (N4 billion), Taraba (N4.4 billion), Kaduna (N4.6 billion), Oyo (N4.6 billion) and Lagos (N4.7 billion).

Presenting this year’s budget of N204.3 to the state assembly recently, Tambuwal said the policy thrust of the budget was to ensure sustainable economic development through substantial investment in critical sectors.

They include: education, agriculture, healthcare delivery, exploration of mineral resources, investment in renewable energy and infrastructure, he said.

“We will prioritise effective resources management and seek intervention in areas with high potentialities to create job opportunities, generate income and improve revenue generation,” the governor said.

Tambuwal added that though the financial state of affairs in the country was facing huge challenges, the state’s 2017 budget would address key policy issues.

These will include the promotion of peaceful coexistence and protection of lives and properties.

“We will work to strengthen capacity building of scheduled ministries to ensure they perform better in their tasks.

“Of great importance to us will be the promotion of partnership with the private sector in areas of strategic importance to our development objective.

“We will promote value chain through agro-processing and diversification by way of giving incentives to farmers and producers.

“We will also create backward and forward linkages between and among institutions, partners and other stakeholders to accelerate economic growth,” he said.

 

*Abayomi wrote from Ijora, Lagos

What Many Don’t Know About Major Chukwuma ‘Kaduna’ Nzeogwu

It was a startling discovery for many to find that Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu was not from the Igbo ethnic group from Southern-Eastern Nigeria, but an Anioma or derogatorily referred to as “Bendel Igbo” from Middle-Western Nigeria.

Augustine Esogbue is  an Emeritus Professor who studied and taught in America until when he recently  retired .He was a family friend of the Nzeogwus .According to him  “I cannot remember the house number and road where Chukwuma was born in Doka or Gari meaning metropolis ,because it happened a long time ago . But I was born in House number F11, Ibadan Street, Kaduna on December 25th, 1940. My father hails from Isieke Umuekea Village in Ibusa Town of Oshimili North of Asaba-now in Delta State.When he died, my uncle adopted me, I left Kaduna, my mother and family friend Chukwuma in Kaduna. But I later fled from the custody of my uncle due to the hard labour of farming, because I was the only male in the midst of his female children. My uncle wanted to send me to a Teachers Training College, but I fled the hardship of farming from Asaba, crossed the River Niger on a boat to Onitsha, boarded  a train from Enugu to Kaduna and then to Birnin Yero village railway station along the Kaduna Zaria Road, where my elder brother Peter Esogbue worked in the Post and Telecommunication (P and T), as the officer in charge of the Morse Code of the Railway. The train officials allowed me to have a free ride because they knew my uncle in Birnin Yero. I enjoyed my stay there because there was steady supply of cow hump meat, otherwise known in Hausa language as tozo. I later wrote the entrance examination to Saint John’s -now Rimi College- Kaduna. I met Chukwuma in form two while I was his junior in form one. Up to when I finished secondary school, my mother was in Kaduna, and they were family friends with the Nzeogwus because they come from the same area, and have the same language, even though they understand and speak the Igbo language.”

Professor Augustine said because his class was made up of gifted students, the school Principal, a Reverend father said we are recommended to be the first set of students to register and write the West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) in form five instead of in form six  in 1956 alongside the  senior students in form six. My senior, that is, late Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu and his class went on strike to protest the promotion, asking why should we be allowed to take the examination with them. They protested and when they were ordered to go back to school, they refused, and they were later expelled. The church community came and begged the reverend father, and he said they would not let them come back until they apologized. Everybody did except Nzeogwu and one of his friends. They left school without writing the WASCE.

Before then, he was a leader of the Man O’ War Youth Wing. His mother and mine were very close friends. Nzeogwu hails from Okpanam Town where the Asaba Airport was built between Asaba, Ibuzo, and Okpaba in Anioma. He is Anioma just like me or what others call Bendel-Igbo. Many people say Nzeogwu is Igbo. No, he is not Igbo, but Anioma. Some of his classmates can testify to this. They are: George Iweche, President of Back Benchers, late James Bawa from Minna, Professor Peter Oseidebe in Nsukka and many others.

Professor said when they were in college, they loved and revered Sardauna, Azikiwe and Awolowo, and they loved him most when he hosted the Queen during her visit to Kaduna in 1956.

However, somebody who knew Major Nzeogwu as a teenager is Alhaji Abubakar Musa Abubakar who is a community leader in Abakwa in Kaduna metropolis. “I knew Chukwuma since when he was a teenager.He was born in Kazaure Road in Kaduna metropolis and he used to come and stay with his uncle -his father’s elder brother- in Abakpa during the school holidays. The uncle is called Anthony, he is the leader of Igbos in the community, and the house is about one hundred meters to the Abakpa Primary school. But the house has since been sold and its original shape distorted by the new occupants. Nzeogwu used to spend his holidays here.He was known to all then as Chukwuma and he used to assist his uncle with errands and he regularly accompanied him when he went hunting for birds and games around the area now known as the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA Kaduna. Chukwuma attended primary School in Kaduna, but I don’t know whether he attended Secondary school before he joined the Army and did his training in the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria as a recruit before he was later upgraded to an officer cadre, because he could read and write in the English Language. But he was very fluent in Hausa language.”

Similarly, Alhaji Abdullahi Dan Mata said after Sardauna was killed, some people started saying “Dan Abakpa” meaning he was from Abakpa area of Kaduna metropolis.

He said the people of Abakpa were not happy with the insinuation that the late Nzeogwu was associated with Abakpa, while he was not born or bred there, but  he used to visit his uncle named Anthony.”

On his account of the 1966 coup, Alhaji Abubakar said he was in his tailoring shop when he heard about the coup. He said they later summoned courage to go and see what happened in the late Sardauna’s house, because they heard that the house was burnt and that the Premier had been killed.

He went to the House of Sardauna and then to the house of Alhaji Isa Kaita and joined Alhaji Saidu Barda and Hajiya Ta-Funtua in evacuating the goods of the Minister of Education from the Minister’s quarters to his personal house in Dutse Close, Unguwan Shanu.

According to him, nobody attacked or arrested Anthony, even though he was the leader of Igbos in the community. On the eve of the Nigerian Civil War in 1967, Igbos gathered in the house of Anthony and later proceeded to the South-Eastern Nigeria through the rail station in Abakpa. And after the civil war, they came back and claimed their house, until recently when they sold it and left the area.

Similarly, the chief Driver to the late Premier of the Northern region, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Ali Sarkin Mota said, “Sardauna loves children, that is why when he wanted to enlist youths into the army, he did not discriminate between Hausa, Fulani or youths from western and eastern parts of Nigeria to fill the quota of the North.  He just assisted whoever came to him. Chukwuma Nzeogwu added the name Kaduna when he wanted to join the military. He used to visit Sardauna even when he was a military officer.

Alhaji Ali Kwarbai, Sarkin Motan Sardauna said he worked that day till late in the night after taking the late Premier of the  Western Region, Chief Ladoke Akintola to the airport to return to Ibadan.After he informed the Sardauna about an impending coup and some errands, because it was late in the night, and he had a busy  schedule in the morning, he did not go home, but slept in the staff quarters of Sardauna on the day of the coup when Nzeogwu killed Sardauna .He said he survived the ordeal because he lay  down under the bed during the sporadic shooting in the residence. The betrayal and killing of Sardauna by Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu made him sick for almost six months before he later regained his consciousness.

Meanwhile, it is confirmed that late Major Chukwuma “Kaduna” Nzeogwu was buried in Kaduna. His grave is in the Commonwealth War-military-Cemetery located at Kashim Ibrahim Road, with the signboard Major C K Chukwuma Nzeogwu, grave number 9.

This reporter contacted the residence and office of the late Premier which was renamed Arewa House, which is also the center for historical documentation and research of the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, where a senior officer said they were not aware where Nzeogwu was buried.But they later found out and confirmed after two days that Nzeogwu was indeed buried in the military cemetery in Kaduna.

Daily Trust

How ‘Mammy Market’ Found Around Every Military Barracks Nationwide Got Its Name

Mammy Market is synonymous with military barracks spread across the country. It is a place filled with so much life especially in the night.

Many Nigerians throng these place point and kill fish, smoked fish, bubbling music and assorted drinks and many more, but not many of them know how the market came about.

Here, we present you a brief story of mammy market as told by someone who knows its origin. Enjoy!

It was in 1959. Mammy Ode, a young girl from Jericho-Ugboju in the present Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue State was married to Anthony Aboki Ochefu, a young Non-Commissioned military officer who had just been posted to Enugu from Abeokuta. They were quartered at the Army Barracks, Abakpa, Enugu. To beat idleness and perhaps earn some money to support her young family, Mrs. Mammy Ochefu established a soft drinks business. She prepared gruel, which is called umu or enyi in Idoma, or kunu in Hausa, for sale to soldiers. She soon became popular with her stuff as soldiers trooped to her house to buy enyi. Some of her best customers were officers, who always sent their batmen to buy some of the gruel for them, Monday through Friday.

Somehow, one of the Non-Commissioned Officers, the RSM, did not flow with the enthusiasm, which Mammy’s gruel generated among other military men in the barracks. He complained that the stuff was attracting flies into the barracks and ordered Mrs. Mammy Ochefu to stop its production and sale. Though surprised and disappointed at the order of the RSM, she stopped the production and sale of enyi. Her husband, not being an officer at the time, could not challenge the order of the RSM.

For weeks, Mrs. Mammy Ochefu agonized over the fate of her business, just as officers and men of the Nigerian Army who enjoyed her enyi because of its freshness and nutritional value lamented the situation. From several quarters, pressure mounted on the RSM for a reversal of the order. After a while, he succumbed to the pressures and directed that a section of the barracks be reserved for Mrs. Mammy Ochefu to produce and sell her enyi. Her joy knew no bounds.

Few days after, a section of the barracks was given to her. She built a small shop and soon, her business began to boom. Most of her customers booked for their shares in advance. Before noon, she would have finished selling the available enyi for the day. Soon, other women in the barracks tapped into her fortune and started selling other items. It was not long before that portion of the barracks became known as Mammy Market. It also became a policy to establish markets inside or near military barracks in the country, initially for the exclusive use of officers and men.

Today, no visit to Abuja, the Federal Capital City, is complete without a taste of fresh fish in one of the Mammy Markets, especially the one attached to Abacha Barracks. Similar markets attached to paramilitary barracks are also called Mammy Markets.

After the coup that overthrew General Yakubu Gowon, Anthony Aboki Ochefu, then a Colonel, was posted to East Central State as Military Governor. So Mrs. Mammy Ochefu and her husband returned to Enugu as the First Family; she sometimes visited the site where Mammy Market started about sixteen years earlier.

It must be stressed too that in retirement, Colonel Anthony Aboki Ochefu and his wife incorporated a company, Mammy Markets, which was into haulage and trading. Mrs. Mammy Ochefu is alive and lives at Otukpo as one of the prized legends of our time.”

Diezani’s N35bn And The Banks’ Connection

By Leadership

A Lagos High Court has ordered Nigeria’s former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke to, temporarily, forfeit an amount put at N35 billion to the federal government. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had alleged that the money was stolen from the coffers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and stashed in banks in Nigeria. On the basis of this, the commission took the matter to court and got this judgment.

Recently, on this page, we said that Nigerian public officials steal what they don’t need. This mind-blowing revelation in the court is another proof of it. Those behind it were out to save for their generations yet unborn. Otherwise, why take out that huge sum?  How many ministries, departments and agencies of government have that volume of cash as their annual budget? But that is just a bit of what some individuals, who had decided to shut down their consciences, made away with in one haul.

We are sure that when the EFCC probes even deeper, something more outlandish will probably be unearthed. Before now, there was the $2billion armsgate. Who knows what is likely to be found in other departments of government about how public servants in positions of trust and responsibility made a fool of the nation as a whole.

One significant revelation from that judgment is that it is not enough to crucify only the public officer who may be the target person in situations of graft. That judgment made it evident that such high profile looting often always involves a syndicate arrangement. It is a further affirmation that stealing of public money of that magnitude is possible only with the active connivance of like-minded thieves in strategic institutions, in this case, the banks. The description of how the money moved is a classic example of the devious capabilities of the minds of those the rest of us regard as notable Nigerians.

It is obvious, in our view, that the government is anxious to get the nation out of its present economic quagmire and would, therefore, cherish access to any money it believes can be used in that rebuilding process. In that mental state, it may be in a hurry to lose interest in the case as soon as the money is returned to the public kitty. This might entail that these thieves could be allowed to walk away free with their reputation intact. That, in our opinion, will be an improper approach to it. The authorities must punish the act of stealing for the lesson it tends to teach. The recovered item, in this instance, the money, will serve as exhibit during trial to be used to implicate, prosecute and jail them. There must be a price to be paid for the betrayal of public trust, for getting involved in an odious manipulation of officialdom for one’s pecuniary gains.

The pains the act inflicted on the psyche of the people who were also denied the benefits derivable from the prudent deployment of that resource must be assuaged by making the perpetrators have their day in court. Anything short of that will stymie, if not jeopardise, the course of justice and even give the impression that malfeasance can be rewarding. It will be a misrepresentation of the inherent and noble intentions of the anti-corruption campaign.

To imagine that, in some instances, this huge sum was carried around in cash. It points a finger in the direction of the security agencies who may have given the needed security cover for such illicit transaction to have been carried out without hitches. They, too, must be held to account. This deal, as they term it, also calls to question the integrity of the bank(s) and, in particular, their executives for whom that was a good business move which enhanced their deposit profile and profitability. The board and management of the banks have a vicarious responsibility in this unholy transaction.

We suggest that government ought to summon the courage to put the whole of them behind bars and, relying on extant laws, go ahead and withdraw their operating licences. That, we are certain, will send out the right signal that the Diezani deal, and others like it, will not be condoned.

The Story Of Obasanjo, Mike Adenuga, Ribadu’s EFCC, By Awujale Of Ijebuland

The EFCC in Lagos had come calling brusquely on Mike Adenuga (Jnr), Chairman Globacom on 9 July 2006. They broke his gate, swarmed into his house and kept him under ‘arrest’. When I heard about the arrest, I called the legal firms, of Ayanlaja SAN & Adesanya SAN as well as Professor Biodun Adesanya SAN to take up the matter and secure Mike’s release. They swung into action and gave indication that they would take the matter to court.

By evening, it was no longer necessary to go to court as Mike, following his statement to EFCC, had been released with instructions to report regularly to the EFCC headquarters in Abuja. Mike proceeded to Abuja, accompanied by his lawyer, Prof. Biodun Adesanya SAN. Indirectly related to this case, the EFCC had quizzed and released Mohammed Babangida, Ibrahim Babangida’s son. The EFCC purportedly were on the trail of some money belonging to the Petroleum Trust Development Fund (PTDF), but there was really more beneath the veneer.

While Mike was in Abuja, he was counseled to see Obasanjo to extricate himself. For four days, he made attempts to see Obasanjo but was unsuccessful. After a few days in Abuja with no case pressed against him by EFCC, he returned to Lagos. Not long afterward, and in the heat of this mess, Obasanjo did two things that puzzled me. He called Mike to meet him at a social event in Lagos –Engr. Olapade’s birthday celebration. Mike and Obasanjo were both captured by press photographers in the newspapers at the event. Following the celebration, Obasanjo asked Mike to accompany him to Ota. It was in Ota that he solicited for the construction of the Administration Block of his university, Bells University in Ota. Mike agreed, and Carchez Turnkey Projects Ltd handled the project for him. It appeared the whole matter, the EFCC hunt, simmered and Mike continued about his business. On a trip to Ghana, he ran through his Nigerian daily newspapers and discovered that the situation was unfolding in a more revealing version. The EFCC had arrested Mohammed Babangida. Mike read between the lines and proceeded to the UK on exile. When I visited the UK, Mike came to see me and wanted me to facilitate a meeting with Obasanjo so that he could present his side of the case. The allegations against him were as follows:

a. That Abubakar Atiku, the Vice-President, gave Mike Adenuga money from the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) which were invested in Mike’s bank, Equatorial Trust Bank (ETB), and that the funds were used in paying for the Globacom license.

b. That as a result of the connection in (a) Atiku was a major shareholder in Globacom. And Atiku used his clout to ensure that PTDF money got into ETB.

c. That General Ibrahim Babangida, the former Head of State, was also a major shareholder in Globacom.

It was not enough for Mike to merely present his case to EFCC, for it seemed the EFCC was under some remote control. The Presidency was after Atiku. Atiku at some point was the Chairman of the PTDF; an attempt was being made to indict him for alleged illegal and unauthorized channeling of PTDF money into Globacom. All sorts of rumors were flying around, and the Presidency wanted to pin down the case against Atiku. If Ibrahim Babangida also fell into the trap, so much the better.

A wide opening presented itself, and EFCC seized it.

G.Subair is Mike’s second cousin. His father died young, and he grew up, just as I did in my early life, living with Mike’s mother. He worked for Mike and was seconded, amongst other things, to open the Kaduna office for Globacom. In need of accommodation or office space, he leased, on behalf of Globacom, a house, at 2-3 Dawaki Road in Kaduna belonging to Mohammed Badamasi Babangida and used that address in official correspondence and memoranda. Mohammed is the first son of President Ibrahim Babangida. This was Babangida connection to which EFCC hung on when they were rummaging through Globacom documents. This was, according to them, irrefutable evidence that Babangida was a major shareholder in Globacom and that his son, Mohammed Babangida, or G.Subair or Mike was fronting for Babangida in this venture.

Mike told me how he had raised money through the BNP Paribas Bank in France and how he paid to New York for the Globacom licensing fees. All the money involved could be traced with supporting documents to France and New York in the form of a huge loan. The Bank BNP Paribas on its part had a letter stating clearly their involvement in the transaction and Mike wanted to present this among other documents to President Obasanjo. I called Obasanjo and relayed the facts as I had them from Mike to him. I requested for his fax number so that I could fax Mike’s letter explaining all the transactions and the Bank of Paribas letter to him. As soon as he gave me the fax number, I faxed the documents to him. Still, Obasanjo was not satisfied. It seemed that it was all a ruse because they were really after Atiku and Babangida and wanted Mike to implicate them. Mike refused to cooperate. If he were not going to cooperate, they thought, harassment would do it. On 19 August 2006, I made a statement to the press asking Obasanjo to caution Nuhu Ribadu, the head of the EFCC, about his mode of operations. I denounced the harassment of citizens by EFCC and urged them to go to court if they had anything concrete against anyone.

While Mike was in exile, we shared a moment of relaxation together. We took a holiday together in the south of France with some members of our families. I had with me my wife Olori Kemi, my daughter, Ronke and Oba Adekoya, the Dagburewe of Idowa. Mike came along with his two daughters and his niece.

While on this holiday, the President of France, Jacques Chirac, was going to be holding a conference with African Heads of State in Nice. Coincidentally, we got to know that Obasanjo was booked to stay in the same hotel where we were staying. Later, we learned he had changed his mind and would not be attending the conference. Then not long afterward, we were told he had decided to attend after all. By the time he finally decided to attend, all the rooms in the hotel were fully booked, and he was now booked into another, Embassy Hotel, which was a stone’s throw from when we were. I got to know that he would check in at 8.00am on the day of the conference. At 8.330am, I went to his hotel and took Mike along with me. From the reception, I spoke to him on the phone. When he asked from where I was speaking, I told him I was downstairs in the lobby of his hotel! He said he would send someone down immediately to lead me up to his suite, and he did so. I left Mike behind in the hotel lobby. When I got to his suite, there were already a number of people in the corridor, in his living room and the dining room waiting to see him. His ADC took me straight to see him in his bedroom. I had hardly settled down when he started talking to me about his deputy, Abubakar Atiku. He was at daggers drawn with Atiku. When he exhausted all he had to say about Atiku, he jumped on Theophilus Danjuma, his estranged friend. They fell out after Danjuma had served him as Minister of Defence. I sat there just listening. He needed to get a lot off his chest. He told me how would leave the Chirac conference immediately after the opening because he wanted to attend a PDP campaign in Gombe at 5.00pm that same day. He was a lead campaigner for the PDP and Umaru Yar’adua for President.

He reeled off a number of events where he was going to be engaged in the coming months, including the opening of the Obajana Cement Factory. Wait a minute! Something struck me at the mention of Obajana Cement Factory.I told him that I had heard that he and Aliko Dangote jointly owned the cement factory. I told him that I heard Dangote was fronting for him in the venture. His reply was to query whether I believed what I heard. I countered by saying whether I believed it or not was irrelevant to the question that I had asked him. He said nothing further on this. Before we left his room, I pointed out to him that now that he was approaching the end of his term in office, there were some people to whom he owed apologies: Chief S.O. Bakare (Oluwalogbon) was one. Chief Bakare gave everything to support Obasanjo when he was down. In spite of Obasanjo’s condemnation by the populace, Bakare still stood by him. I had forewarned Bakare that Obasanjo would eventually dump him. Notwithstanding, he stood by Obasanjo. In the end Obasanjo walked away. A few months in office they separated as friends.

I told Obasanjo that Mike Adenuga was in Cannes and that I had brought him with me. He was waiting in the foyer downstairs. I told him that the reason I brought Mike along was that it was not unlikely that Obasanjo would hear that Mike was in Cannes while he was in town and would deem it discourteous if Mike did not show up to pay his respect. Now that I had told him, that Mike was downstairs, it was now up to him, if he wanted to see Mike, to send someone to bring him up. Obasanjo objected to Mike coming to see him in his suite. Instead, he said he would see Mike downstairs on his way to the conference. At this point, I volunteered to go downstairs and wait with Mike. Obasanjo again objected, insisting that he and I should go down together. Soon after, his ADC came into the room to remind him about the time. He went into his bathroom, got ready, and we went to the lift with his Foreign Minister.

When we got down, Mike came forward to greet him. ‘I have nothing against you, it is a matter of principle’ Obasanjo told Mike. Mike, in turn, said, ‘Your Excellency, I understand. Thank you.’ That was all the exchange they had.

When Obasanjo left office in 2007, we met at the 90th birthday ceremony for Chief T.O.S Benson in Lagos on 23 July 2007. As a matter of fact, we sat side by side. In the course of our conversation, I told him I was going to be in Abeokuta the following day. He said he would be in Ota when I was there, but that he would specifically come to Abeokuta to host me for lunch. He kept his word. So much so that he called me on the phone when lunch was ready! I assured him that I would not miss lunch and I would be with him as soon as I was through with my meeting.

I went as promised for lunch with Oba Adekoya, the Dagburewa of Idowa. When we got there, Obasanjo also had Alhaji Ola Yusuf from Owu, Abeokuta, who had come to see him and he too joined us for lunch. We were four at the table. It was sumptuous lunch, and I had never been treated to anything like it in our long relationship.

Mike Adenuga was still in exile abroad, and Obasanjo steered the lunch talk in his direction. He asked me to ask my son meaning Mike Adenuga, to return home. I requested that he should leave the matter until after lunch and it would be tackled on a one-to-one basis between us. He agreed.

After lunch, we went into his private sitting room. I declared that what Nuhu Ribadu, Chairman of EFCC, was doing in respect of Mike Adenuga was wrong and he was doing it at Obasanjo’s behest. I told him that I refrained from interfering because I wanted to see how the law would pan out on the issue. The kernel of the matter really, as I told him, was his disagreement with Abubakar Atiku, his deputy, and they had taken the matter almost life-and –death level. Mike Adenuga was a pawn in the crisis, and he should be given the right to defend himself.

I reminded Obasanjo that he was no longer in office and he should back off in his pursuit of Mike. I went further to let him know that if Nuhu Ribadu did not desist from molesting Mike, I would go into the ring with them. Here I made clear that I would take him and Ribadu to unnecessarily and unjustifiably pursue Mike. Obasanjo promised to see Ribadu and to ask him to back off. He further promised to give me feedback on this.

When I did not get his feedback, I called him a number of times, but the phone would ring and not be answered. Eventually, I called his aide, Bodunde Adeyanju, who on picking my call passed the phone to Obasanjo to speak to me. Obasanjo told me Ribadu was out of the country and he would get back again to me on Ribadu’s return. I told Obasanjo how difficult it had been to reach him on the phone. I offered a solution. I would ask Mike to send him a phone which he would give his aide, Bodunde, as an intermediary. This way, all I had to do was call that number, and Bodunde would pass it to him if he wanted to speak to me. He agreed, and Mike sent the phone down the next day. But still, Obasanjo did not come back to me on the issue.

Mike remained in exile in London, and nothing much was heard again or raised by the EFCC about him. Later in 2007, I called Mike in London and told him I wanted to know why he had refused to return home. Since he had no skeleton in his cupboard, then he should return home. I explained to him that the purpose of the wealth with which he had been divinely endowed was to care for his needs, and his interests. It was also for use to defend his honor and integrity. For these reasons, I urged him to return home.

Thereafter, Mike returned home. Nobody touched him, and no institution has prosecuted him because there was no genuine reason from the onset for anybody to touch him. However, the construction project at Bells University slowed considerably while Mike was in exile and a few solicitous calls from Obasanjo to Mike while he was in exile did not change the pace of work. On his return from exile, the school Bells University had the temerity to write to him seeking for a meeting to discuss the continuation of the project. When I got to know, I offered to be in attendance at the meeting and sent word round that I would be in attendance. I had the intention to lambast all of them. They must have sensed it because up till now, the meeting has not been held!

All the enormous goodwill which Obasanjo carried into office was squandered with a performance that left him with a second term short of tangible achievements. Eight years in office was ample time to put electricity on a very strong footing. Eight years was enough to put down a strong foot against corruption and make a clear difference. Eight years was adequate for orderliness and the rule of law to triumph in every facet of our society. These were the basis upon which I gave him my support for the office. Some new State Governors have shown how much good can be achieved in a shorter time.

‘Awujale: The Autobiography of Alaiyeluwa Oba S.K Adetona, Ogbagba II’

Meet The American Billionaire Sponsoring Chibok Girls Education

An African American billionaire, Robert Smith, is sponsoring the education of 24 Chibok schoolgirls in American University, Yola, in Adamawa State.

His identity was revealed today by Garba Shehu, senior special assistant on media to President Muhammadu Buhari, at an interaction with journalists in Abuja.

The billionaire, Mr. Shehu also revealed, is offering to take responsibility for the 21 girls freed in October and all the others who will hopefully be eventually set free.

WHO IS ROBERT SMITH?

He is a 54-year-old businessman, who attended good American colleges such as Cornell and Columbia universities. At Cornell, he picked a bachelor of science in chemical engineering and an MBA at Columbia. He lives in Austin, Texas.

According to a short bio written on him by Forbes, he was the son of PhD holders and was bussed across town to his school in the early days of desegregation.

“He later convinced Bell Labs when he was in high school to give him an internship typically only available to college upperclassman by calling them weekly for five months.

“Smith quit Goldman Sachs to open his own private equity shop, Vista Equity Partners, in 2000.

The company is said to be worth over $26 billion.

“Neuberger Berman bought a stake in the $16.9 billion (assets) Austin, Texas firm, best known for fixing up enterprise software outfits, in July 2015,” Forbes reported.

“That same month, Smith married 2010 Playboy Playmate of the Year Hope Dworaczyk in Italy

Forbes listed him as the 274th richest man in the United States as at December 27, with a net worth of $2.5 billion. He is ranked 688th in the world. Some other reports put his net worth at $3billion.

He is a self-made man, who made his money in private equity investments.

And before then, he struggled early to get what he wanted.

According to his story, as a junior at Denver’s East High School in the 1970s, he showed a fascination for the geekiest subject there: Computer science.

“The transistor held particular wonder for him. This small device, a crucial valve controlling the flow of electrons within a computer, had been invented at Bell Labs. Bell had a nearby office. Maybe he should work at Bell, too.

“After securing the number, Smith phoned and inquired about a summer internship. Yes, Bell did have one, he learned, but only college upperclassmen could apply. Smith had straight A’s in math and computer science. Would that count? No, Bell said, it would not. Undaunted by this initial rejection, Smith called back every day for two weeks—HR stopped answering after Day 2—and then cut back on how often he called …to every Monday for five months. Eventually, he was rewarded for his doggedness. After an MIT student didn’t show up in June, Bell called Smith. Could he come in for an interview?

“I ran my own race. I knew what I wanted, and my persistence paid off, and I came in and interviewed. They liked me, and I got the internship,” Smith said in a commencement address at American University in 2015.

“In fact, I worked there for the next four years during summer and winter breaks.”

After leaving Cornell, he worked at Kraft General Foods, where he earned two United States and two European patents.

He then attended Columbia Business School, where he graduated with honours. From 1994-2000, he joined Goldman Sachs in tech investment banking, first in New York and then in Silicon Valley.

“As Co-Head of Enterprise Systems and Storage, he executed and advised on over $50 billion in merger and acquisition activity with companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, eBay and Yahoo. He was the first person at Goldman Sachs to focus solely on Tech M&A and foreign countries.

In 2000, he set up his own company, Vista Equity Partners.

Vista is said to have exclusively focused on the enterprise software, data and technology enabled solutions sectors. Among Vista’s portfolio companies are Misys, TIBCO, Solera, Active Network, Bullhorn, Omnitracs, and Newscyle.

In January 2015, based on its performance over the last 10 years, Vista Equity Partners was named the world’s Number One performing private equity firm, according to the HEC-Dow Jones annual ranking conducted by Professor Oliver Gottschalg.

Preqin, a consulting firm that tracks the industry, reported that Vista’s third fund returned $2.46 for every dollar invested, better than every other big fund raised between 2006 and 2010, the boom years for private equity.

In October 2014, Vista closed its Fund V at $5.8 billion, its largest fund to date.

As a successful African-American, Smith has been generous hearted.

In January this year, he announced a $50 million gift to his alma mater Cornell University, which renamed its school of chemical and bio-engineering after him. In June he was named chairman of Carnegie Hall.

In September, he donated $20 million to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. His private gift, as reported by Washington Post, was the second largest behind Opral Winfrey, the richest African-American, who gave $21 million.

Smith has received the Reginald F. Lewis Achievement Award, the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Robert Toigo Foundation, and the Ripple of Hope Award from Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.

Smith was also awarded an honorary Doctorate of International Affairs from American University’s School of International Service. He founded Project Realize– termed “Free Market Philanthropy”– in order to combine the best elements of the American free enterprise system with the core American ideals of giving back and lifting others up.

No wonder, he is willing to lift the Chibok schoolgirls out of their predicament and give them a dream education.

Wike’s Audio Tape Povides Useful Link, INEC Chairman Speaks To The Interview

We paid tribute to the memory of DSP Alkali Mohammed, but we shall pay a condolence visit to the Inspector General of Police next week and also send staff from our Niger State office to do the same to the family of the late DSP. We did the same to the NYSC and the family of the late Okonta Samuel, the corps member killed during the first rerun in Rivers on March 19.

What is your response to the recorded conversation between Governor Wike and your staff, leaked to Saharareporters?

We have no immediate comment on the Wike tape. It is part of the comprehensive investigation we’re carrying out. It is, however, curious that Etche was mentioned in the tape.

What do you mean by Etche?

It is the Local Government that witnessed such massive disruption that we couldn’t declare winners in the 1Federal Constituency (Etche/Omuma) and 1 State Constituency (Etche II) for which reason we’re going back to the LGA early next year. The tape provides a useful clue to what transpired there.

What lessons have you learnt from Rivers?

After the 2015 general elections and the ruling of the Election Petition Tribunal virtually nullifying elections in the three senatorial districts, we returned for the rerun on March 16, 2015. Again the rerun was marred by violence. When we returned on December 10 we took extensive precaution and involved a broad range of groups and community leaders, to help keep the peace.

But once again violence reared its head. There were no less than 70 incidents of deliberate obstruction of the electoral process. Election duty personnel were harassed, abducted and physically assaulted. On election eve, thugs disrupted the delivery of election materials to the Registration Area Centres (RACs), a situation that prevented early deployment to the Polling Units on Election Day. Indeed, in many instances, we had to deploy directly from the Local Government Areas to the Polling Units (PUs), contrary to our plans. Amidst heavy shooting by political thugs, vehicles transporting materials and personnel to PUs were hijacked. Voter registers, ballot papers, result sheets and Smart Card Readers were brazenly snatched at gunpoint. The Commission has documented all these instances of violence and wishes to assure Nigerians that we shall carefully scrutinize them and take appropriate action under the Law as well as our guidelines and regulations.

READ: [AUDIO]: Governor Wike Caught On Tape Threatening To Kill INEC Officials

We welcome the ongoing effort by especially the Nigeria Police, as the lead agency in election security, to investigate the circumstances leading to the gruesome murder of DSP Alkali Mohammed and his Orderly for which we understand that some arrests have already been made. Our sympathy goes to his family, as well as the families of all those who lost their lives, in the violence that has unfortunately become synonymous with electioneering and elections in Rivers State. We are confident that the security agencies will investigate all violations of the nation’s laws before, during and after the last re-run elections in Rivers State, including the alleged unsavory roles played by actors in uniform. INEC will work with the security agencies to uncover and punish those who disrupted the distribution of election materials in Okrika and Gokana, the heavy shooting reported in Biata and Bodo, the hijacking of material in Andoni, Oyibo and Ogu-Bolu, the hostage-taking in Akoku Toru, the physical attack and kidnapping of election personnel resulting in the loss of ballot paper consignment for Ward 16 in Khana LGA and the unmasking of the identity of the thugs that threatened to burn down our personnel inside the vehicles conveying them to PUs in Etche resulting in the massive disruption that made it impossible for elections to be conducted in a substantial part of the Federal and State Constituencies in the LGA. We are also in contact with the security agencies to secure the release of 3 of our collation Officers whom we are reliably informed have been detained in a security facility in Port Harcourt for almost a week.

READ: Wike Allegedly Offers Telecom Officials $400,000 To Wipe Off Record Of Leaked Audio

Working under extremely difficult and often life-threatening conditions, our electoral officials, both ad hoc and regular, discharged their duties dispassionately. We want to particularly recognize Professor Oji Onu Ekumankama, the Returning Officer for Rivers East Senatorial District, who was assaulted by unknown persons in uniform who also threatened to arrest him.

Election materials, including results sheets and his personal belongings, were taken away from him at gunpoint. Yet, he stood his ground, supported by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) for the area, who offered to be arrested along with Professor Ekumankama. In the end, the defiance of the Professor and the DPO, as well as the arrival of the State Commissioner of Police, discouraged the assailants. Similarly, despite the head injury he sustained following an attack by political thugs, Mr. Chukwudi Curtis Odepke, an INEC staff, dutifully discharged his assigned responsibilities as the substitute Collation/Returning Officer for Emuoha/Ikwere before he proceeded for treatment in a hospital in Port Harcourt. In the same vein, one of our Electoral Officers, Ms. Mary Tunkuyo and two Corps members Mr. Agona Isaac (RV/16/A/0012) and Mr. Ademola Oluwalore Toba (RV/16A/2396), were physically assaulted and sustained serious injuries. We salute the courage of officers like Professor Ekumankama, the DPO, Mr. Odekpe, Ms. Tunkuyo, the young Corps members and many others like them who stood up to harassment and assault and discharged their responsibilities creditably. These are shining examples in our assessment of the events of 10th December so far.

READ: Another Chilling Audio Of Wike’s Conversation Plotting To Rig Election, Kill INEC Officials Leaks

However, the Commission is also aware of reports of infractions by some of INEC staff ranging from absence from their duty posts to partisanship in the discharge of their duties. We also acknowledge that in Ahoada East and West, a Supervisory Presiding Officer (SPO) unsuccessfully tried to abscond with ballot papers and result sheets. We are also investigating the allegation of bribery involving other staff, particularly those deployed to Etche and Ikwerre. We wish to assure all Nigerians that the Commission is instituting an administrative inquiry as part of a comprehensive review of the Rivers re-run elections. Needless to say that any INEC staff that is found to have disobeyed clear rules and regulations will be appropriately sanctioned.

Kogi: Now That The Staff Verification Exercise Is Over…

Kogi State have been paying a humongous heap of wages and salaries to workers, thousands of whom were unintended and unmerited salaries. The numerical implication of this is that we paid nothing less than one billion naira to ghost workers or unintended beneficiaries every month.

Sanctioning a Staff Verification would not have been envisaged by a typical Nigerian politician, who craves political safety above people’s welfare. Litigations against his emergence were legion. Many were also working with the possibility of having another election.

Confronting the ghost workers cabal in the system is one of the patriotic decisions of the present administration. It was a decision that emanated from statesmanship rather than a political mind. Politicians think of the next election while a statesman think of the next generation. To save the next generation and build a new Kogi State, it was necessary to stop the flow of billions of naira into unintended pockets.

Who is a ghost worker or unintended beneficiary?

Throughout the Staff Verification Exercise, we had to contend with the constant explanation of what constitutes the army of ghost workers or unintended beneficiaries. Some names on the payrolls are completely non-existent. That was why thousands of “workers’’ did not even turn up for the exercise. Some were not properly employed. Improper employment involves, but is not limited to, giving appointments without due process.

Also, some workers falsified documents relating to their educational qualifications, age and other information. We also have people who were earning multiple salaries. This would not have been possible with a digitalized payroll, which is one of the objectives of this noble exercise. The exercise has also been able to check “diaspora workers” – people who claim to work for Kogi State were staying and working in other cities like Abuja, Kaduna, PortHarcourt, Kano and Ilorin. Some even have appointment letters bearing Kogi State since 1983 when the state was only created in 1991.

Our Window of Justice

Governor Yahaya Bello did not institute the panel to sack workers, but to ensure that only genuine workers are on the payrolls of the state.

The head of the first panel was changed when Labour had some misgivings against him. The Governor acted decisively to retain the confidence of Labour and the people of Kogi State in the process. A new Chairman was appointed. However, in his wisdom, the Governor went ahead to constitute a back-up team to ensure a successful exercise. Ghost workers syndrome is a powerful institution of corruption. It was expected to fight back.

After the submission of the reports of the panel, the Governor went ahead to setup an Appeal Panel to look into the complaints of affected workers. The panel are also through with their assignment and their reports will be publiced soon. Any affected worker will continue to have the opportunity of complaints as the exercise will be a continuum. All of these were put in place to ensure that the workers have access to justice under the New Direction Agenda.

Who benefits from the screening exercise?

The Staff Verification Exercise is a win-win situation. It will free funds for infrastructural development, which will serve the over 90% Kogites who are not on the payroll of government. This is key to economic development and amelioration of poverty.

The exercise will also help genuine civil servants enjoy regular payment of salaries. It will help us to determine the duty schedule of civil servants and restructure the service for efficiency.

For example, it was discovered a public hospital with only one medical doctor has over two hundred staff in the Accounts Department. There is no sense in that structure. The primary responsibility of a hospital is to provide healthcare, not a cash centre.

The reports of the screening exercise will be an excellent and veritable tool for planning. The State Government is also going to achieve a fully digitalized payroll that will have mechanism for checking graft in the system.

The period of hardship

The Governor is a street leader. He is not confined to his office or the allure of his home. He is with the people. He feels their pulse. He feels deeply sorry for the few months we had to stop payments in order to block the leakage. We got the reports of what the people went through. It was a period of sacrifice by our great workers. The Governor will reward your steadfastness.

And the deafening alerts

In the past few days, Kogi workers have been receiving salary arrears of between 4 to 10 months, depending on when the workers were cleared. This is in line with the promise of the Governor to ensure workers are paid all their salaries, including the December salary before the 20th of December. Twice last week, the Governor was at the screening centre until 2am, not because he does not trust the committee, but to assure the committee he is behind the assignment. The fruits of his labour have started manifesting. He has delivered on his promise.

Is the exercise credible?

Very credible. Screening to appeals and then to quality assurance. Governor Yahaya Bello is already looking beyond the exercise which reports have been subjected to forensic tests by experts. The panel has also worked out the cost of providing social safety nets for ‘’innocent victims’’ of the exercise. This is being handled by Actuarial Scientists.

The Governor has a big plan for those who are affected and who want to work. He will unfold that soon. That was why I said it is a win-win situation. Many of the unintended beneficiaries are Kogi indigenes. As a responsible Governor, Alh. Yahaya Bello will not just throw them into the dungeon of uncertainty and poverty. He has developed a plan to empower them to become employers of labour. Areas of labour shortage will also be filled, giving opportunities to job seekers. The glorious days are ahead of us.

The pundits of doom

Governor Yahaya Bello did not go into the exercise with a feeling of avoiding attacks. He has taken the ‘’bullets’’ to save the economy of the state. In the next few years, he will be applauded for saving the state from imminent collapse. He was attacked. We were attacked. The committee was attacked.

We know where the attacks were coming from. Corruption fought back. Those who were benefitting from the syndrome kept sponsoring critics against the government. We were undaunted by the armchair critics. We remained focused. But, we felt for those who were made to go through hunger by the action of ghost workers, unintended beneficiaries and their powerful promoters.

When the Governor promised to clear all the arrears owed to civil servants, many Prophets of doom said it would not happen. Some of them inhumanly and hypocritically prayed against it happening. They are the real enemies of the Kogi workers.  We cannot be condemned by the criticisms of mischief, but we can be condemned if we refuse to take the stance of a patriot and save our dear state from the ruins.

Thanks to our constructive critics

I remember a particular post on my Facebook wall. A certain man said if we refuse to pay, I will suffer an untimely death like my mother. My family was worried. I also remembered when a certain political leader gave thugs money to some Koton Karfe boys to call our Governor unprintable names. These are the hazards of good decisions. We are amenable to constructive criticisms. They make us better. We appreciate the concerns of all. The end has finally justified the means. We must trust the policies and judgements of our leaders.

New Direction is not an emergency lifestyle but a well thought out culture of excellence, conceptualized by the owner of the vision himself to reposition Kogi State.

New Direction cares.

Evangelist Kingsley Femi Fanwo

Director General, Media and Publicity to the Governor of Kogi State

femifanwo@yahoo.com

08163376331

House Of Reps: Summary Of Proceedings For Thursday 15 December, 2016

BILLS

  1. A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Nigerian Ports Authority Act, Cap. N.126, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and to Establish the Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority to Provide for Ownership, Management and Development of Ports and Harbours and for Other Related Matters (HB.855) (Hon. Patrick Asadu) – Second Reading.
  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Make the Appointments of Service Chiefs Subject to Confirmation by the National Assembly, a Bill for an Act to Amend the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Provide for the Appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff, a Bill for an Act to Amend the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 to, Among Other Things, Provide for Specific Duties for the Armed Forces Reserve in Order to Serve as a Rapid Response Mechanism with Capacity to Intervene in Emergency and Internal Security where the Nigerian Police is overwhelmed and a Bill for an Act to Amend the Armed Forces Act, Cap. A20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to Provide for the Retirement Age of Officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces and for Other Matters Connected Therewith, (HBs. 70, 149, 411 and 802) (Hon. Raphael Nnanna Igbokwe, Hon. Edward Gyang Pwajok, Hon. Mohammed Sani Abdu and Hon. Hassan Saleh)– Second Reading.
  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act, Cap. E4 Act. No17 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2013 to include Tertiary/Teaching Hospitals and for Related Matters, 2004 (HB. 868) (Hon. Betty Apiafi and Hon. Abiodun Olasupo) – Second Reading.
  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (Establishment Act, Cap. N90, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 for the Purposes of Vesting in the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency the Additional Functions of Regulating the Use of Unmanned Aircrafts (DRONES) within the Nigerian Airspace and for Other Related Matters (HB. 787) (Hon. Abiodun Dada Awoleye) – Second Reading. 
  1. A Bill for an Act to Amend the National Examinations Council (NECO) Act, Cap. N37, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 to Establish a Steering Committee to be Vested with the Responsibility of Centralizing the Management of the Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE), the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examinations (UTME) and the National Business and Technical Examinations (NABTE), under a Single ICT Platform to Reduce the Costs of Taking the Examinations and for Other Related Matters (HB. 850) (Hon. Mohammed A. Mahmud) — Second Reading.
  1. A Bill for an Act to Provide for Improved Aid Effectiveness, Accountability and Co-operation for Donor Recipient by Harmonizing and Aligning all Aid Deliveries to Nigeria with Nigeria National Development Strategies and for Other Related Matters (HB. 451) (Hon. Ochiglegor Idagbo) – Second Reading. 

 MOTIONS

  1. Devastating Gully Erosion in Tudun Magataki Area of Tudun Wada Ward in Sokoto-North and South Federal Constituency of Sokoto State:

Hon. Hassan Bala Abubakar.

The House:

Notes that gully erosion has been the foremost problem confronting the Tudun Magayaki Ward in Sokoto State as the people live in constant fear once the rainy season begins given their experiences of loss of lives and destruction of properties worth millions of Naira;

Also notes that the increase in the gully erosion had resulted in many residents being rendered homeless as a result of the washing away of their houses, thus forcing them to relocate to the urban areas;

Recalls that in 2009, about 300m drains out of the 1350m stretch were constructed as part of the constituency project but these have now constituted a serious threat to the uncompleted portion;

Aware that field assessments carried out by the Tudun Magayaki Community Development Association aimed at seeking the intervention of the  Ecological Fund Office showed that the problem is now beyond both the local council and the State Government, hence the need for the intervention  of the federal government;

Also aware that the gully developed as a result of steeply topography collecting the entire township water without a well-defined channel and when there is heavy rain, it creates rills which later form a “V” and “U” shaped tranches at the site of the gully erosion;

Further aware that the eroded parts of the site become widened when there is heavy rain storm due to the absence of proper discharge channel for the township storm water which adds to the increase in flooding during the rainy season that has been having devastating effects on the people over the years;

Resolves to:

(i)            Urge the Federal Ministry of Environment to intervene and ensure the inclusion of contract for the control of gully erosion in Tudun  Magayaki Community of Sokoto South Local Government Area in the 2017 budget proposal;

(ii)           Also urge the Ecological Fund Office to attend to the application of Tudun Magayaki Community Development Association with the urgency of the problem at hand;

(iii)          Mandate the Committees on Environment and Habitat and Appropriations to ensure implementation.

  1. Urgent Need for Rehabilitation of Kontagora-Rijau-Zuru-Gummi-Kajiji Federal Road:

Hon. Mu’azu Lawal.

The House:

Notes the deplorable state of the Kontagora-Rijau-Zuru-Gummi-Kajiji road which connects Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara and Niger States down to the South West zone and is the major commercial route through which goods are being transported from Sokoto to Lagos and its environs;

Concerned that the failed sections of the road have paralyzed economic activities along these areas, thus causing delay in the transportation of perishable goods;

Aware that accidents are daily occurrence as a result of truck drivers maneuvering through the bad portions on the highway leading to their falling down or there being a head on collision which results in loss of lives and damage to properties;

Also concerned that armed robbers have taken advantage of the deplorable state of the road to wreak havoc on innocent Nigerians, raping and killing commuters at will;

Further concerned that all efforts to get the Federal Government to repair the road have not yielded any results and the States affected could only do little within their meager resources to save the once viable route from becoming completely impassable;

Resolves to: 

(i)            Call on the Inspector General of Police to ensure constant patrolling of the road to reduce the activities of the men of the underworld;

(ii)           Mandate the Committees on Works and Appropriations to include the reconstruction of the Kontogora – Rijau – Zuru – Gummi – Kajiji Road in the 2017 budget proposals and report back to the House within eight (8) weeks for further legislative action.

  1. Urgent Need for Reconstruction of Gwaram-Basirka-Darazo Road:

Hon. Yuguda Hassan Kila.    Hon. Halliru Dauda Jika.

The House:

Notes that the 90 kms Gwaram-Basirka-Darazo Road links Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe and Adamawa States and is important for the movement of people, goods and services in the area;

Aware that the Gwaram-Basirka-Darazo stretch of the road was constructed about thirty years ago by the Jigawa State Government which has also been maintaining it;

Also notes that the Road has suffered neglect over time and is almost becoming impassable due to its bad state as it takes over 4 hours to drive through the 90 km road;

Concerned that the bad state of the road is causing a lot of fatal accidents leading to loss of lives and destruction of properties worth millions of naira and it has also become a den of robbers both at day and at night;

Observes that a complete reconstruction of the Road will boost the socio-economic activities and significantly enhance the well-being of the people of the affected States and those plying the road;

Resolves to:

(i)            Urge the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to include the reconstruction of the Road in the 2017 Budget proposal;

(ii)           Also urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to, as a matter of urgency, repair the bad portions of the road to ease the hardships of the people;

(iii)          Mandate the Committees on Works and Appropriations to ensure implementation.

  1. Call for Rehabilitation of Ilorin-Mokwa-Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna Highway:

Hon. Ahmed Abu.

The House:

Notes that the Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa-Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna highway is in a serious state of disrepair as most parts of the road are ridden with potholes, thus making it a source of agony and a death trap for motorists;

Concerned that the failure to complete the Minna-Suleja dual carriage way which has been under construction for many years has not helped the situation;

Also concerned that due to the deteriorating state of the road and abandonment of the rehabilitation works, travelers have had to divert to the Mokwa-Bida, Minna-Suleja and Bida-Minna roads with attendant loss of time and risks to their lives from marauders who waylay travelers on those roads;

Further concerned that as a result of the diversion, the Mokwa – Bida, Minna – Suleja and Bida – Minna Roads which are being rehabilitated by the Government of Niger State are being over stretched and could also collapse if urgent actions are not taken to remedy the situation;

Worried that the Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa-Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna highway which has remained the major access road between the North and South of Nigeria has not been given the priority attention it deserves;

Resolves to: 

(i)            Urge the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to ensure the completion of rehabilitation works on the highways;

(ii)           Mandate the Committee on Works to ensure implementation and report back to the House within eight (8) weeks for further legislative action.

  1. Collapse of a Church Building in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State:

Hon. Francis Charles Uduyok:

The House:

Notes with sadness the unfortunate incident at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on 10 December 2016 when the Reigners Bible Church Complex collapsed, killing no fewer than 50 people, thereby throwing the people of Akwa Ibom State and indeed the whole country into mourning;

Concerned about the incessant collapse of buildings which end in fatalities, recalling the case of the Synagogue Church of all Nations two years ago when a six story guest house collapsed, killing 115 persons, 84 of whom were from South Africa;

Worried that such incidents are still occurring because no engineer, architect or contractor has been convicted for complicity in the collapse of a building in the past;

Believes that approvals and nature of engineering works on high-rise buildings meant to accommodate many people at any given time must be thoroughly screened by the relevant regulatory authorities with a view to ensuring that requisite standards are not compromised;

Resolves to:

(i)                   Observe a minute silence for those who lost their lives in the collapsed building;

(ii)                 send a delegation to condole with the Government and people of Akwa Ibom State;

(iii)                Commend Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State, personnel of the Nigeria Police Force, the Federal Road Safety Commission and other public spirited individuals for their efforts in the rescue of persons trapped in the collapsed building;

  1. Call for Reconstruction of Jere-Kwoi-Kafanchan-Madakiya-Zonkwa-Kachia Ring Road:

Hon Sunday Marshall Katung                        Hon. Yakubu Umar Barde               Hon. Solomon Maren

Hon. Binta Bello                                                 Hon. Simon Arabo                             Hon. Isah Ali J. C.

Hon. Suleiman Yahaya K.                               Hon. Jagaba Adams Jagaba           Hon. Beni Lar

Hon. Bashir Babale                                           Hon. Timothy Golu                           Hon. Ahmed Idris

Hon. Gideon Gwani                                           Hon. Shehu Garba                             Hon. Hassan A. Shekarau Hon. Istifanus D. Gyang

The House:

Notes that the Jere-Kwoi-Kafanchan-Madakiya-Zonkwa-Kachia Ring Road and the Kafanchan-Manchok-Jos Road were constructed several years ago to facilitate the socio-economic activities of the people of Kaduna, Plateau and the North Eastern States as well as other Nigerians who ply the ever busy highways;

Also notes that the above roads are strategic links between Kaduna and North Central/North East zones of the country such as Abuja, Plateau, Nasarawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba etc;

Worried that the highways which were constructed primarily to enhance the socio-economic wellbeing of the people are now badly damaged at different points, thereby providing opportunities for kidnappers, robbers and miscreants to cause havoc on unsuspecting commuters;

Concerned that if urgent steps are not taken to rehabilitate the roads that are serving as dependable alternative to the Kaduna-Jos-Abuja highway, travelers will continue to suffer untold hardships, loss of lives and wastage of man-hours;

Resolves to: 

(i)                   Call on the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing to include the reconstruction of the Highways in the 2017 budget estimates;

(ii)           Mandate the Committees on Works and Appropriations to ensure implementation.

  1. Need to Investigate the Non-compliance with Due Process in the Issuance of Offshore

Safety Permits by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) in Connivance with a Limited Liability Company:

Hon. Onyenwife Gabriel

The House:

Notes that the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) is a department under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources (FMPR) with the primary responsibility of ensuring compliance with petroleum laws, regulations and guidelines in the Oil and Gas Industry;

Aware  that the DPR has delegated part of its duties to a Limited Liability Company by saddling it with the responsibility of issuing out Offshore Safety Permits (OSP) and other licenses to all Exploration and Production Companies, Service Companies and Downstream Companies;

Also aware that revenues that accrue from these activities are trusted into a foreign account in the United State of America, with the said Company as one of the signatories;

Further aware that there was outright subversion of due process in contracting out this function, as there was no compliance with the Public Procurement Act, 2007;

Conerned that this act is being perpetrated by a Government Agency that so much premium is placed on, taking into consideration the serious financial straits the country is facing.

Resolves to:

Set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the revenue leakages and activities of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and report back to the House within 8 weeks.

  1. Urgent Need to Investigate the Disconnection of Electricity to Communities in Akoko North-East/North West Federal Constituency of Ondo State:

Hon. Olemija Stephen Friday:

The House:

Notes with great concern the permanent disconnection of electricity to Ikare, Ugbe, Auga, Iboropa, Ise, Akunu, Ikakumo, Ogbagi, Irun, Arigidi, Ikaram, Ese, Okeagbe, Oyin and Afin in Akoko North-East/North West Federal Constituency of Ondo State by the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC);

Aware that these communities, which consist of urban and rural dwellers with a population of almost One million people, have been in permanent darkness for a period ranging from six (6) months to two (2) years, thus paralyzing economic activities in those areas;

Cognizant that some unscrupulous staff of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) exploit the situation to demand for gratification from the people for reconnection and equally demand for payment for electricity not consumed by the people;

Concerned that if the situation is not urgently addressed, vandals and economic saboteurs may compound the problem by vandalizing transformers, cables and other equipment;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committee on Power to investigate the matter with a view to ensuring that the affected communities are reconnected to the national grid, and report back to the House within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

  1. Need to Investigate the Recurring Electrical Accidents in the Power Sector:

Hon. Joseph Eghoghon Edionwele.

The House:

Notes that since the concession of various projects in the Power Sector to private interests, the rate of electricity related accidents resulting in deaths has increased;

Also notes that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) put the figure of deaths due to electrical accidents in the last two years at 655, apart from those who sustained injuries;

Informed that since the privatization of the Power Sector to the Distribution Companies (DISCOs), absolute neglect of extant safety considerations, rules and maintenance procedures has been the order of the day, hence the increasing rate of death in electrical accidents in contrast with the previous years;

Concerned that the refusal of the DISCO’s to invest in working tools, personal safety and protective equipment could lead to more fatal consequences;

Also concerned about the impunity with which these DISCO’s disregard labour laws and their safety provisions by subjecting their employees to dehumanizing working conditions without any protection against work related hazards;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committees on Power, Labour, Employment and Productivity to investigate the causes of these incessant electrical accidents and allegations of unsafe practices by the various Distribution Companies (DISCO’s), Generation Companies (GENCO’s) and Transmission Companies with a view to bringing an end to the unhealthy trend and report back to the House within six (6) weeks for further legislative action.

  1. Need to Check Unwholesome Operations of Multinational Industries in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State:

Hon. Ibrahim Ayokunle Isiaka.

The House:

Notes that Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State is rich in mineral resources such as limestone and clay and as a result, is host to several cement manufacturing plants and metal mining and production industries, including Lafarge Cement, Wapco Plc, Purechem Cement Industries Nigeria Limited and Dolphin Steels Nigeria Limited;

Also notes that in recent years rapid expansion programmes by these industries have led to intensification of their mining and production operations, for example in 2011, Larfarge opened its 2.2 million metric tons capacity facility known as the Ewekoro 11 Plant, which is twice the capacity of the existing Ewekoro Plant with six 15 Mega Watt Units which is equal to 9 Mega Watt installed capacity with dual firing system that can use both gas and liquid fuel;

Further notes that Purchem Industries have expanded from a trading firm to a manufacturer of cement, chemicals, metal packaging etc; while Dolphin Steels, a mining/metal industry is engaged in blasting and other production and mining operations;

Aware that in 2012, the Department of Geography and Planning Services, Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State, conducted an assessment of health and environmental challenges of cement factories on Ewekoro Community residents and found extensive incidents of land, air and noise pollution over and above the recommended minimum limits of  the “noxious impact for an area”;

Concerned that the environmental degradation, deforestation and conversion of agricultural lands and communities into quarry sites for drilling, blasting and excavation of limestone have taken a heavy socio-economic toll on the lives of the residents in terms of inhalation of cement dust emissions, exposure to polluted water bodies and noise pollution with their inherent health hazards and implications as is evidenced in the prevalence of respiratory diseases such as asthma, tuberculosis, bronchitis, heart diseases and skin cancer which have been empirically proven to be linked to exposure to silica;

Also concerned about several studies confirming the debilitating impact of cement manufacturing on the environment and the adverse effects on the lives of the residents and buildings and also the damaged roads due to increase in the number of haulage vehicles plying the route and the ensuing traffic congestion resulting in loss of man hours;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committees on Solid Minerals Development and Environment and Habitat to urgently conduct a forensic investigation into the mining operations, production, safety concerns, health and environmental considerations in the operations of these multinational industrial plants and report back to the House within six weeks for further legislative action.

  1. Need to Curb the Rising Crises of Illegal Immigrants and Human Trafficking from Nigeria And Other Sub-Saharan African Countries To Italy And Other Countries Of The European Union:

Hon. Patrick Asadu:

The House:

Aware that Section 14 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution states that the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government;

Also aware that by Section 4 (1) (a) of the Immigration Act 2015, every passenger who enters or leaves Nigeria by any means shall satisfy the immigration officer that he is a holder of a valid travel document;

Concerned that while the United Nations reported that migration across the Mediterranean sea has reached epic proportions, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) observed that about 170,100 migrants arrived Italy by sea in 2014;

Also concerned about the report of the United Nations Commission for Human Rights (UNCHR) that illegal crossings from Libya to Italy increased by 38% in 2015 and further 43% in 2016;

Further concerned that majority of those migrants arriving in Italy in the recent time are from the Sub-Saharan Africa, mainly Nigerians, Gambians and Senegalese;

Equally concerned that for those numbers of migrants successfully arriving Italy, even many more lose their lives in the course of the very dangerous trips across the Sahara Desert while others drown in the Mediterranean sea, with some reports putting the chances of a migrant arriving Italy alive as low as 10% while the females are subjected to all forms of degradation and abuse;

Worried that these migrants, even when they manage to arrive Europe alive are not automatically eligible for protection and are not qualified for EU’s relocation and redistribution program, unlike Syrians, Somalians, Afghans and Eritreans fleeing wars and persecution, thus making their initial applications for asylum very unlikely to succeed and thereby condemning most of them to legal limbo without any money, documents and having poor communication skills or understanding of the local language;

Dismayed that the Federal Ministry of Interior has little or no effective border surveillance and patrol policy to restrain those misguided and misdirected Nigerians from embarking on such illegal, dehumanizing and risky misadventures;

Also worried that African Leaders are paying lip service to this absurd loss of “the soul of a continent” not only to a new slavery while the European leaders are deliberately tightening the noose on the hapless African migrants in order to provide economic space for their own poor, economic migrants from Eastern Europe and the war torn countries like Syria and Eritrea etc;

Further worried that Nigeria, from where most of the migrants emanate, has not only failed to provide for the security and welfare of its young citizens who form a critical productive resource for the country but has also failed to educate them on the vagaries and risks of embarking on such hazardous and illegal trips or diplomatically engaging the transit countries on how to restrain or protect the migrants from passing through these ‘corridors to hell’ or with the receiving countries on the security and welfare of the migrants when they get lured into this stateless status;

Alarmed that this avoidable humanitarian crises, if unchecked will not only diminish the respect of Nigeria and Nigerians as a nation and a people but also condemn those unfortunate and misguided Nigerians to a life of indignity and modern slavery;

Resolves to:

(i)            urge the youths to be wary of sweet talking but unscrupulous human traffickers promising them non-existent jobs beyond our shores and also urge parents, community and church leaders to champion massive enlightenment campaigns against this modern slavery;

(ii)           further urge the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), the Federal Ministries of Youth Development, Women Affairs, Information and Culture, Interior and Foreign Affairs to rise up to the challenges posed by this development;

(iii)          call on the Federal Government to develop a plan to mobilize both the citizenry and indeed African and other leaders in both the transit and receiving countries in the fight against this malaise while rehabilitating and resettling victims at all stages;

(iv)          also call on the 8th Assembly to champion a new Parliamentary Initiative to abolish this modern slavery by mobilizing resources within Nigeria and beyond against this at the levels of the sending, transit and receiving countries as well as co-ordinate the enactment of relevant legislations at the national and supra national levels.

(iv)               mandate the Committee on Human Rights to conduct an oversight of the action plan of the Federal Government to curtail the incidents of illegal migration to Europe and report back to the House within twelve (12) weeks for further legislative action.

  1. Unsavory Treatment of the Super Falcons after Winning the African Women’s Cup of Nations Championship for the Eight Time:

Hon. Ayo Omidiran.

The House:

Recalls that the Super Falcons of Nigeria won the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations Championship on December 3, 2016 for a record eight time after defeating the National Team of Cameroon, the host nation, in the final;

Aware that the players and officials are being owed backlog of allowances by the Nigerian Football Federation;

Also aware of the reported disclosure by the Hon. Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalong that the victory of the Super Falcons was unexpected, a mindset that may have led to the failure to make proper arrangements for the payment of the allowances of the players and the officials;

Cognizant that the players have refused to vacate their hotel rooms until they were paid all their due entitlements, despite urgings by the Nigerian Football Federation and officials of the Ministry;

Believing that the refusal of the team to hearken to the pleas of the football officials must have been informed by past actions, inactions, failures and inability of the Nigerian Football Federation and the Sports Ministry to keep to their promises and assurances in similar situations in the past;

Resolves to:

(i)            Commend, with a standing ovation, the Super Falcons for the superlative performance of the team at the just concluded Africa Women’s Cup of Nations Championship in Cameroon where they won the Cup for an unprecedented eight time;

(ii)           Condemned the non-payment of the allowances and bonuses of the players and officials and urge the Nigerian Football Federation to pay, without further delay, the backlog of unpaid allowances;

(iii)          Mandate the Committee on Sports to ensure implementation and report back to the House within Four (4) weeks for further legislative action.

  1. Need to Avert the Impending Strike Action by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG):

Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso

The House:

Notes the report in the Vanguard Newspaper of 5 December 2016 in which the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) issued notice of its intention to embark upon a three (3) day strike action in the first week of January 2017;

Aware that NUPENG stated that the strike action would be a precursor to a nationwide strike action if the Federal Government fails to intervene in the lingering disputes between the NUPENG and some multinational companies operating in the oil and gas industry;

Concerned about the disruptive effects of such a strike action and the attendant hardships it will bring on the people if not averted;

Resolves to:

Mandate the Committees on Labour, Employment and Productivity and Petroleum Resources (Upstream) and (Downstream) to mediate in the matter with a view to averting the threatened strike action and report back to the House within two (2) weeks for further legislative action.

Swearing-in of Newly Elected Members from Rivers State

Seven members (Six males, one female) read the Oath of the Member of House of Representatives as conducted by Clerk of the House.

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS

  1. Committee on Healthcare Services:

Hon. Chike John Okafor:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Healthcare Services on a Bill for an Act to Authorize the issue from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, the Total Sum of ?10,634,353,111.00 (Ten Billion, Six Hundred and Thirty-Four Million, Three Hundred and Fifty-Three Thousand, One Hundred and Eleven Naira) only out of which the sum of ?6,906,795,811. 00 (Six Billion, Nine Hundred and Six Million, Seven Hundred and Ninety-Five Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eleven Naira) only is for Total Overhead Costs, and ?3,727,557,300.00 (Three Billion, Seven Hundred and Twenty-Seven Million, Five Hundred and Fifty-Seven Thousand, Three Hundred Naira) only is for Capital Expenditure for the Year Ending on 31 December, 2016 (HB. 741) and approve the Recommendations therein” (Laid: 28 /11/2016).

A BILL FOR AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE ISSUE FROM THE STATUTORY REVENUE FUND OF THE NATIONAL AGENCY FOR FOOD AND DRUGS ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL THE TOTAL SUM OF ?10,634,353,111.00 (TEN BILLION, SIX HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FOUR MILLION, THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY-THREE THOUSAND, ONE HUNDRED AND ELEVEN NAIRA) ONLY, (HB. 741) FOR THE YEAR ENDING ON 31 DECEMBER, 2016

Clause 1:               Issue and appropriation of ?10,634,353,111.00 (Ten Billion, Six Hundred and Thirty-Four Million, Three Hundred and Fifty-Three Thousand, One Hundred and Eleven Naira) only from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control for the year ending on 31 December, 2016.

(i)            The Director General of the Agency shall by warrant pay out of the Statutory Revenue Fund of the Agency during the year ending on 31 December, 2016, the sums specified by the warrants not exceeding in the aggregate ?10,634,353,111.00 (Ten Billion, Six Hundred and Thirty-Four Million, Three Hundred and Fifty-Three Thousand, One Hundred and Eleven Naira) only from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control for 2016.

(ii)           The amount mentioned in subsection (i) shall be appropriated to heads of expenditures as indicated in the schedule to this Bill.

(iii)         No part of the amount above mentioned shall be released from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control after the end of the year mentioned in the Schedule to this Bill.

Clause 2:               Release of Fund from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control.

All amounts appropriated under this Bill shall be released from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control only for the purposes specified in the Schedule to this Bill.

Clause 3:               Virement.

In the event that the implementation of any of the projects intended to be undertaken under this Bill cannot be completed without virement, such virement shall only be effected with the prior approval of the National Assembly.

Clause 4:               Release of Funds for implementation.

The Director General/Chief Executive of the Agency shall ensure that Funds appropriated under this Bill are released as and when due, provided that no funds for any Quarter of the Fiscal year shall be deferred without prior waiver from the National Assembly.

Clause 5:               Quarterly Report.

The Director General/Chief Executive of the Agency and the Directorate of Treasury, National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control shall immediately upon the coming into force of this Bill furnish the National Assembly, on a Quarterly basis, the status of the records of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control and statutory account.

Clause 6:               Waiver not to incur expenditure.

Where due to revenue short-fall, amount appropriated under this Bill cannot be funded, the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control shall seek from the National Assembly a waiver not to incur such.

Clause 7:               Due Process Certification.

The Department of Government charged with the responsibility of certifying that due processes have been complied with in the processing of implementation of projects shall ensure that all processes of approval are completed within the specified period as provided for in the Public Procurement Act.

Clause 8:               Interpretation.

For the Purpose of this Bill, the term:

“Agency” means the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control.

“Schedule” includes the detailed estimates of expenditure attached hereto

Clause 9:               Short Title.

This Bill may be cited as the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control Statutory Appropriation Bill, 2016.

SUMMARY OF NATIONAL AGENCY FOR FOOD AND DRUGS ADMINISTRATION AND CONTROL BUDGET 2016

  1. Overhead Costs

Local Travel and Transport: Training                                                                                             420, 000, 000. 00

Local Travel and Transport (Inspection Activities)                                                                      570, 996, 400. 00

International Travel and Transport (GMP)                                                                                    611, 000, 000.00

Electricity Charges                                                                                                                               95, 106, 240. 00

Telephone Charges                                                                                                                             5, 000, 000. 00

Internet Access Charges                                                                                                                     54, 002, 000. 00

Water Rates                                                                                                                                          1, 000, 000.00

Sewage Charges                                                                                                                                   5, 000, 004. 00

Office Stationeries/Computer Consumables                                                                                 301, 726, 880. 00

Magazines and Periodicals                                                                                                                                3, 000, 200. 00

Printing of Non-Security Documents                                                                                               70, 000,000. 00

Printing of Security Documents                                                                                                        1, 000, 000. 00

Labouratory Chemicals/Glass Wares                                                                                              102, 147, 600. 00

Maintenance of Motor Vehicles/Transport Equipment                                                                               80, 528, 940. 00

Maintenance of Office Furniture                                                                                                     10, 000, 000. 00

Maintenance of Office Building                                                                                                       264, 597, 840. 00

Maintenance of Office Equipment                                                                                                  32, 000,000.00

Maintenance of Computers/IT Equipment                                                                                   12, 000, 320.00

Maintenance of Plants/Generators                                                                                                  49, 023, 000. 00

Clearing and Forwarding Expenses                                                                                                  10, 000, 100. 00

 

Repair and Maintenance of Laboratory Equipment                                                                   34, 462, 708. 00

Security services                                                                                                                                  183,600,000.00

Office Rent                                                                                                                                           26,722,215.00

Operational Expenses /Federal Task Force                                                                    215,319,360.00

Cleaning & Fumigation Services                                                                                                      200,000,080.00

Financial Consulting                                                                                                           35,000,000.00

Legal Services                                                                                                                                      5,000,000.00

Engineering Services                                                                                                                           25,000,000.00

Surveying Services                                                                                                              8,000,000.00

Motor Vehicle Fuel Cost                                                                                                                    36,476,568.00

Remittance to CRF (25%)                                                                                                 633,750,072.00

Plant/Generator Fuel Cost                                                                                                 439,200,000.00

Productivity Allowance                                                                                                      400,000,000.00

Insurance Premium                                                                                                             100,000,000.00

Meetings, Workshops and Conferences                                                                                          5,950,000.00

Hospitality, Refreshment & Meal                                                                                                    20,000,000.00

Honorarium & Sitting Allowance                                                                                                     18,200,000.00

Publicity & Advertisements                                                                                               868,733,280.00

Animal House                                                                                                                                      2,000,000.00

Postages & Courier Services                                                                                                              18,750,000.00

Staff Welfare                                                                                                                                       89,992,000.00

Establishment of NAFDAC desk in LGA                                                                                        5,000,000.00

Recruitment and Appointment (Service Wide)                                                             15,600,000.00

Discipline and Appeal (Service Wide)                                                                                              5,000,000.00

Promotion (Service Wide)                                                                                                                  15,000,000.00

Annual Budget Expenses & Administration                                                                                  10,000,000.00

Donations                                                                                                                                             10,000,000.00

2016 National Food Safety Week                                                                                                   5,000,000.00

2016 Conference on Nigeria Total Diet Study                                                                               5,000,000.00

FGN/NAFDAC/UNICEF Nutrition Programme                                                                             82,000,000.00

Interns/NYSC                                                                                                                       290,000,004.00

Advocacy/Awareness on use of

Fake and Counterfeit Drugs in Six Geopolitical Zones                                                                400,000,000.00

 

Total Overhead Costs                                                                                                                        6, 906, 795, 811. 00

 

  1. Capital Projects

Provision of mobile laboratories and accessories                                                                          900,000,000.00

Provision of laboratory equipment                                                                                                  80,000,000.00

NAFDAC HQ Laboratory Building- Construction and Others)                                                  201,964,050.00

Provision of Motor Vehicles                                                                                              101,540,000.00

Provision of Office Equipment, Furniture and Fitting and Power

Generating Plant                                                                                                                                  49,807,000.00

Provision of NAFDAC Information Systems and Computer Sets                                             79,600,000.00

Construction of NAFDAC Laboratory- Mbaka Benue State (Phase 1)                                   205,347,984.00

Construction of NAFDAC Laboratory Building Abeokuta, Ogun State-Phase 1                   239,912,059.00

Construction of Office Block, Warehouse, Perimeter Fence

and Gate House at Illela                                                                                                                    15,226,756.00

Construction of Perimeter Fence, Office Block and

Warehouse in Benin, Edo State – Phase 1                                                                                       120,000,000.00

Consultancy Services for Construction of Perimeter Fence,

Office Block and Warehouse in Benin, Edo State                                                                        30,000,000.00

Construction of Office Block, Warehouse, Perimeter Fence and Gate

House at Kamba-Kebbi State                                                                                                           15,893,734.00

Construction of NAFDAC PID Office at Murtala Mohammed

Int’l Airport NAHCO Ikeja Lagos                                                                                                    119,815,795.00

Rehabilitation of NAFDAC LAB Calabar                                                                                      31,845,746.00

Construction of Perimeter Fence, Office Block and Ware

House at Owerri, Imo State – Phase 1                                                                                              214,926,200.00

Construction of Perimeter Fence, Office Block and Ware

House at Osogbo, Osun State – Phase 1                                                                                          110,000,000.00

Consultancy Service for the Construction Perimeter Fence, Office Block and

Warehouse at Owerri, Imo State                                                                                                      15,000,000.00

Construction of Office Block, Warehouse, Perimeter Fence

and Gate House- Jibiya, Katsina State                                                                                           16,726,756.00

Construction of NAFDAC laboratory Building, Umuokeh

Obowo, Imo state – Phase 1                                                                                                              154,926,200.00

Rehabilitation of NAFDAC Training School, Kaduna, Kaduna State                                      20,000,000.00

Construction of Office Block, Warehouse, Perimeter Fence and Gate House at

Maigatari – Jigawa State                                                                                                                   16,726,756.00

Rehabilitation of NAFDAC Birnin Kebbi Office- Kebbi State                                                    26,477,000.00

Redesigning and furnishing of NAFDAC Lab Maiduguri Borno State                                     15,989,100.00

Construction of Perimeter Fence at Asaba- Delta State                                                              10,916,438.00

Construction of Perimeter Fence at Abakiliki – Ebonyi State                                                     10,094,400.00

Construction of Perimeter Fence at Enugu                                                                                     10,094,400.00

Construction of perimeter fence at kwara                                                                                     10,094,400.00

Consultancy service NAFDAC Laboratory Training School

Antyu Mbaka Benue State                                                                                                                               33,545,174.00

Management and supervision for NAFDAC Laboratory Building

Abeokuta, Ogun State                                                                                                                        14,507,332.00

Consultancy service stage 1 and 2 NAFDAC Headquarters/Laboratory

Building Kyami- Abuja                                                                                                                      45,000,000.00

Consultancy service stage 3 NAFDAC Headquarters/Laboratory

Building Kyami- Abuja                                                                                                                      10, 000,000.00

Outstanding financial obligation                                                                                                      801, 580,020.00

Total Capital Projects                                                                                                                      3, 727, 557, 300.00

 

Grand Total                                                                                                                                        10, 634, 353, 111. 00

 

  1. Committee on Banking and Currency:

Hon. Jones Onyereri:

“That the House do consider the Report of the Committee on Banking and Currency on a Bill for an Act to Authorize the Issue from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the Central Bank of Nigeria the Total sum of N420, 787,701,850.00 (Four Hundred and Twenty Billion, Seven Hundred and Eighty Seven Million, Seven Hundred and One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty Naira) only, out of which the sum of N419, 672, 000, 320. 00 (Four Hundred and Nineteen Billion, Six Hundred and Seventy-Two Million and Three Hundred and Twenty Naira) only is for Recurrent Expenditure, while the excess Revenue over Expenditure stood at N1, 115, 701, 530. 00 (One Billion, One Hundred and Fifteen Million, Seven Hundred and One Thousand, Five Hundred and Thirty Naira) only, is for the Year Ending on 31 December, 2016 and approve the Recommendations therein” (HB. 753) (Laid 8/12/2016).

A BILL FOR AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE ISSUE FROM THE STATUTORY REVENUE FUND OF THE CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA THE TOTAL SUM OF N420, 787,701,850.00 (FOUR HUNDRED AND TWENTY BILLION, SEVEN HUNDRED AND EIGHTY SEVEN MILLION, SEVEN HUNDRED AND ONE THOUSAND, EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTY NAIRA) ONLY, (HB. 753) FOR THE YEAR ENDING ON 31 DECEMBER, 2016

Clause 1:               Issue and appropriation N420, 787,701,850.00 (Four Hundred and Twenty Billion, Seven Hundred and Eighty Seven Million, Seven Hundred and One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty Naira) only from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the Central Bank of Nigeria for the year ending on 31 December, 2016.

(i)            The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria shall by warrant pay out of the Statutory Revenue Fund of the Service during the year ending on 31 December, 2016, the sums specified by the warrants not exceeding in the aggregate N420, 787,701,850.00 (Four Hundred and Twenty Billion, Seven Hundred and Eighty Seven Million, Seven Hundred and One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty Naira) only from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the Central Bank of Nigeria for 2016.

(ii)           The amount mentioned in subsection (i) shall be appropriated to heads of expenditures as indicated in the schedule to this Bill.

(iii)         No part of the amount above mentioned shall be released from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the Central Bank of Nigeria after the end of the year mentioned in the Schedule to this Bill.

Clause 2:               Release of Fund from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

All amounts appropriated under this Bill shall be released from the Statutory Revenue Fund of the Central Bank of Nigeria only for the purposes specified in the Schedule to this Bill.

Clause 3:               Virement.

In the event that the implementation of any of the projects intended to be undertaken under this Bill cannot be completed without virement, such virement shall only be effected with the prior approval of the National Assembly.

Clause 4:               Release of Funds for Implementation.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria shall ensure that Funds appropriated under this Bill are released as and when due, provided that no funds for any Quarter of the Fiscal year shall be deferred without prior waiver from the National Assembly.

Clause 5:               Quarterly Report.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Directorate of Treasury, Central Bank of Nigeria shall immediately upon the coming into force of this Bill furnish the National Assembly, on a Quarterly basis, the status of the records of the Central Bank of Nigeria and statutory account.

Clause 6:               Waiver not to incur expenditure.

Where due to revenue short-fall, amount appropriated under this Bill cannot be funded, the Central Bank of Nigeria shall seek from the National Assembly a waiver not to incur such.

Clause 7:               Due Process Certification.

The Department of Government charged with the responsibility of certifying that due processes have been complied with in the processing of implementation of projects shall ensure that all processes of approval are completed within the specified period as provided for in the Public Procurement Act.

Clause 8:               Interpretation.

For the Purpose of this Bill, the term:

“Schedule” includes the detailed estimates of expenditure attached hereto

Clause 9:               Short Title.

This Bill may be cited as the Central Bank of Nigeria Statutory Appropriation Bill, 2016.

SUMMARY OF CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA BUDGET 2016

  1. General Administrative Expenses                                                    125,298, 000, 000. 00
  1. Operational Expenses                                                                         283,511,000, 000. 00

 

  1. Depreciation on Fixed Assets                                                                10,863,000,000. 00

 

  1. Excess of Income over Recurrent Expenditure                                    1,115,701,530.00

 

Total Expenditure                                                                             419, 672, 000, 320. 00

 

Grand Total                                                                                        420,787, 000, 000, 700. 00

ADJOURNMENT
That the House do adjourn till Tuesday, 10 January at 11:00 a.m (Hon. Orker-Jev)
House adjourned accordingly at 4:02 p.m

Senate Proceedings For Thursday 15th December 2016

Senate President Bukola Saraki presided over plenary.

*EXECUTIVE SESSION*

The Senate in a closed door session that lasted for about two hours deliberated on issues bothering on the workings of the National Assembly and the confirmation of the nomination of the EFCC Chairman and other members.

Following the security report before it, Senate therefore rejected the confirmation of the Nomination of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as Chairman EFCC. The Senate referred nomination of the other 4 Members of the EFCC for further security screening with Anti Corruption Committee

Senator Gbenga Ashafa moves for the approval of votes and proceedings of Wednesday 14th December, 2016. Senator Buruji Kashamu seconded.

*POINT OF ORDER*

Senator Dino Melaye raised a motion over a publication by TheNation Newspaper and BBC Hausa on the infraction on the privilege of the Senate.

Title of the Publication: “Senate Seeks SGF Sack” is all that balderdash” BBC Interview: “The Senators are talking rubbish”

“A mere appointee of the President says that we are liars” and tenders more evidence acquired from the Corporate Affairs Commission against SGF, Babachir Lawal?”If the SGF says the document presented by the CAC is fake, he should produce the original” – Sen. ?Dino melaye?.

“It is largely shown that the SGF does not have the necessary capacity to occupy the post” – Sen. Ibn Na’Allah?.

“This position is a responsible position but if we have an irresponsible person there, it becomes a problem” – Sen. Chukwuka Utazi.

“The issue we have here is very serious because it bothers on the integrity of the Senate, the President ? was here yesterday and said with all humility that he is seeking cooperation with the National Assembly, the SGF’s statement contradicts this. We will communicate with the President with necessary document and let’s see what the Executive will do. We leave that to the Executive to do what has to be done, we have done our part and i commend you all for your effort”- Senate President

Senator Dino Melaye lays the report before the Senate.

*ADJOURNMENT*

Senate Leader Ali Ndume moves that the Senate do adjourn for few minutes and reconvene to adopt the votes & proceedings of today, Thursday 15th December ?.Minority seconded.

*Senate Reconvenes at 02:30pm*

Senator Jibrin Barau moves for the approval of earlier votes and proceedings for Thursday 15th December, 2016. Senator Raji Rasaki seconds.

*SWEARING IN*
Senate President swears in newly elected Distinguished Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from Rivers State. They are: George Sekibo- Rivers East
Magnus Abe- Rivers South East
Osinachukwu Ideozu- Rivers West, they were given a rousing welcome.

?*ANNOUNCEMENT*
Senate President announces the inauguration of the Committee on Legislative Compliance & reads a letter of appreciation from Sen. Omo-Agege.

?*CLOSING REMARKS*

Senate President gives his closing remarks. “i want to thank all of you for the effort we put in this session. Looking at the statistics of what we have been able to achieve since we returned, we’ve passed18 Bills for Third Reading. What we have done in 3months cannot be compared to what we have done in the last one year. Finally, i congratulate the three new Senators, we’re happy that it is our Motion that made this election possible, ” – Senate President.

*ADJOURNMENT*
Senate Leader, Ali Ndume now moves that the Senate do adjourn to January 10th, 2017. Minority leader seconded. Senate President puts the question and Senate is adjourned to January 10, 2017.

How Buba Galadima Sabotaged Buhari’s 2011 Presidential Ambition – Senator Hanga

Pioneer National Chairman of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Senator Rufa’i Hanga, once represented Kano Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly. In this interview, he tackles former CPC National Secretary, Buba Galadima over the latter’s attacks on President Muhammadu Buhari among other issues.

As the founding national chairman of the defunct CPC, what is your take on Buba Galadima’s recent comments that he did not collect money to influence the choice of candidates in the CPC?

Let me shed some light on what I saw in Buba’s interview in response to what the Presidency or Garba Shehu said that he perpetrated atrocities in the defunct CPC.

He scattered the party and made it to fail. Buba argued that Buhari was the supreme head of CPC, chairman of the Board of Trustees, BoT and everything stopped at his table and that Buhari made final decisions. Yes, Buhari was the chairman of BoT, but it is wrong and hypocritical for Buba to claim that all that went wrong was caused by Buhari.

Buhari is a team player. He is a kind of person, who appoints people that he trusts. When he gives you an appointment, he gives you responsibility and authority to discharge it.

So, Buba Galadima and Co. were given the responsibility to run the party but they schemed, manipulated and booted us out. That is a story for another day, anyway.

Buba schemed and manipulated things. Buhari didn’t even know that Galadima was vying for the position of secretary of the party till the Election Day. He was hiding it because if Buhari had known, he wouldn’t have allowed him to be the secretary because Buhari knows him very well; he knows the kind of person Buba is.

But Bubari was unaware until the Election Day; on the way to the venue, Buhari learned that Buba was the candidate. He asked who was contesting for the position of secretary and he was told that it was Buba. He kept quiet because there was nothing he could do at that time, it was too late. But I am sure, he was visibly unhappy.

Buhari is innocent of all the atrocities. Buhari did not tell them to do those things. He didn’t tell them to collect…. All those things that Garba Shehu claimed were true.

This is not a secret; there were confessions. When things went sour, people were on radio even in Kano talking about some of the members that were in the House by virtue of these arrangements.

Coming forward to challenge Galadima

He said he is challenging anybody to come forward, I am coming forward now to say that there is nothing more terrible, more annoying, more shocking than somebody, a friend that you have absolute trust in betraying you. Buba was my friend, I had trust in him, absolute trust in him and he knew that.

This same Buba told me that my gubernatorial aspiration was more important to him than Buhari’s presidential aspiration because I am close to him and his family and he knows he will benefit from my position. So where is integrity in this? Where is honesty in this? How can you make claims that you didn’t collect money even when you said all these in front of somebody?

There were people like this, who were clinging on Buhari’s integrity and posture to speak and people believed them because of Buhari. Every time they speak is as if Buhari is speaking. You know people have tremendous support, respect and belief in Buhari, that is why when Buba and co spoke, it was as if Buhari was speaking.

However, this is no longer the case; you cannot be telling lies all the time and expect people to believe you. Now, the principal has spoken, Buhari has spoken that these are the kind of people Buba and co were. So it is no more news that they perpetrated so many bad things, they cannot come and make claims now.

Buba Galadima said he swore to the Koran, what is your take?

He said he swore to Koran, those journalists that interviewed him, are they Muslims to know whether what he brought was Koran or not? Once he brought it out, they saw a very voluminous book, was it a dictionary or a Koran? Do they know what it is, did they read it, and do they know how to read the Koran?

Buba said he has a document which showed that Buhari nominated the governorship candidates for Katsina, Kano, Bauchi and Borno?

Buhari could not have selected them because he was not the party’s chairman or secretary. There were times Buba was banging his table at the party’s headquarters in presence of party members, that even Buhari could not force him to stop what they wanted to do; that was when he was deeply drunk with this power.

Let me tell you how rascally Buba could be when they went to Kano and were trying to push me out by force as national chairman. I wasn’t contesting for chairmanship position again because we were doing congresses, which would lead to the convention, I was part of the aspirants for the position of chairman because Buhari is from North-West and I am also from North-West.

Buba was trying to push me out by all means before the primaries were concluded for the convention. Buba was blindly scheming to be the national secretary because he wanted to do what he finally did.

When the battle was so hot, Buhari called me into his bedroom and said, ‘why are these people after you?’And I said, ‘because of you.’ And he asked, ‘why me?’ And I replied, ‘because these people are scheming against you and if I am there as chairman by the grace of God they won’t succeed, because I know them and politically they cannot outwit me to sabotage you.’

Buhari said, ‘okay I have not seen anywhere in the constitution of the party where it states that the chairman must step down before he or she will contest for any political office.’ And I said, ‘after all, I am not contesting for the office of the Chairman,’ that my aspiration is for the gubernatorial and it has not come because that it will come after the convention.

It was on the eve of the convention, they insisted that I must leave and went ahead to announce that Oscar Udoji had been appointed caretaker chairman. When I came back from Kano and I went to the office, I saw him sitting there, and I asked him what he was doing in my office and he said he was now the acting chairman of the party. I said, ‘how come? I didn’t resign, I was not impeached, how can you be the acting chairman?’ He replied that he did not know, that I should go and ask them.

When I went to ask Buhari who was now the presidential candidate, he said, ‘go and concentrate on your aspiration.’

I was shocked, I wouldn’t have argued with him, I did not say anything, there were many people around when that happened. I left, I didn’t say anything because if I said anything then, it would amount to sabotage, I went back home, continued with my aspiration and to fight for Buhari even after they anointed Lawan Jafaru Isa as the governorship candidate.

I fought for Buhari up to the last, even in APC the records are there, I was for Buhari, I worked for Buhari up to the last minute. But Buba and co didn’t fight for Buhari, they fought for Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. So, Buba should please keep quiet. I don’t see why he is so desperate, must he be in the government?

When they booted me out, I continued working for Buhari, the records are there, but when they were booted out they went to work for Kwankwaso up to the end. Now they are working for Kwankwaso. He was my friend and he is my friend, I am asking him to please keep quiet, he shouldn’t dig further, he should allow the sleeping dogs to lie and stop challenging people that knew what happened to speak because there are people that know what he was and who he is.

Source: Vanguard

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