The Delta House of Assembly on Wednesday passed the state’s 2020 revised Appropriation Bill of N282 billion.
The passage of the bill followed the adoption of the report of the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation during plenary in Asaba.
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa had on Tuesday sent the Appropriation Bill to the House for approval.
Presenting the report, Mr Festus Okoh the Vice Chairman of the Committee said that out of the N282.3 billion, N152.4 billion was for recurrent expenditure while N129.8 billion was for capital expenditure.
Okoh said that the committee observed that the revised budget was in compliance with the Federal Government’s plan aimed at developing and implementing a national responsive integrated framework to address economic distortions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Consequently, the Majority Leader, Mr Tim Owhefere moved a motion for the House to suspend Rule 77, 78 and 79 to enable it take the third reading and pass the Bill.
The motion which was unanimously adopted by the House when put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, was seconded by Mr Peter Uviejitobor (PDP-Udu).
The speaker commended the lawmakers for the speedy passage of the Bill and assured residents of more dividends of democracy.
The House also during the plenary screened and confirmed nominees for appointment as Chairman and members of the State Public Procurement Council.
The nominees were Mr Okey Ofili as Chairman, while Mr Edwin Abraka and Mr Okezi Odugala will serve as members.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)
Work resumes in Oyo State after Eid-el-Kabir holiday
Some workers in Oyo State on Monday, resumed work after the annual Muslim Eid-el-Kabir festival, celebrated on Friday, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.
Some of the workers monitored around Oyo North area of the state, comprising 10 council areas, showed up for work in their respective offices as early as 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.
NAN reports that the resumption of workers after observing the Thursday and Friday public holiday declared by the Federal Government, was witnessed by greetings and throw of banters among the workers.
Workers were also seen exchanging meat, drinks and gifts as they discussed the merriment of the festive period.
Some workers who spoke to NAN in separate interviews, expressed satisfaction and happiness over the festival time and resumption.
A middle-level council worker at Iseyin Council area, Ismail Ishola, said the period was enjoyable and memorable for him and his family members.
A top official at the Saki West Council, who preferred anonymity, also said the period was good for him and his neighbours.
Another worker in Iseyin Council area, Mrs Aina Adio, said the holiday was equally a memorable period, saying that she had a good time with friends and family.
She, however, decried unsteady power supply by the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) saying that “very good time but we ran on generator for greater part of the period”.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
Agro expert wants ban on maize importation beyond economic benefits
An agriculture expert, Mr Ismail Olawale, has advised the Federal Government that the ban on maize importation should go beyond economic benefits.
The expert speaking in reaction to the recent ban on importation of maize by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said the government should have considered the ripple effects of the ban before its commencement.
“The question we are asking is what is the actual basis for the ban on importation of maize? Are we banning because we have large quantity of maize in stock or because of the quality of our local maize?
“Has the government considered all the variables affecting local maize production like quality and quantity produced before implementing the ban on importation?
“If they have, what has the government come up with to salvage the ripple effects of the ban on the importation of maize?
“We should not just consider the economic impact of the ban but also consider how it borders on the quality and health of our local maize.
“If the ban is just for economic reasons alone without factoring in the substitutes if they are healthy enough, if they have the best quality and other favourable factors to the end users, then it is not fair,” he said.
Olawale reiterated that the ban should not just be about increasing the nation’s Gross Domestic Product but also about improving the local value-chain of the crop.
In addition, he said a balanced communication on the reasons for the ban should be communicated to the consumers, producers and also the farmers.
“If we are serious about banning the importation of maize, then we need to improve our production value-chain line.
“Is the ban on maize importation just about not allowing the cost imported maize affect the patronage of local maize?
“The banning has come, so how well have we marketed local maize production, because most producers and consumers of maize product are used to the imported ones.
“We need to do an analysis of the ripple effects of the ban beyond our farmers having the competitive capacity of the imported maize and their ability to make more money.
“What have we done to convince the consumers on patronizing locally grown maize or else we should be expecting an increased level of maize smuggling into the country,” Olawale said.
The expert also added that the first effect of maize importation ban is the hike in the price of maize in the local market, if the ban is mainly for maximization of GDP, as soon as the ban takes off, the effect reflects on the local price.
“Also because of the ban on maize importation, most local farmers begin to hoard the stock they have so that after sometime they can have good market value for it.
“We need a deep analysis on how the ban on maize importation and how it affects the local farmers, consumers and producers,” the expert said.
Edited By: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)
COVID-19: Virologist urges scientific proof for discoveries
He said that the current spate of controversies and conspiracy theories about the Coronavirus were either manufactured or circulated by people who were not core medical scientists.
He decried the way some medical scientists neglected the proper culture of scientific communication and adopted other means of forcing their claims on the public.
“Scientist should endeavour to present clear scientific data to appropriate approving authorities to verify their claims and to pass an objective verdict.
“Appropriate scientific communication is done through scientific publications, which may either be full length research papers, case reports or even short communication.
“Evidences or claims should be presented in a documented manner through scientifically approved journals or editorials, and the scientific community must read and perform systematic reviews or meta-analysis of the data generated,” he said.
The scientist noted that unfortunately there was an upsurge in verbal, emotional, confrontational and near political crusades by some medical scientists who had either resorted to the use of social media platforms or some conventional media.
This act, he said, fell short of their expectations as scientists and weakened the scientific engagement on peer review platforms.
“I urge scientists to regroup and reconsider their approach to science communication in this era of the pandemic as it would eliminate unnecessary controversies.
“Efforts should also be geared toward generating information and inventions that the world so long for to tackle the pandemic.”
The virologist noted that controversies were part of the evolution of new knowledge or paradigm shift in science.
He, however, added that new knowledge must be communicated rightly with modesty, clear and verifiable evidence to back up claims.
Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
Monarch urges strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols
Oba Mufutau Oyekanmi, the traditional ruler of Asipa (the Alasipa of Asipa) Ilufemilloye Fashina V111,
near Ipetumodu in Osun State, has urged Nigerians to support the government on strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols
to curtail the spread of Coronavirus across the country.
He made the call on Monday at Asipa in Ife North Local Government Area of Osun when he met with some journalists in his palace.
The monarch commended the efforts of the local, state and Federal Government on measures put in place to ensure safety of lives of the citizenry in tackling
Oyekanmi said “recently, government took bold steps at the right time to curtail the spread of Coronavirus by not allowing congregational prayers.
“Some people were not happy with the ban of the Muslim Eid festival prayer by the Osun State Government but it is simply because of us so we
can celebrate many more of Eid el-Kabir.
“We thank God by sparing our lives to witness this because it’s the living that celebrates.”
Sikiru Ayedun, former Osun State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism, said
Ayedun said that the order of the state government on no Eid prayer for the 2020 Eid-el-Kabir was because of the COVID-19 “and a
test of faith.
“Whatever people are doing today is part of sacrifice, because at this point in time, our faith is being tested.”
The former commissioner assured that at the end of the tunnel, there would be a new dawn, but Nigerians should seek peace,
tranquility and live with one another in brotherliness.
Alhaji Eluyera Oyewole, former Education Secretary, Ife South Local Government, Ifetedo, Osun State, said that “everyone has
now realised that COVID-19 is real and that the pandemic is killing both the rich and the poor.
“Osun State Government did not make mistake in banning congregational prayer for the Eid el-Kabir festival, for this can increase human contact
during celebrations and that can cause more infections.
“Thank God for our government that is 100 per cent proactive, by doing the needful, else, it will have spread the virus.
“Government is doing its best; we urge for support from all by obeying the COVID-19 protocols.”
In the same vein, Alhaji Fatai Kolawole, former Permanent Secretary, Osun State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), commended
the efforts of the state government for trying to save the lives of the citizenry against COVID-19.
Kolawole said that banning congregational prayer for this year’s festival was a welcome idea, saying this is just for a brief period as it would not last forever.
He asked everybody to co-operate with government on directives given, adding that“COVID-19 is a joint task that government alone cannot fight.
“Very soon, COVID-19 will be eradicated, whereby things will be normalised educationally, economically, socially.”
He urged all and sundry to co-operate with local, state and Federal Government in curbing the spread of the Coronavirus by strictly adhering
to the use of face mask, regular washing of hands with soap and sanitizer, as well as keeping social distance, among others.”
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)