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Implement new NFIU guidelines now, Senate urges 36 states govts, FCT

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The Senate, on Wednesday, urged the 36 states governments and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to fully implement the new Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU)’s guidelines for the promotion of good governance at the grassroots levels.

It also called on all financial institutions to support the implementation of the guidelines of the NFIU with diligence and professionalism.

This followed the adoption of the motion by Sen. Aliyu Sabi (Niger) titled: ”Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and Local Government Finances” at a plenary presided over by Senate President Bukola Saraki in Abuja.

Moving the motion, Sabi who represents Niger North Senatorial District, explained that the new NFIU guidelines came as a result of the threats by international financial watchdogs to sanction Nigeria for alleged financial abuses.

Part of the guidelines according to the lawmaker which will come into practice by June 1, will limit cash transactions in the accounts of local governments to a daily maximum withdrawal of N500,000 only.

”The new guidelines further provided that subsequent withdrawals must be by approved cheques or electronic payment channels to promote registered transactions by all the local governments,” he said.

The legislator, who is the Senate spokesman, emphasised that part of the advantages of the NFIU guidelines was to forestall suspicious transactions for terrorism-prone areas.

He further said that adherence to the guidelines would check vices of terrorism, proliferation of small arms, kidnapping, ethnic violence, cattle rustling and provide credible intelligence for law enforcement and national security.

In their contributions, majority of the lawmakers supported the motion.

They argued that the local governments across the country should be given full autonomy in order to rescue the third tier of government from being an appendage of the state over their monthly allocations provided by the Federal Government.

The legislators also urged the state assemblies to support constitutional amendment that would deepen democracy at the local government level as envisaged in the constitution.

However, Sen. Jona Jang (Plateau) faulted the intellectual capacity and financial discipline of some local government chairmen, particularly in the north, to manage the monthly allocations, saying that most of them were not properly educated, and therefore, unfit to manage the funds.

When the motion was put on a voice vote by the Senate President, Saraki, it was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers.

The Senate therefore urged the Federal Government to urgently fund the operations of the NFIU to be able to earn the confidence and trust of Nigerians and its international partners.

It also agreed that the NFIU’s guidelines would reinforce the existence of local governments as an independent government established by the constitution at the grassroots level, with sovereign and elected officials directly from the people for their protection and welfare.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

Politics

Organised labour felicitates with Bello on election victory

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The organised labour in Kogi has congratulated Gov. Yahaya Bello and his Deputy, Chief Edward Onoja on their victory in the Nov. 16 governorship election in the state.

The Kogi chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) issued the statement in Lokoja on Tuesday.

The state NLC Chairman, Mr Onuh Edoka and his TUC counterpart, Mr Ranti Ojo, urged Bello and Onoja in the state urged Bello and Onoja to see the renewal of their mandate as an opportunity to work more for the people.

They also called on the governor to prioritise the welfare of civil servants in his second term, assuring him of the continued support and loyalty of the entire workforce.

They, however, urged aggrieved candidates in the election to seek legal redress and refrain from acts capable of breaching the fragile peace in the state.

“The organised labour commiserates with the families that lost their loved ones in the course of this election.

“We urge all relevant agencies connected to elections in Nigeria to do their jobs diligently to put a stop to unwarranted deaths,” the labour said.

Edited by Dada Ahmed

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Taraba Speaker hails Gov. Darius Ishaku’s victory at Appeal Court

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The Speaker of Taraba House of Assembly Mr Abel Diah, has congratulated Gov. Darius Ishaku on his victory at the Appeal court in Abuja.

Diah said that the judgment did not come as a surprise, adding that the appellate court only affirmed the decision of Taraba masses who turned out en masse for the re-election of Ishaku.

He assured the people of the state that the governor would reciprocate their gesture by consolidating on the achievement he has recorded in his first tenure.

NAN reports that the Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Monday, upheld the judgment of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which earlier dismissed the petition by the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the victory of Ishaku during the March 9, gubernatorial election.

The five-member panel of the court led by Justice Chidi Nwanna dismissed the appeal.

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Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde/

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Indiscriminate refuse dumping: Lagos Assembly directs Sanwo-Olu to fully enforce environmental laws

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The Lagos State House of Assembly has directed Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to fully enforce relevant environmental laws against indiscriminate dumping of refuse in the state.

The House made the resolution following a motion moved by the Majority Leader, Mr Sanai Agunbiade, representing Ikorodu I, on Monday.

The House frowned at a situation where Lagosians dump refuse in drainages and road medians, causing flooding and destruction of roads.

Agunbiade said: “We noted the effort of the state government towards taking the challenges and the campaign against indiscriminate refuse.

“Funds that could have been channelled to other meaningful sectors had been used to clear refuse in the state.

“We also want to urge Lagos residents to desist from dumping refuse across the state to ensure healthier living in the state.

“This is because refuse dumping have always been cleared by the state government and the Private Sector Participation (PSP).

“However, some unscrupulous individuals have continued to dump refuse; so as deterrence, arrest and sanction will be achieved.

“The combined effect of Sections 115 Part 4 and 126 Part 5 of the environmental laws probibits dumping of refuse at indiscrimate places.

He said the House, therefore, made a resolution to call on Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to direct the Commissioner in the Ministry of Environment to enforce relevant sections of the environmental laws in the state.

Agunbiade said the House resolved that offenders be given community service sentence directed at refuse clearing within the locality of the offence.

Mr Bisi Yusuff, representing Alimosho Constituency I, while supporting the motion, said apart from sentencing offenders, they should be made to wear a uniform while performing the community service.

Yusuff said people would not want to dump waste indiscriminately if offenders were meant to wear uniform to perform their community service.

Mr Abiodun Tobun, representing Epe Constituency I, noted that despite government efforts, some people had refused to change their attitude towards complying with the relevant environmental laws in the state.

Tobun noted that laws that allowed community service should be enforced strictly by the governor

“We know what happened during the Buhari/Idiagbon regime when people were afraid to dump refuse indisctimate.

“There is need enforce our relevant laws for offenders,” he said.

Mr Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, thereby called on the state governor to direct the Ministry of Environment to ensure efficient enforcement of the relevant environmental laws in the state.

Obasa, therefore, asked the Clerk of the House, Mr Azeez Sanni, to write the governor on the resolution of the House on the issue.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi

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Kogi, Bayelsa Polls: Niger governor congratulates Bello, Lyon

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Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger on Monday congratulated the governors-elect of Kogi and Bayelsa, describing their emergence as an impressive victory.

Nigeria News Agency reports in Minna that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Monday declared Yahaya Bello as winner of last Saturday’s governorship elections in Kogi.

Bello in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mrs Mary Berje, described the re-election of Bello of Kogi, as “well deserved and a confirmation of his enviable performance in his first tenure at the helm of affairs in the state.

He said the victory also demonstrated the people’s acceptance and confidence in the APC-led government to successfully pilot the affairs of the state and country at large.

According to him, with Bello’s earlier performance as the governor, he was convinced that the governor-elect would continue with the transformation agenda of the state and take it to an enviable level.

“We are sure that you will do what you have said in your campaign and the people of the state have a lot of hope that you will provide them the best dividends of democracy they have ever had.

“Your victory demonstrates how much the people love and trust you. You are here to emancipate them, they are aware of it and they appreciate it,” he said.

While commending the people of Kogi for the confidence reposed in the party and its candidate, Bello acknowledged the effort of members of the campaign team, who work tirelessly to ensure victory at the polls.

He called on the governor-elect to see his success as a call to service and to extend hands of fellowship to his opponents and work in harmony for the overall progress and development of the state.

Bello also called on Governor-elect David Lyon of Bayelsa to use his wealth of experience to develop the state.

He urged him to be magnanimous in victory by carrying all stakeholders along for the progress of the state.

He commended INEC officials, security agencies and all those that contributed to the orderliness and peaceful conduct of the election.

Edited by Remi Koleoso/Ismail Abdulaziz

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Gov. Dickson made victory for APC much easier -Minister

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The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipreye Sylva has `thanked’ Gov. Serike Dickson of Bayelsa for making it much easier for the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), David Lyon, to win the Nov. 16 election.

He disclosed this after presenting the Bayelsa Governor-elect, David Lyon, to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday.

Sylva attributed the electoral victory of the APC candidate to what he described as “poor performance by the Bayelsa State government”.

He said: “It’s been a very hectic week but I will like to bring in this Eritrean proverb, that if you marry a wife very well, you will be blessed with another wife.

“Gov. Dickson, unfortunately made our job very easy because he married the wife very badly. Of course this proverb pre-supposes that if you marry a wife badly, you will not get another wife.

“So he did not marry the state very well, so the state roundly rejected him.

“Like it’s been said earlier, we had a good candidate and when you have a good product it’s very easy to sell it. So, we went round and sold this good to Bayelsans and the result was an overwhelming success.

“We are happy with this victory because for us it is very significant. This gives our party a footprint in the Niger Delta, which is very key to us. It gives us more of a national outlook, we have always been a national party but this gives us even a bigger national outlook.’’

Gov. Atiku Abubakar of Kebbi, who alongside his Jigawa counterpart Badaru Abubakar, presented Lyon to the president, commended Buhari for his consistent preaching of fair and transparent elections in the country.

“Many people worked hard in making this happen, most importantly, Mr President, who has always shown the party that win or lose we should aim for free, transparent and fair elections.

“Because, that is what will guarantee peace, confer legitimacy and support for elected persons to proudly execute the mandate that they are given. And in Bayelsa we have seen a demonstration of that.

“Everyone is talking about how free, transparent and fair the elections were.

Abubakar, who is the chairman of All Progressives Congress Governors’ Forum, said the APC victory in Bayelsa was well received by almost all citizens of the state.

He said: “We were in Bayelsa for over 72 hours we didn’t see a tyre burning, we didn’t see people running, we didn’t hear a gunshot, everyone was celebrating in all the areas we passed, which shows the acceptance of our candidate, our party and the process itself.

“It is equally noteworthy that Bayelsa is a home of a former president of Nigeria and this election won by a party different from the one he belongs, has been accepted by all including people around him.

“And so far, from what we hear, he is also happy with the outcome irrespective of the difference in the party, which is an indication of the transparency of the process.’’

The National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiohmole, who also spoke at the event, said apart from presenting the Gov-elect to the president, they also thanked him for insisting that the elections must be conducted in a peaceful and transparent atmosphere.

“As the President and our father, he has a brand new baby boy who will be sworn- in on Valentine Day February 14, 2020, as governor of Bayelsa State.

“We thanked the president for his fatherly role and he insisted that we must ensure that while we are determined to win the election that we must play by the rule and ensure that the process is transparent.

“Above all the president has always been concerned about peaceful election and we were proud to inform him that besides very isolated cases of ballot box snatching, the election in Bayelsa can be described as the most peaceful.

“I believe since 1999, you as very seasoned journalists who have covered elections in Bayelsa in the past, you will agree that this is the only time we can say the election is truly transparent and peaceful.

“Again, our candidate attracted supports across the political divide when you see territories and communities where his victory was being celebrated you will agree that not only did he had the support of the APC family, he had support beyond the APC family,’’ he added.

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday declared Lyon as the winner of the governorship election in Bayelsa after polling 352,552 votes.

Lyon defeated his closest rival, Duoye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party, who scored 143,172 votes.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Sanwo-Olu congratulates Lyon, Bello on elections victory

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Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has congratulated the governors-elect of Bayelsa and Kogi States for their resounding victory in last Satuday’s elections.

Congratulating Mr David Lyon for his historic victory of defeating his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) counterpart, Sanwo-Olu, in a statement in Lagos, described the feat as an affirmation of the acceptance of APC across the country.

”The victory of our party’s candidates in Bayelsa and Kogi is a testimony to the acceptance of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s reforms and APC’s progressive actions,” he said,

The governor commended all stakeholders who made it possible to unseat a political party that has continuously superintended over Bayelsa for two decades.

Sanwo-Olu congratulated Gov. Yahaya Bello on his re-election for a second term in office, as he admired the resilience of his Kogi State counterpart.

He said that the victory was an opportunity to enhance APC’s performance in the state.

The governor urged Bello to ensure that the voters who trooped out in their large numbers to vote APC continued to benefit from the ‘Next Level’ agenda of the party.

Sanwo-Olu commended the leaders of APC for the vision and programmes that had continued to endear the party to Nigerians across the country.

He said that the people of Bayelsa and Kogi States would witness renewed development as a result of their choice.

The governor commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for standing firm and voters for performing their duty in spite the pockets of violence that characterised the elections.

He called on the governors-elect to be humble and extend a hand of fellowship to their opponents.

Sanwo-Olu urged security agents to fish out those who perpetrated violence during the elections and make them face the law.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi

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