- FASHOLA CLEARS AIR ON 17 MILLION HOUSING DEFICIT CONTROVERSY.
- LOCAL GOVERNMENTS DEMAND 35.5 PER CENT INCREASE IN FEDERATION ALLOCATION.
- EKITI DOCTORS DOWN TOOLS OVER IRREGULARITIES IN PAYMENT OF SALARIES.
- OGUN DEBUNKS REPORTS OF COVID-19 DELTA VARIANT.
Senator Ibrahim Danbaba has been appointed as the new deputy minority whip of the senate.
President of the senate, Ahmad Lawan, made the announcement in a letter signed by national secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ibrahim Tsuari and read at the plenary.
It would be recalled that the position became vacant following defection of the former deputy minority whip, Senator Sahabi ya’u, from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress, APC.
In another development, the red chamber confirmed the nomination of Professor Sani Adam for appointment as a National commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for north central.
The Senate has approved the federal government’s 2018-2020 external borrowing rolling plan of 8.3 billion dollars and 490 million euros.
The lawmakers made approval during plenary following a written request that President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded to the house in May, which sought approval of the plan.
In the request, president Buhari explained that the loan will be sourced from multilateral and bilateral institutions and the issuance of Eurobonds in the international capital market.
He added that the projects and programmes to be funded by the plan were based on technical and economic evaluation that will promote employment generation, social protection and poverty reduction.
The Senate has adopted a three percent allocation to host communities in the newly passed Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB 2021, despite protests by southern lawmakers at the national assembly.
The senate’s resolution was sequel to the presentation and consideration of the conference committee report on the PIB, by the Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives stepped down the controversial PIB after an hour-long closed-door session entered into after lawmakers from the south-south opposed the harmonized PIB allocation to host communities which was pegged at three per cent.
The PIB, formally known as a bill for an act to provide legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Nigerian petroleum industry and the development of host communities, was passed by both houses of the national assembly on Thursday, July 1.
The minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola has refuted a widespread statistics reports claiming that Nigeria has a 17 million housing deficit, insisting no such deficit exists anywhere in the world.
Fashola made the denial while speaking to newsmen during a ministerial briefing organized by the presidential communication team at the state house in Abuja.
The minister, who said the federal government has, since 2015 investigated source of the statistics but yet to ascertain source of the data, pointed out that an official census must be conducted to give a definitive response to Nigeria’s housing deficit situation.
He, however, reiterated the need to run a maintenance economy, which he said would engender the creation of more jobs in the country.
The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON, is demanding an increase in the federation allocation to local governments to 35.5 per cent.
The demand was contained in a communique issued by ALGON’s national publicity secretary, Solomon Onah, after its NEC meeting in Enugu, a copy of which was made available to newsmen.
The group also called for the revocation of state and local government’s joint account and conduct council elections as and when due, reiterating its demands for a uniform four-year tenure for council chairmen.
The association further demanded an end to multiple taxation of goods and services as well as illegal road blocks across the country, arguing that the move would address food security challenges and as well strengthen the Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, of the councils.
Resident doctors at the Ekiti state university teaching hospital, Ado Ekiti, have embarked on an indefinite strike action.
President of the association, Dr Olaniyi Olaoye, disclosed to reporters that the move is due to irregularities in the payment of their salaries attributed to alleged reduction in the monthly subvention to the hospital by the state government.
Olaoye decried that the non-remittance of various deductions such as cooperative and union dues to appropriate quarters had hindered the medical professionals from having access to loan and necessary benefits, urging the workers to remain at home pending resolution of the case.
Reacting to the development, the state government expressed concern, advising the health workers to remain calm and dedicated to duty, adding that efforts are being put in place to amicably resolve this issue as quickly as possible.
Ogun state government has debunked claims making the rounds that the state has confirmed the delta variant of covid-19
The state’s commissioner for health, Dr. Tomi Coker, made the denial while reacting to reports that the earlier call for strict adherence to public health guidelines and report of 15 new cases in the isolation center was mistaken for the new strain of the dreaded disease.
Coker pointed out that although some states have recorded the new variant, Ogun state has not recorded the new variant, stressing the need to adhere strictly to all the non-pharmacological guidelines.
The Commissioner therefore assured that the state ministry of health would continue to monitor the trend and will not fail to give regular updates from time to time.
The Special Task Force codenamed Operation Safe Haven, which is maintaining peace in plateau and environs has said it is criminal to graze on people’s farms.
Commander of the task force, major general Ibrahim Ali, stated this while issuing a warning against night and underage grazing in the state.
Major general Ali, who doubles as the General Officer Commanding, GOC 3 division of the Nigeria army, Rukuba, warned that all grazing must end by 6 pm, adding that anyone caught violating the directive would be dealt with.
Reacting to the recent series of attacks, killings and wanton destruction of crops on farmlands, he admonished community leaders to stop protecting but expose criminals in their domain so as to address all the security challenges bedeviling the region and its environs.
An Oyo state high court sitting in Ibadan, has ruled that a former governor of Oyo state, Adebayo Alao-Akala and two others, have case to answer in a-11.5 billion naira fraud case.
Alao-akala along with a former commissioner in the state, Hosea Agboola, and an Ibadan-based businessman, Femi Babalola, had filed a no case submission on the charges levelled against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, after closing its case.
In his ruling, Justice Olalekan Owolabi, held that the defendants need to enter defense on the alleged charges of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretenses and award of contract without budgetary provision.
While overruling on the no case submission, Justice Owolabi maintained that the defendants need to enter defense on those charges and adjourned the case till October 14, 21 and 22 for the defendants to open their defense.