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Ministerial screening: Senate shifts vacation by 1 week

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The Senate has shifted its proposed annual vacation by one week, to create time for the screening and confirmation of the 43 ministerial nominees sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday.

Spokesman for the Senate, Sen. Adedayo Adeyeye (APC-Ekiti) made this known during a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.

Nigeria News Agency reports  that the two chambers of the National Assembly had proposed to begin their six-week annual recess on July 26.

Adeyeye said apart from the extension of the date by one week, the lawmakers would also sit on Friday and July 29, while sitting on each day would extend beyond the normal time.

He added that the Senate would equally suspend its rules on motions, point of order and other plenary businesses to allow a thorough screening exercise.

The lawmaker said the Senate would explore all its constitutional powers over vetting and screening of all the nominees sent by the president.

“As from tomorrow (Wednesday), the Senate will suspend its rules to allow for thorough screening.

“We have decided to embark on the screening exercise even till Friday this week and Monday next week.

“The essence of this is to have enough time to do a thorough job and ask relevant questions as may be required by Nigerians,” Adeyeye said.

NAN reports that the tentative date for the annual recess may be Aug. 3

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APC (UK) advises ministers to put Nigeria first in service

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The United Kingdom chapter of the All progressives Congress (APC) has advised the ministers to put the country and the people first in the discharge of their duties.

Mr Ade Omole, leader of the chapter, gave the advice in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said that probity and accountability remained the sure way through which the ministers could help the APC-led administration to achieve the promises of the “Next Level’’.

Omole congratulated the ministers and expressed satisfaction over the composition of the cabinet, saying that they were round pegs in round holes.

“President Muhammadu buhari has assembled men and women of integrity who are all capable of delivering the promises of the Next Level,’’ he said.

He thanked Nigerians for renewing the mandate of the APC in the last presidential election by re-electing Buhari, saying that their trust in the party was not misplaced.

According to him, the APC-led government will surprise Nigerians as they journey ahead by implementing people-oriented policies and delivering good democracy dividends.

He stressed that the APC-led government was aware that what Nigerians needed at this point in time was good governance, probity, accountability and selfless leaders.

Omole, therefore, advised the ministers to see their appointments as a call to service over other endeavours, adding that they should ensure accountability and openness in their dealings.

He expressed the optimism that going by the calibre of people who were sworn in by the president, it was certain that “Nigeria had stepped on the pedestal of growth.

“In my view, the new ministers have the capacity to look at the cards ahead and deal with situations as they arise in the interest of the country and the people’’.

He urged the new ministers to consolidate on the achievements recorded in various sectors of the economy in the first term of the Buhari-led administration.

Similarly, Mr Jacob Ogunseye, spokesperson of the chapter, called on opposition political parties to join hands with the APC and the Buhari-led Federal Government in building the country.

NAN reports that out of the 43 newly inaugurated ministers, 13 former ministers in Buhari’s first term in office made the list while 18 former ministers were not re-appointed.

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Consultant urges Kogi governor to prioritise tax administration

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Mr Abdulazeez Obadaki, a private tax consultant, has urged Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi  to prioritise tax administration policy to fast track economic development of the state.

Obadaki also lecturer at the Nigerian College of Accountancy, gave the advice in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Abuja.

He commended Bello over the improvement in area of security, saying that he should prioritise tax administration to boost the state economy and create platform to develop on democratic dividends.

According to him, he should continue his good works and invest more in areas where there are lapses such as tax administration to achieve growth.

“He must come up with strategic policy to promote accountability in the tax administration of the state.

“If that is done, then he will be able to identify problems associated with the tax sector and also solve it,” he said.

Obadaki identified poor tax administration, poor tax collection and tax evasion as factors that contributed to problems associated with tax operational system.

He expressed confidence in Bello’s bid to run for second term of office, saying he was very sure the governor would improve on the success recorded given the mandate to contest.

He mentioned some achievements recorded by Bello to have been in areas such as security, road construction and provision of potable water.

He decried insecurity in terms of kidnapping, armed robbery and other social vices, saying they had hindered economic development of the state in the past.

“No matter how leaders perform not everybody will speak well about them;  as far as he is running for second term there will be continuity of infrastructural projects in the state.

“Given the chance to run second term as governor, I am confident that Bello will deliver on democratic dividends in the state,” he added.

FEA/GY

Edited by Grace Yussuf

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Oyo Anti-Open Rearing and Grazing Bill not against Fulanis – Oyo Speaker.

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The Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Mr Adebo Ogundoyin, on Wednesday denied that the Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Bill, 2019, which had passed its second reading, was legislated to witch-hunt Fulanis.

According to him, the bill was never intended to make life and business unbearable for the Fulanis in the state.

He said, “The Open Rearing and Grazing Regulation Bill, 2019 before the 9th Oyo Assembly is significantly meant to regulate the activities of herders in Oyo State in the area of grazing and rearing of livestock.

“The bill seeks to prevent destruction of farms and properties by cows, prevent clashes between livestock owners and farmers, as well as protect the environment from degradation and pollution caused by open grazing,” he said.

Ogundoyin called on all Fulanis and herders in the state to go about their business activities without fear, urging them to be ready to abide by the provisions of the bill when fully operational.

He said that the bill would expose the fake and criminally-minded people who hide under the guise of herders or livestock owners to perpetrate evils, especially kidnapping and other heinous crimes.

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Be relentless, Buhari tells ministers

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President Muhammadu Buhari has directed ministers to be relentless in delivering services that are vital to the objectives of the present administration.

The president said this on Wednesday in Abuja during the swearing-in ceremony of ministers at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, growth and development is only possible if the ministers are relentless about delivering on specific actions and targets and implementation of government programmes.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the president swore-in 43 ministers on Wednesday who would form his cabinet.

Buhari expressed the optimism that the minsters, who had been with him for more than two days, should be ready to work tirelessly to ensure a future where every Nigeria could optimise its potential.

“I believe you are ready to get to work; indeed the work has already started,’’ he said.

The president said that the retreat focused on the road map towards the delivering of government policies, programmes and projects for 2019 to 2023.

He also urged the ministers to intensify efforts to reduce internal security threats and eliminate corruption at all levels.

This, he said, would ensure that citizens were perceived as corruption free in any environment they found themselves and could live and continue their businesses without fear and intimidation.

He said that while recognising the existing challenges and the urgent need to surmount them, Nigerians must not fail to note the progress that the administration had made since inception.

He said that their priority in the next four years was to act together towards delivering the results that the people of Nigeria expected from the ministers.

“We have agreed that we must, as an administration, build on the progress that has already been made in order to fundamentally shift Nigerians trajectory on the part of stable growth and development’’, he said.

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Oyo Assembly to screen 3 more commissioner nominees

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The Oyo State House of Assembly says it will begin the screening of three additional commissioner nominees in the state on Thursday.

Ogundoyin said the screening would begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

He gave the names of the commissioner nominees as Prof. Raphael Afonja, Alhaja Fausat JSunni and Mr Fakorede Temidayo.

Ogundoyin said their names were sent to the Assembly in a letter by Gov. Seyi Makinde for screening and approval as commissioners.

He said the commissioner nominees had submitted their Curriculum Vitae to the House of Assembly.

The Nigeria News Agency ( NAN) reports that the Assembly had earlier screened and approved 14 commissioner-designates on Aug. 5.

In another development, the House has passed the first reading on the Oyo State Appropriation (Realignment) Bill, 2019.

The Bill was for the sppropriation of N171,000,000,000 while N94, 250,021,702.03 was for the recurrent expenditure and N76,749,978, 297.97 for capital expenditure for the services of Oyo State in the year ending on December 31.

Also, the Oyo State Finance (Realignment) Bill, 2019, passed the first reading; a bill for a law for the finance of the reviewed appropriation bill 2019 to the tune of N171, 000, 000, 000 from the Consolidated Revenue of Oyo state, ending on December 30, 2019.

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