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2018 budget: Senate not responsible for delayed passage, says Adeola

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The Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Content, Senator Solomon Adeola,  declared that the Senate should not be held responsible for the delay in the passage of the 2018 budget.
Adeola, who spoke in Ilaro, Ogun State at the sidelines of end-of-the-year party organised for members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), hinted that this year’s Appropriation Bill is likely to be passed by March or April, this year.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last November presented N8.612 trillion budget to the National Assembly for the 2018 fiscal year, with many Nigerians expecting expeditious passage by the legislators.
But yesterday, Adeola, representing Lagos West Senatorial District on the platform of APC, absolved the Senate of any blame in the passage of the budget estimates.
 
He bemoaned what he described as lackadaisical attitude of ministries, departments and agencies of the Federal Government in defending their fiscal proposals towards enabling the Senate to pass the budget in record time.
 
He explained that unless the Senate is provided with necessary documentation as well as facts and figures to work with, the Senate could not just rubber stamp the 2018 budget.
Adeola said, “As you can see the last time, we’re trying to work round the clock to ensure that by 31st of December, if possibly for the first time, in our nation’s history we can pass the budget in a record time.
“But as it were, documentation and facts and figures that we need to buttress all items of transaction, both in the recurrent and expenditure as contained in that particular document, is not given to us by these ministries and the lackadaisical attitude of the various agencies of the government, both the ministries and parastatals, is nothing to write home about.
“It is when they are prepared to defend these figures as contained in that document that we can be looking at the record time in passing this budget. Since we don’t have all these documentation and the figures to work with, it will be difficult for us as a National Assembly; we can’t be rubber stamp.
“Yes, the government has submitted their document, their proposal, their policy in numerical term called budget. But we have the option to look at these issues critically and analysed if the N8trillion budget as proposed by the president is achievable or not. And that can only be done if the right documentation, figures are given to us.
“But if we are going to pass 2018 budget in a record time, there is need for us to know the performance of 2017 budget. We cannot be preemptive. We need to look at the performance upon which we can predicate whatever we are doing with the 2018 budget. And if all these documentations are not given to us, there is little or nothing we can do as a National Assembly.
“So, we are hoping the Executive takes this seriously, look inward and ensure that all necessary documentation that will assist the National Assembly in considering this budget before us should be forwarded to us so that we can work round the clock and give Nigeria this document in a record time maybe by March or April this year.”

Adeola, who restated commitment to his gubernatorial ambition in Ogun State in 2019, said he had no rift with Governor Ibikunle Amosun.

The senator, popularly known as Yayi, promised to formally declare his intention to run for governorship at the state secretariat of APC “very soon.”
He said, “Soon, you will be hearing from me and I can assure you at the right time, I will be there (party secretariat). I will be there at the right time to declare my intention to run for the number one seat of the state.
“Working with the governor is the least of the problem, I have no issue with the governor. Our issue is political based. 2019 is around the corner if Yayi is going to contest or not, time will tell and we shall see.”

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Jonathan warns Buhari against rigging Ekiti poll

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari against succumbing to pressure to subjugate democracy by rigging the Ekiti State governorship election, in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC), stating that such action would haunt him at the end of his tenure.

 

Dr. Jonathan also advised him against bowing to any such pressure to use presidential powers negatively, but urged President Buhari to use his powers to strengthen democracy in Nigeria. The former President, who gave this advice during the inauguration of the first over-head bridge in Ado- Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, warned that President Buhari would be haunted by posterity if he does “because what you go with is the name that you leave behind.”

 

His words: “I don’t believe anybody can defeat the PDP in Ekiti if election is going to be held. I want to advise President Buhari not to deploy power to truncate Ekiti election. Though as a President, you have the power, but don’t do that because of posterity. History will record whatever you do and the power of a leader is determined after leaving office and not when he is in the office.

 

“The will of the people must be allowed to stand at all times, because power belongs to them and we must respect their verdict through the ballots. I am using this opportunity to call on Mr. President. I was there, and

 

I know (that) when you are there, there is so much pressure from everybody to use all the powers you have to subjugate democracy,” he said. He, therefore, called on Buhari not to bow to pressure by attempting to subjugate democracy in Nigeria, as doing that would amount to undermining the country’s path to greatness.

 

Jonathan said that advanced countries of the world today achieved greatness from the selfless sacrifices made by both leaders and followers. Part of the sacrifices, he said, made by their leaders includes not interfering with the democratic process that brings in successive leaders into office.

 

“All the great democracies you are seeing in the world, those great countries were built by people who made sacrifices to make their countries great.” Jonathan also used the opportunity to commend Nigerian youths whom he described as great and hardworking people. Although he admitted that the youths were confronted with challenges, especially not being encouraged with creativity, he called on governments at all levels to encourage them to be hard-working. He further stated: “We have challenges – no power for creativity. With the limits we have, we know the great things you are doing.”

 

The former President expressed optimism that with the level of support by the people, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), is a party to beat in the forthcoming election. Jonathan further called on Ekiti people to vote for the PDP in the July 14 governorship polls even as he thanked them for their support to Governor Ayodele Fayose. He commended PDP for choosing youthful governorship candidate and his running mate, adding: “Nigerian youths are not lazy. I don’t believe that, because I have worked with them closely.

They are great people with great potential who should be celebrated by any leader.” In a veiled reference to Buhari’s recent statement abroad, he said “As leaders we must make sure we present a country that will make us proud and not to use our country as a negative example in Africa to the outside world.

 

The idea of portraying Nigerians’ negative manners had occurred on two occasions under this present government. These are mistakes we should not make.” He thanked the people for their support for the PDP since 2015 and urged them to do more in the coming governorship election.

 

“Fayose will never compromise the interest of Ekiti people for anything. He is a leader who speaks truth to power. In fact, Fayose is a leader and he has done well for his people. Any leader who wants to encourage his people must encourage the education of the youth. If you don’t encourage the youths, they will be exploited. “As youths, you have to be aware that we are operating a knowledge-based economy. So you must be proficient in the use of computer. You can’t compromise this if you want to fit into the 21st  century economy,” he said.

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Nigeria more transparent under Buhari –Lai Mohammed

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Solicits TI’s support on anti-graft war

 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said Nigeria is more transparent under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. The Minister said this to a delegation of Transparent International (TI) led by its Chair, Delia Ferreira Rubio, who visited him in Abuja, saying President Buhari’s  administration is committed to eradicating corruption in the country. “Nigeria has never had a more transparent and more accountable government than the Buhari’s administration,” the Minister said.

 

He regretted that TI and the local civil society organisations affiliated to it have not offered the necessary support to the Federal Government in its anti-corruption war. The Minister, therefore, called on TI to support Buhari’s ant-corruption war, especially in the area of advocacy and capacity building. He noted that when the government disclosed that 55 people stole N1.34 trillion between 2006 and 2013, a section of the civil society alleged that the publication was one-sided, instead of supporting the govern  ment’s action.

 

He tasked TI and its affiliates to show more understanding for the sociological complexities of fighting corruption in Nigeria since the nation operates a federal system of government. The Minister said Nigeria is succeeding in its anti-corruption fight because the fight is led by a President, whose integrity is beyond reproach, noting that his worst critics won’t say he indulges in or encourages corruption.

 

Earlier, Ms Ferreira Rubio had told the minister that her visit to Nigeria, which incidentally was her first in Africa, because the country can set the tone for the continent in the fight against corruption.

 

She added that TI’s mandate is to offer support through civil society organisations and the private sector to foster the fight against corruption. Ms Rubio advised that while the government is doing a lot to fight corruption, it should ensure more transparency and more efficiency in service delivery.

 

“We are not an opposition anywhere in the world. We are just an NGO working in over 100 countries of the world. We are not enemies. We are here to help,” she said.

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Woman appeals to IG over missing husband

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She should check SARS –PPRO

 

Mrs. Adeshina, wife of a Lagos State politician, Mr. Okokuku Adeshina, has called on the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris (IGP), to warn and caution his officers as not only her husband’s life is in danger but all. Tina, who spoke with journalists over the weekend, said Idris should compel his officers and men to stop being instruments in the hands of politicians who use them to harass their opponents.

 

The distraught woman disclosed how some policemen stormed their house at Ikorodu area of the state on Tuesday evening, and without any search warrant, and whisked her husband away to an unknown destination.

 

According to her, she said her husband called her with an unknown number two days after he was whisked away by the policemen, who wore antirobbery jackets over the mufti clothes, and told her to run far away with the children.

 

She said, her husband told her that it was a political big wig in the state that was behind his present travails in order to win him over to his camp. “My husband called me with an unknown number and said I should take the children to a safe place that the policemen that came to arrest him on the pretence over land dispute are actually working for an opposition politician who wants him to join his party,” she lamented.

 

“Yesterday, an unknown number called me again and I quickly answered thinking it was my husband but the person on the line told me that my husband had escaped.

 

I haven’t been able to get through to him on his phone since the day he was taken away and the man that called claimed to be a policeman that helped him escape, while on their way to the hospital. I believe that my life and those of my children are now also in danger and I don’t want to die,” Mrs. Adeshina cried. However, when contacted, the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chike Oti said, he was not aware of the arrest.

 

Oti, however, said Mrs. Adeshina should go to SARS office to check if her husband is there. It is only when she has done this that he would then know what to do.

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