The Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Constituency Project Tracking Group (CPTG) says it has tracked projects worth N3 billion out of the N3.5 billion expected to be tracked by the group in Kebbi.
The CPTG Team Leader, Mr Akibu Garba, disclosed this in Birnin Kebbi on Friday after visiting various constituency projects in the state’s central senatorial district.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the team visited Shanga,Yelwa, Danko/Wasagu, Sakaba, Aleiro, Jega, Birnin Kebbi local government areas in Kebbi South and Kebbi Central Senatorial districts.
The first phase of the projects tracking was conducted in 12 states of the federation in 2019 and was concluded with 16 states earmarked for the second phase, including Kebbi.
Other states covered in the second phase of the tracking are Cross River, Taraba, Ekiti, Ogun, Gombe, Nasarawa, Kwara, Jigawa, Abia, Delta, Ebonyi, Niger, Rivers, Oyo, and Kaduna.
The projects are those sponsored by federal lawmakers but funded by the Federal Government in the various constituencies of the lawmakers.
Garba said the exercise was to ascertain how contracts for projects awarded were executed in various communities across the state.
He said that Kebbi was among the 16 states earmarked for the second phase of the exercise, which would cover Water Resources, Agriculture, Health, Power and Education sectors.
The team leader, who is also the Assistant Chief Education Officer, ICPC, Sokoto Zonal Office, added that the group would also track contracting companies for statutory regulatory compliance.
“This includes tax obligation and the value and impact of the projects for the various communities, where they are established.”
The Investigation Officer in the team, Malam Sa’idu Yahaya, said that “the exercise focused on fraudulent procurement practices in the award of contracts for constituency and executive projects.
“Our other objectives are to make recoveries on projects or contracts confirmed to have been inflated or in which contractors under-performed or did not perform at all; and track contracting companies for statutory compliance.
“So far, we have been able to do what is expected of us in those areas we visited and we are filing our reports to the commission for further directives to the contracting firms on statutory compliance,” he said.
He said the group had visited Kebbi South and Kebbi Central Senatorial Districts and located most of the projects that were carried out and those about to be completed.
“We are now waiting for specification on projects to be tracked in Kebbi North Senatorial District,” he said.
According to him, the committee was set up to monitor and track the performance of constituency projects and value work done.
He added that the committee was to also identify the contractual sum and contractors, unearth payments made, identify the status and persons behind the projects.
The officer said the exercise was conducted in collaboration with Nigerian Institute of Quality Surveyors (NIQS), NGOs and the media. .
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
Police in Jigawa record low crime rate in 6 months
The Police Command in Jigawa on Tuesday attributed the successes recorded in the low crime rate in six months to crime preventive strategies adopted and efficient service delivery.
SP Abdul Jinjiri, the Command’s Spokesman, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Dutse.
Jinjiri noted that rape which recorded 35 reported cases between January and June had the highest figure in the command’s crime statistics.
The spokesman said that armed robbery had the second highest crime recorded with 21 suspected armed robbers arrested within the period under review.
Jinjiri said that homicide recorded 18 reported cases within the period while 13 unnatural offences and five kidnappings were also recorded.
He was optimistic that with the combined support from members of the public and the command’s commitment toward curtailing crime and criminality, the state would be more peaceful for the remaining year.
NAN reports that the command had in 2019 recorded 61 reported cases of rape and indecent assaults, 32 armed robbery cases, 52 homicide cases, 13 unnatural offences and four kidnappings.
NAN reports that the command had in its 2019 projection and plan for 2020, promised to adopt community policing as one of the most effective way of crime control.
According to the plan, part of the strategies was to embark on robust enlightenment by engaging the communities in dialogue to resolve their problems, using policing process toward achieving crime control.
Edited By: Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
Gov Tambuwal frees 17 inmates in Sokoto
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State has granted pardon to 17 inmates in the Sokoto Central Custodial centre.
Malam Muhammad Bello, the Governor’s Special Adviser on Media And Public Affairs disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.
Bello said the gesture was part of government’s thrust as encapsulated in its committee on prerogative of mercy protocols.
He said three inmates out of the 17 were serving terms for federal offences while the remaining were held for state offences.
He added that the state Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Suleiman Usman, SAN, facilitated the processes.
“The pardon takes cognisance of the executive powers vested in the governor to offer mercy to inmates by the 1999 Constitution as amended.
” The gesture is also aimed at enabling the ex-prisoners to reunite with their family members and become decent citizens.
He called on the pardoned inmates to shun vices and engage in viable ventures that would uplift their living standards.
He said: “This exercise is carried out on a routine basis to deserving inmates in order to offer mercy to them.”
He said the Attorney General also presented N50,000 cash assistance to each of the pardoned inmates from the state government during the exercise.
Bello noted that the cash is to enable them set up useful ventures as they start new life out of prison.
The governor’s spokesman explained that the state Controller of Correctional Service, Mr Sama Tsafe, who was represented by the Deputy Controller in charge of the Prison, Mallam Idris Muhammad, thanked the state government for its continued support and encouragement to the prison.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Revival of ailing industries will strengthen currency -Expert
Mr Promise Amahah, an economic expert says revamping ailing industries and economic diversification in the country will help to strengthen the value of the Naira among world currencies.
He advised the Federal Government to also sustain the tempo in its diversification drive in different sectors of the economic to further boost the economy.
“The fall of the Naira did not just happen overnight. When Naira was stronger was when we had Peugeot Automobile Nigeria, Volkswagen Nigeria, Dunlop Nigeria Ltd, Michelin Nigeria, Bata and Lennards.
“Our Naira had value when we had Nigerian Airways, Steel Rolling Mills; Osogbo Steel Rolling Mill, Ajaokuta steel, Arewa Textile Mill, BEREC Batteries, General Motors and Kingsway among others,” he said.
Amahah, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Strategy Worth and Technology (SWAT), lauded Federal Government for its move to revive Ajaokuta Steel Company.
The expert said the commitment by the Central Bank of Nigeria to revive Nigerian Cotton Textile and Garment industries was the right step in the right direction.
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)
COVID-19: FG to develop innovative interventions to improve survival chances
The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, says efforts are ongoing to develop innovative interventions to reduce COVID-19 case fatalities to below one per cent.
According to him, fatalities at present is at two per cent, especially for the elderly and those with co-morbidities.
Ehanire said that PTF members were aligned in non-pharmaceutical key role interventions in controlling new infections, as the measures of wearing of masks and avoiding crowds were easy, cheap and proven to be effective.
He added that “we would work with state governments to prepare necessary space and human resources at general hospitals or Primary Healthcare Centres to train and set up at least one sample collection site in every local government area in due course, with efficient sample retrieval logistics to convey samples to laboratories.
“This means that we should consider adjusting to what has been described as the ‘new normal,’ a way of life that is intended to reduce risk of infection, while allowing meaningful economic life to resume and citizens to restore their livelihoods,” he said.
The minister said there was need to sustain the efforts as the increase in testing capacity recorded 40,000 in one month, while the number of positive cases dropped by over 2,000.
“The total number of positive COVID-19 cases recorded in July was 17,457, out of a total of 154,454 samples tested, with a positivity rate of 11.3 per cent, as against that of June of 19,149 positive cases from a total of 111,052 samples tested with a positivity rate of 17.2 per cent.
“By Aug. 3, we recorded 43,841 confirmed cases out of of 286,091 samples tested, while 20,308 persons were treated and discharged with 888 persons dead,” he said.
Ehanire also announced that plans were ongoing to designate holding rooms at general hospitals, with facilities for oxygen administration, such as oxygen concentrators or oxygen cylinders.
“Some investment in this strategy, known in Lagos State as oxygen kiosks, will be required, but the benefit in lives saved will be significant,” he said.
Ehanire said that the task force responded to the request of São Tomé for commodities for COVID-19 response, as directed directive by the President.
He assured that there was continued increase and optimisation laboratory diagnostic capacity most recently in Zamfara, Kebbi, Yobe, Taraba, Gombe and Bayelsa states.
The minister said there should be no anxiety among health workers about Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), as the equipment had been reasonably well-stocked with materials and commodities and supplied to all sections of the country.
He said government was grateful to the United Nations and European Union for the donation of another consignment of valuable supplies, which he received on July 31.
“This additional delivery will boost our stockpile of wherewithal to fight the pandemic and it includes face masks and shields goggles, airways tubes, bio-hazard bags and safety boxes, test kites,” he said.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)