Politics

Security: ALGON seeks improved living standards in rural communities

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The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) says there is need for urgent improvement in the standard of living  for the rural populace as a panacea to security challenges in rural communities.


National President of the association, Mr Kolade Alabi, made the remark at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on Thursday in Abuja.

Alabi assured the rural dwellers in the country of better days after the association’s strategic visit to Morocco and the untapped benefits of United European Fund.

He said: “We have equally maintained our follow up, collaboration and synergy with the United Cities and Local Governments-Africa (UCLGAfrica) and that of the European Union have been established.

“I wish to further bring to your notice, some other concerns already placed in the front-burner for local councils to be treated as state Actors before the Federal government for consideration and upward review.

ALGON as well as other members of UCLG Africa, haven been recognised as state actors, have the unique opportunity to now participate in the dialogue with the EUD, representatives of the Federal Government in the formulation and execution of agreed programmes.

He emphasised that key efforts were already in place to review local government areas’  revenue allocation formula with the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission and also retrieve Paris Funds.

“We have also been invited to present our memorandum on the review of Revenue Allocation Formula by the Revenue Mobilisation  Allocation and Fiscal Commission,” he said.

Alabi explained that with the review of the fiscal revenue allocation formula, local government areas  get 20.60 per cent, state governments 26. 72 per cent while the Federal Government gets  52.68 per cent.

According to him, we have so much in  our hands to contend with and the paltry sum allocated is grossly inadequate.

He, therefore, called for more allocation to the local government areas  to address problems of infrastructure, primary healthcare and other challenges.

The president also assured members that the previous deprived TV Rights Funds accrued  to ALGON would be recovered.

“I am assiduously deploying all reasonable, diligent and legal means aimed at the aforementioned instances, secure the release of all accrued benefits over the years to the local government areas  throughout the federation,  ” he said.

Other members of ALGON also said that a holistic development could only be achieved when local government area levels were well funded and supported with compelling policies.

On his part,  ALGON Chairman  in Delta and Former Deputy National President, Mr Itiaka Ikpokpo, said that Delta  was almost 95 per cent ready to implement the vigilante structure.

He also noted that the House of Representatives and the Senate had waded into the matter as the police was doing its best for the people too.

Also, Mr Isah Mohammed, ALGON Chairman, Bauchi State,  said that the local government areas should be fully funded to see the end of insecurity in the country.

According to him, the Federal Government and the state should always involve the local government  areas when drawing health care programmes for better implementation.

Mr Odunayo Ategbero, Chairman, Board of Trustees,  said that the bulk of work and  huge responsibilities were on the local governments areas.

“If you develop the local governments areas, you have developed the nation,” he said.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Kayode Olaitan (NAN)

https://nnn.ng/security-algon-seeks-improved-living-standards-in-rural-communities/

General news

NEMA distributes relief materials to flood victims in Kebbi

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The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), on Wednesday, distributed relief materials to victims of flood disaster in some major communities of Suru Local Government Area of Kebbi.


Distributing the items, the Director- General of NEMA, AVM Mohammed Muhammad, said the  Federal Government approved the distribution of the materials.

Muhammad, who was represented by the Head of Planning, Research and Forecasting Unit, NEMA Sokoto Operations Office, Tukur Abubakar said the relief materials consists of food stuff, building materials and other household items.

He said the items distributed he said are: 349 bags of beans, 349 bags each of rice and guinea corn, 36 kegs of vegetable oil, 58 cartons of seasoning, 29 cartons of tin tomatoes and 18 bags of salt.

Others, he said, are 698 pieces each of mattresses, blankets, mosquito nets and wax prints, 600 bags of cement, 600 bundles of roofing sheets, 70 bags of nails and 140 packets of zinc nails.

Earlier, Rep. Bello Kaoje (APC, Bagudo/Suru), commended NEMA for the timely intervention to alleviate the suffering of the affected victims.

Also speaking, the Chairman of SEMA, Alhaji Sani Dododo, attributed this year’s flooding in the state to high rainfall, which led to the discharge of water from Goronyo dam in Sokoto state and Bakolori dam in Zamfara.

Dododo said that the flood resulted to the death of many people and destruction of farmlands and houses in communities along Rima River.

He appealed to the federal government, NGOs and individuals to assist the flood victims. .

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/nema-distributes-relief-materials-to-flood-victims-in-kebbi/
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CBN

Ex-CBN director lauds CBN on benchmark interest rate reduction

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Dr Titus Okunrounmu, a former director, Budgetary Department of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has commended the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Apex Bank for reducing Benchmark Interest Rate (BIR) from 12.5 per cent to 11.5 per cent.


Okunrounmu made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria , in Ota, Ogun on Wednesday.

NAN reports that Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, on Tuesday in Abuja announced after the two-day meeting of the MPC that the BIR would be reduced from 12.5 per cent to 11.5 per cent.

Others monetary policy instruments like the Cash Reserve Ratio and Liquidity Ratio are retained at 27.5 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.

NAN also reports that this would be the second times that the MPC would be reducing BIR this year.

The former CBN director said that the MPC’s decision to cut the BIR was a better and welcome development that would encourage private investment in the country.

“If there is massive investment in the country, economic activities will pick up and boost employment opportunity,’’ he said.

He said that the nation was currently experiencing a huge unemployment.

Okunrounmu adding that the Federal Government needed to address this problem in order to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable economic development.

He remarked that CBN was trying to bring down the nation’s inflation rate as 2020 budget was based on deficit financing, which might likely lead to inflation.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Abdulfatah Babatunde
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/ex-cbn-director-lauds-cbn-on-benchmark-interest-rate-reduction/
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Judiciary

Coalition commends Buhari for signing Police Bill 2020 into law

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The Coalition of Public Interest Lawyers and Advocates (COPA), a Human Rights, pro- democracy and good governance group has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing into law the Nigeria Police Act, 2020.


The coalition in a statement by its convener Mr Pelumi Olajengbesi on Wednesday in Abuja applauded the president saying the signing was timeous.

It would be recalled that President Buhari on Sept. 17 signed the police bill into law to enhance professionalism in their administration and regulation in the country.

The new law among other things provides for a more effective and well organised police force driven by the principles of transparency and accountability in its operations and management of its resources.

It also enables and establishes an appropriate funding framework for the Police in line with what is obtainable in other Federal Government key institutions to ensure appropriate funding for all Police formations.

Olajengbesi said that the police were at the heart of a seamless functioning of any political entity given its strategic role in the maintenance of law and order and as such must be preserved.

He noted that inadequate funding, lack of manpower, poor training and expertise in the police had continually been felt by Nigerians who had to bear the brunt of abuse of human rights, and so on.

“It remains puzzling that an agency as strategic as such has been allowed to labour for too long under the limitations of an anachronistic legislation that among other things did not reflect the reality of evolution over the years.

“We therefore commend all civil society organisations and individuals who have tirelessly sustained the clamour for a review of the enabling law governing the Nigeria Police.

“We particularly commend Mr Segun Awosanya, (Segalink) for his selfless role in advocating for the reforms which have so prominently featured in the new law,” he added.

He also commended the 9th National Assembly for midwifing a forward thinking legislation, while calling on the leadership of the Nigeria Police to ensure that the law yielded the desired result.

“We urge the Inspector-General of Police to set proper tone for this “new beginning” by ensuring that utmost compliance and application is given to the law.”

Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/coalition-commends-buhari-for-signing-police-bill-2020-into-law/
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General news

Zamfara seeks whereabouts of N37bn refund on executed FG projects

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Zamfara Government says it has alerted security agencies to track the whereabouts of over N37 billion refunds on Federal Government projects executed by the state.


Alhaji Rabiu Garba, the state Commissioner of Finance, announced this while addressing journalists in Gusau on Tuesday.

Garba alleged that the immediate past administration led by former governor, Abdulaziz Yari might have misappropriated the money.

The commissioner said the amount was initially quoted at over N47 billion as the funds used by the former administration in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of 14 federal roads in the state.

“We understood that the cost of the verified projects at the Federal Ministry of Works stood at over N37 billion.

“But when we asked for refunds of the said amount, it was confirmed by both the Federal Ministry of Works and the Debt Management Office that the amount had been paid fully.

“On further investigation, we gathered that the money was collected by the Director-General of Nigerian Governors’ Forum and one lady who also worked in the same place on instructions from former Zamfara government.

“We wonder how people who are not indigenes of the state nor have they ever worked for the state should collect such a colossal amount on behalf of the government and people of Zamfara,’’ the commissioner said.

He assured that the present administration under Gov. Bello Matawalle will do everything possible to recover the money “so that we can use it in the development of the state’’.

But reacting in an interview with the News agency of Nigeria on Wednesday, the former Commissioner of Finance in the Yari led government, Alhaji Muktar Idris exonerated the administration from any wrongdoing.

Idris said that the immediate past administration constructed the roads at the cost of over N60 billion and claimed the same amount from the Federal Government.

“But a federal government verification committee only approved N37.4 billion refunds which was on completed projects.

“Due to dearth of funds to repay such projects to about 23 states, which stood at over N500 billion, it was agreed at the governors’ forum that the states would collect the refunds in two tranches via promissory notes that would mature in three years.

“The states were to receive 40 per cent in the first instalment, in which Zamfara’s due amount stood at N14.9 billion.

“All the affected state governors also agreed that the director-general of the Governors’ Forum should collect for them.

“I still have the documents with me where we put over N10 billion as discounted from N14.9 billion into our joint account because we needed the money.

“So, we discounted and collected the amount through the Debt Management Office, Idris told NAN.

He explained further that the second promissory note was for N22 billion which was also discounted to a little over N17 billion.

“All the money had been deposited into the state government’s accounts.

“Zamfara people are free to check and verify these facts,’’ he said.

Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Source: NAN

https://nnn.ng/zamfara-seeks-whereabouts-of-n37bn-refund-on-executed-fg-projects/
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