Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State has received the 2017 Zik Award for Good Governance at a grand ceremony held at Civic Center, Victoria Island, Lagos.
While presenting the award, the Chairman of the Zik Awards, Prof. Pat Utomi, said the award was given to the governor in recognition of his track record of leadership.
Utomi cited Masari’s leadership role as Speaker of the House of Representatives and now as governor of Katsina State.
He noted that as governor, Masari has contributed greatly to the enhancement of the education sector in Katsina State.
Also in the good governance award category is Governor Nyesom Wike, who earned the award owing to his contribution to infrastructural development in Rivers State.
Similarly, the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, received the Zik Public Service Award, while the wives of the Bauchi and Anambra States governors received the Zik Humanitarian Service Award.
The went, which was chaired by the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, was attended by statesmen, technocrats and captains of industry from all across the country.
N21.5bn SUKUK bond: Lawmaker lambasts Niger Governor
The Senator representing Niger East Senatorial District, Barrister David Umaru, has lambasted the Niger state Governor Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello over the N21.5 billion SUKUK loan facility applied for, saying it will plunge the state into bankruptcy.
Barrister Umaru who is also the chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary and Human Rights at a press briefing on Sunday in Minna said the capacity of governor Sani Bello to put to judicious use the funds from SUKUK bonds if access is not only doubtful but nonexistent.
According to him “it is obvious that this administration is badly obsessed with accessing bond facilities in the presence of infrastructural development while it has consistently failed to account for the billions of naira accrued from statutory allocation to the State including other huge financial interventions from the government.
“Governor Bello should be aware that the well-informed people of the state including my humble self cannot be deceived by the needles lies being canvassed as benefits derivable from the huge burden-laden bonds meant to impoverish the state.
While calling on the state house of Assembly not to approve the loan, he said “this administration when compared to previous administration of former Governor Babangida Aliyu is more financially reckless.
“While the former administration had left a total sum of N44 billion as external debts and close to N30 billion as internal debts, the present administration appears ready to break such record with heavier debt burden despite huge resources that had accrued to the state in the past three years.”
He added that between 2015 and 2017, governor Bello administration had accessed over N114 billion as net FAAC. Though the State budget keeps increasing (36.3 % and 9.4% for the periods 2016-2017 and 2017-2018), the government is increasingly becoming incapable of delivering the democratic dividends as it is enmeshed in growing external and internal debts.
Accordingly, he said “the state’s external debt is put at N17.13 billion and, N31.98 billion as internal debt. We are asking governor Bello to tell us how the Bail-out funds from the federal government and the disbursements from the Paris Club refunds allegedly amounting to about N250 billion were utilized.”
Furthermore, he said the loans taken by the state which include $226 million bond from the Islamic Development Bank and $330 million from Kuwait find for Arab Development, are meant to further impoverish the state which is yet to recover from the comatose condition imposed by the huge debt bonds borrowed from the capital market by the previous administration.
He, however, called on members of the State House of Assembly to withhold approval on the loan request adding that this would save the state from further impoverishment, “history will not be kind to our House members if they do otherwise. Future generations of Nigerlites and indeed the present generation will hold our lawmakers responsible for mortgaging their future.”
He then called on the people of the state to stand up and vehemently resist and oppose the clueless misadventure of the Governor in seeking the N21.5 billion Sukuk bond.
Naka military invasion: Benue PDP guber aspirant blasts army, threatens court action
A Peoples Democratic Party governorship aspirant in Benue State Prof. Eugene Aliegba has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently end the on-going killings by Fulani herders\military rascality of innocent citizens in the state.
Prof. Aliegba made this call in Makurdi while reacting on the attacks by the military on the peace-loving people of Gwer West local government on the allegation of a killing of an army officer where two lives and over 300 houses were burnt down.
He described the reprisal by the military as lawless, uncivilized, brutal and a calculated attempt to provoke the law abiding citizens of Gwer West.
Professor Aliegba who was visibly angry over the military’s action said he is not comfortable with the present level of insecurity in Nigeria, particularly in Benue.
He added that as it stands now, the people of Agatu, Guma, Logo, Okpokwu, Gwer West, Kwande and Ukum Local Government areas are under siege and appealed to the federal, state governments and relevant security operatives including, Army, Police Department of State Services (DSS) and others to stop the senseless killings in Benue State.
Prof. Aliegba further called on the state government to set up internally displaced camps in Gwer West where presently inhabitants in nine out of fifteen council wards are moving helter-skelter in Naka town without shelter.
The former commissioner in Benue State, who also called for a thorough investigation into the incident that led to the loss of lives, called on Non-Governmental Organizations, public-spirited individuals and the international community to come to the aid of IDPs as well as ensure rehabilitation and resettlement of the areas devastated by the herders crisis in the state.
He advised army never to deviate from their primary responsibility of protecting the territorial integrity of the country Nigeria as failure to do so will force the citizens to heed to the statement credited to General Theophilus Danjuma of self-defense.
Masari wins best governor at ABU awards
Alhaji Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State has emerged the best performing Governor in the northern part of the country.
This position was sealed as Masari received the award for the Best Performing Governor in Northern Nigeria form the Ahmadu Bello University Post-graduate Representative Council.
The council leadership affirmed that Masari has distinguished himself among his peers by the huge investment he had committed to the education sector, which has reflected in budgetary provision and performance in the sector.
Presenting the award to the Governor, the President of the council explained that Governor Masari has effectively repositioned the basic education sub-sector through quality renovation and construction of primary and secondary schools across the state.
The conveners of the award dinner also cited Governor Masari’s giant strides in other sectors like the health, roads infrastructure and environment.
Responding on behalf of Masari, the Speaker of the Katsina State House of Assembly, Abubakar Yahaya Kusada, thanked the institution for the award.
Kusada said the award would further ginger and re-energize the governor in the discharge of his constitutional responsibilities.
Other recipients of the award were Kusada, who emerged as the Best Speaker in Northern Nigeria and the Director-General of Katsina Media and Publicity team, Alhaji Ibrahim Muazzam, who earned the Distinguished Service Award.
The ABUPRC cited Muazzam’s hard work and commitment in any task to which he is assigned, particularly his new role as Katsina State Government’s media coordinator.
The award ceremony was graced by the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ibrahim Garba; the Dean Students Affairs of the university, Prof. Y.Y Bambale; and Hon. Abubakar Hussaini Dankanjiba from the Katsina State House of Assembly.
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