Senate wants integration of “Almajiris”into educational system



The Senate on Thursday, urged the Federal Government to formulate policy to integrate Almajiris into the educational system to discourage them from street begging.

The call, followed a motion by by Sen. Sankara Abdullahi and 26 other senators on the menace of street begging and need to rehabilitate street beggars.

Abdullahi,in his lead debate said begging in Nigeria appears to be intractable and overwhelming as beggars are now found everywhere .

He said beggars in recent times appears to be a new trend of beggars popularly known as corporate beggars.

He said street begging does not only affect geographical and social structure of urban areas, it also portrays the country in a bad image to tourist and foreign investors.

He said street begging, had become a worrisome socio- economic challenge in addition to been a serious menace and liability on the Nigeria populace.

He said the phenomenon takes a heavy toll on the lives of teenagers, who engage in the act and and are therefore are out of school.

Senators, who spoke on the motion described street begging as a major challenge.

The senate therefore called on the federal government to set up vocational training centres to provide beggars with alternative means of livelihood thereby making

useful to the society.

Contributing to the motion, Sen Rochas Okorocha (APC-Imo) said  beggars in the country should not be neglected, noting that they should be supported and assisted to survive.

He said there was need to consider their plight given their disadvantage positions in the society.

He said there were time bomb waiting to explode, if left unattended to,noting that efforts must be made to salvage them especially in education.

Sen. Sabi Abdullahi ,(APC-Niger) also collaborated the need to salvage the rising sorry state of beggars in the country(NAN).



edited by Sadiya Hamza


Violence not an option, U.S. Right group tells Nigerian youths



A U.S.-based Human Right Movement, the A.D. King Foundation on Tuesday, advised Nigerian youths not to lose hope in the transformation of Nigeria, saying  violence should not be an option.

The Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, Prof. Babs Onabanjo made the submission in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos.

Onabanjo said that the change the youths desired could be achieved in a non-violent form a campaign that the foundation had been pursuing.

It is sad that Nigerian youths have been asking questions which there seems there are not answers to, but the fact is that the answer is not in one person’s hand to provide.

If there is crisis or the crisis persists, what we should do is to seek for the solution and I am sure that there is hope for Nigeria.

Our young leaders must have hope and not resort to violence; they should know that the hope will be challenged by their sacrifice and commitment to being good and doing the right thing.

It is essential for the leaders to have followers, therefore, they must have integrity and influence.

They must be able to communicate and persuade people in a reasonable way without resorting to violence,” he said.

Onabanjo said that some countries in the world had achieved greatness out of their problems without resorting to violence, a virtue Nigerian youths should emulate.

Dr Martin Luther King said “Peace is not an absent of conflict, but the presence of Justice where there is no justice, there won’t be peace.

The change our youths so desire can be achieved without violence because violence will not bring the right result, the youths need to appeal to other consciences to get result.

The Civil Right Movement in the U.S., did not achieve their results through violence, also the Berlin Walls crumbled without violence, so also the Apartheid regime in South Africa collapsed without shooting a gun.

We should not lose hope yet although things seem not right, we should concentrate and believe that we will get it right; also our youths should engage the leaders constructively and positively”, he said.

A.D. King Foundation Inc., is a non-violent conflict resolution entity formed to revolutionise the mindset, attitude and behaviour that promote violence and war with non-violent principles, methods and direct actions.

The mission is to promote youth empowerment development and non-violent social change strategies as a way of life throughout the world.

Edited by: Edwin Nwachukwu/Kayode Olaitan

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Bill seeking to establish Enugu State security fund scales through first reading



A bill seeking to establish Enugu State Security Trust Fund and other connected purposes has scaled through first reading at the Enugu state House of Assembly.

The executive bill, which was presented by the Leader of the House, Mr Ikechukwu Ezeugwu on Tuesday during the plenary, seeks to provide money for the acquisition and deployment of security equipment, financial and human resources to prevent crime and preserve public security in the state.

Ezeugwu said “the bill seeks to promote the efficiency of all security agencies as well as reserve part of the fund for training and retraining of security personnel in the state.

The  bill when passed  would establish a board of trustees to manage the security fund to be headed by a chairman, who shall not be less than 45 years of age and shall be appointed by the state governor”.

With the bill, the chairman and members of the board shall hold office for a term of three years and shall be eligible for re-appointment for one further term of three year and no more.

He listed the functions of the board to include procuring and maintaining equipment “including but not limited to patrol vehicles, armoured personnel carriers, water cannons, protection vans, lorries, buses, recovery vehicles, drones and helicopters as may be required for use in Enugu state by federal, state and local government security agencies.”

In his remarks, the Speaker of the Assembly Chief Edward Ubosi said that Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State would present 2020 budget proposal to the House of Assembly on Dec. 17.

Edited by: Kayode Olaitan

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Nasarawa Assembly passes College of Agriculture, Science, Technology Bill



The Nasarawa State House of Assembly, has passed a bill for a law to establish College of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Lafia.

The Speaker of the House, Alhaji Ibrahim Balarabe-Abdullahi, announced the passage of the bill on Tuesday in Lafia after Alhaji Tanko Tunga, the Majority Leader of the Assembly  moved a motion for its third reading.

The passage of the bill was to boost agricultural activities, science and technical education in the state.

Balarabe-Abdullahi said the law if finally assented to would boost agricultural activities, science and technical education, thereby improving the standard of living of the people of the state.

A bill for a law for the establishment of College of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Lafia, Nasarawa State and Ancillary Purposes Connected thereof passed third reading.

The bill seeks to change the name of College of Agriculture, Lafia to College of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Lafia, due to the importance of science and technology to societal development.

Apart from boosting food production, the bill if assented to will also encourage science and technical education as well as enabling the institution access special intervention from Federal Government and donors as other tertiary institutions,’’ he said.

He commended the lawmakers for their cooperation toward ensuring the passage of the bill.

The speaker directed the Clerk of the Assembly to produce a clean copy of the bill for Gov. Abdullahi Sule’s assent.

Earlier, Tunga while moving a motion for the passage of the bill, urged his colleagues to ensure the bill scaled the third reading.

Mr Danladi Jatau (PDP-Kokona West), the Minority Leader of the Assembly, seconded the motion.

The lawmakers unanimously passed the bill.

Edited by: Cecilia Odey/Adeleye Ajayi


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Buhari seeks Senate’s confirmation of new FIRS Chairman, members



The Senate on Tuesday received a request from President Muhammadu Buhari for confirmation of Muhammad Nami as Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

The request, which was contained in a letter dated Dec. 9, was read at plenary by President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.

The letter reads: “Pursuant to Section 3(2) of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (Establishment) Act, 2007.

I am pleased to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the under listed names of nominees as Chairman and Members of the Federal Inland Revenue Service.

Those nominated by Buhari alongside the Chairman, Muhammad Nami North Central, were James Yakwen Ayuba, North Central; Ado Danjuma, North West; Adam Mohammed, North East; Ikeme Osakwe, South East; Adewale Ogunyomade, South West, and Ehile Adetola Aibangbee, South South.

Representatives of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) on the board were- Ladidi Mohammed, Office of Attorney-General of the Federation; Godwin Emefiele, Central Bank of Nigeria; (CBN), Fatima Hayatu, Ministry of Finance; Maagbe Adaa, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission; Umar Ajiya, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation;(NNPC) DCG Isah, Nigeria Customs Service, and Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission.

The Senate had also received another request from Buhari seeking the confirmation of a newly appointed Chairman for Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).

The letter dated Dec. 9, reads: “In accordance with Section 10(1) of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Act, 2010, I hereby present Mr Edward Lametek Adamu for confirmation as Chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria by the Distinguished Senate.

While hoping that this request will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the Senate, please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.

The Senate also at the plenary considered six bills for first reading.

They were Companies and Allied Matters Act CAP C 20 repeal and re-enactment Bill 2019 sponsored by Sen. Abdullahi Yahaya (APCKebbi ), Electric Power Sector Reform Act 2005 Amendment Bill sponsored by Sen. Abdullahi Yahaya (APCKebbi), FCT Health Insurance Agency Establishment Bill 2019 by Sen. Abdullahi Yahaya (APCKebbi ) among others.

The Senate also considered four bills for second reading at plenary.

The bills were; Bill for an Act to make provision for freedom from hunger and the right to adequate food of acceptable quality, the right of every child to basic nutrition, sponsored by Sen. Orji Theodore (PDPAbia),a bill for an Act to provide an efficient legal framework for regulation of freight traffic and use of petroleum tankers on the highway to convey petroleum products and promote safety of all road users by Sen.Ifeanyi Ubah(YPP-Anambra).

A bill to amend the Federal Polytechnic Daura, Kastina State to make provision for change of name to Mustapha Bukar Polytechnic, sponsored by Sen. Ahmad Kaita (APCKatsina ).

A bill to establish the National Rice Development Council of Nigeria to enhance local production of rice in Nigeria by sponsored by Sen. Bima Enagi(APC-Niger).

Edited by: Tayo Ikujuni/Ali Baba-Inuwa


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Falana urges journalists to eschew peddling rumours



A Human rights activist and lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, has urged journalists not to peddle rumours in their quest to fight injustice in the country.

Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria , gave the advice on Monday night at the 14th Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting at Ikeja, Lagos.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the award was organised by Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) to celebrate journalists who take the risk of protecting democracy.

The human rights activist while congratulating the awardees also urged them to keep up the good work.

We must ensure we fight injustice until it is over in our country.

“I will also urge us all, particularly journalists, not to peddle rumours in their quest to fight injustice,” he said

Earlier, different categories of Journalism and Lifetime Awards were awarded to journalists who excellently in investigative reports in various fields.

Mr Isine Ibang of The Next Edition Newspaper won the Investigative Reporter in the online category.


He also won award of the 2019 WSCIJ Nigerian Investigative Reporter of the year with his reports on “How Bribe Taking Security Operatives Gangs Force Nigerians To Pay Dearly for Food.”

The runners up in the online category are Damilola Banjo of Sahara Reporters and Chikezie Omeje of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

In the Photo category, Odutayo Odusanya of the Punch Newspaper emerged the winner while Ayodele Adeniran of The Guardian Newspaper, Saheed Olugbon, Punch Newspaper were runners up.

In the Editorial Cartoon category, Mr Albert Ihams of The Sun Newspaper won with his reports on N13.5 million Sitting Allowance for Senators.

Miss Mary Abayomi-Fatile of FRCN emerged winner in the Radio category for her investigative report on “Alleged Police Extra-Judicial Killing of Madam Basirat Akinmushire.”

Samuel-Wemimo Bukola and Sharon Ijasan of the Television Continental (TVC) got awards in the Television category for their reports on “Depression and Suicide” and “Child Labour, Child Rights, Labour Laws Violated by Chinese Company”, respectively.

In the print category, Samson Folarin of Punch Newspaper with his reports, “Certificate, Plagiarism Scandal rocks Nnamdi Azikwe University” was awarded the winner.

Oladimeji Ramon of the Punch Newspaper and Chinwe Agbeze of Sun Newspaper were runners up.

WSCIJ also honoured Mr Sunmi Smart-Cole, a veteran photojournalist and the Amnesty International Nigeria with a Lifetime awards for journalistic excellence for their fight against human rights violations and oppressive laws.

They were also recognised for their efforts to defend freedom of expression in Nigeria.

Earlier in his remarks, WSCIJ board Chairman, Prof. Ropo Sekoni, commended the finalists and honourary award recipients for a great work done.

Sekoni appealed to citizens across class, faith and nationality on the need to remain steadfast in sustaining the democracy attained in the country, at great sacrifice in 1999.

Our culturally diverse country needs democracy more than most people can imagine.

“Democracy requires that political leaders and followers show respect for and tolerance of different perspectives, values for without which electoral democracy may not achieve its most important goal,” he said

NAN reports that the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting is an annual event which had its maiden edition in October 2005.

The Award is held every Dec. 9, the World Anti-Corruption Day and Eve of the Human Rights Day.

It is aimed at acknowledging best practices in investigative journalism and attention to its significance for attaining good governance, social justice and accountability.

Edited by: Tayo Ikujuni/Dada Ahmed

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Lagos govt to upgrade Adeniran Ogunsanya College to university



The Lagos State Government says there are plans to upgrade Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education (AOCOED) to a University of Education.

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu said this on Monday, when the newly elected Zonal Coordinators of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Zone D, led by Comrade Kappo Olawale paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House, Ikeja.

Sanwo-Olu said his administration was committed to the reform of the education sector, as it has the ”lion share” in the year 2020 budget.

”We want to elevate Adesanya Ogunsanya College of Education to a University of Education. This is one of our plans as a government.

”We are training all primary school teachers and also recruiting new ones.

We will ensure that the quality in our classrooms are the same. And this is based on development of teachers first.

”Once we are able to push that, we will also improve the quality of teaching. We will see better outcome and that will give us better pupils.

”We will also duplicate this in secondary schools across Lagos. We want to continue to reduce truancy, cultism and all those unhealthy acts amongst pupils.

We will increase infrastructure in schools,” he said.

The governor said that his administration would build new facilities for state institutions and complete the ones that were yet to be completed.

He urged the student leaders to ensure that they uphold peace in their various institutions and be good representatives of their citadels of learning.

”We want to have positive impacts at all levels of education but we need you to understand and appreciate the efforts of the government.

”We need you to be able to speak to your fellow students to ensure that we continue to work in an environment where there is peace, harmony, understanding and collaboration,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The students were received by the governor and his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat; Special Adviser on Education, Mr Tokunbo Wahab; Special Adviser on Tourism, Mr Solomon Bonu; and Special Adviser on Civic Engagement, Mrs Folashade Adebowale-Owoeye.

Edited by: Oluwole Sogunle

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Lagos to become Africa’s biggest innovation hub



Lagos State Government says its investment in technology and innovation was a deliberate effort to make Lagos Africa’s foremost centre of innovation.

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said this on Monday in Ikeja, during a courtesy visit by the Management Team of Oracle Africa, led by the Group’s Country Director, Mr Adebayo Sanni.

Sanwo-Olu said that his administration’s financial commitment to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) was to position the state as key player in global technology space.

He said that this was by harnessing local capabilities in developing technological solutions that would reduce the state’s reliance on foreign technology inventions.

The governor said the recently approved seed capital of N250 million was particularly aimed at enhancing young people’s innovative skills.

According to him, the seed capital will empower young people to be tech solutions providers as the world progresses in digitisation.

”Technology has gotten to a stage where we all need it to leapfrog and enhance accuracy in governance.

”As a government, we have always promoted technology to take the lead and be a strong enabler for us to deliver on our promises to the people.

”We are taking steps to further collaborate with partners that will strengthen our capacity to be big player in global tech space.

”We just concluded a two-day Art of Technology where we announced the establishment of innovation research council and N250 million seed capital to support young innovators locally.

”We are not looking at what is going to be our immediate benefit by this investment; rather we want to create a robust technology culture.

”We want to create technology culture that will give young people opportunities to explore their innovative skills in bringing about tech solutions and applications we can use to advance our service delivery,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said that the technical support offered by Oracle Group had helped to stabilise processes in the state’s civil service and in promoting accountability in administrative process.

The governor, however, said that the relationship between both parties must be consolidated to boost the capacity of the state government and keep it abreast of the latest technological solutions developed to ease processes.

Sanni said that the two-decade partnership between Lagos Government and Oracle Group was ”mutually beneficial”, as Lagos was one of the IT firm’s success story in deploying technology solutions to improve governance.

Lagos State is one of the places we use as an example globally in terms of what we have done in helping governments transform their business using technology.

”Oracle wants to consolidate on this partnership and make commitment that will help Lagos State sustain its growth,” he said.

Sanni said that the IT firm was willing to review and build on its technical assistance to the state government for improved service delivery.

He also promised to boost the capacity of the current administration in using data to take predictive analysis of situations across the state.

Edited by: Chioma Ugboma/Wale Ojetimi

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Reps to proffer “lasting solutions” to NAF crashes



The House of Representatives has said it is set to proffer “lasting solutions” to the incessant air crashes experienced by the Nigerian Air Force since 2015, the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, has said.

Gbajabiamila spoke  during a Investigative Hearing by the house Committee on Air Force on Monday.

Regrettably, in recent times, the Nigerian Air Force has been witnessing incessant air crashes.

Between the years 2015 and 2019, there have been at least eight air crashes in various Nigerian states that have endangered lives and property.

As joint partners, we are determined to proffer lasting solutions to this problem.

Gbajabiamila said the committee would meet with NAF to investigate the causes of crashes and recommend actions to forestall future occurrences.

The speaker also said that the committee would examine the level of financial loss suffered by the country, insurance cover for the personnel and other matters that could lead to ending such disasters.

He said the committee would report back to the house after the completion of the investigation.

The committee Chairman, Rep. Shehu Koko, said the hearing was pursuant to a motion titled “Need to Investigate the Incessant Non-Combatant Related Air Crashes by the Nigeria Air Force”.

Koko said the committee was poised to achieve the desired result by unravelling the circumstances surrounding the frequent crashes with a view to nipping such incidences in the bud.

The chairman also recalled that the crashes  occurred from 2015 to 2019.

On Aug. 29, 2015, Nigeria Air Force Dornier 228 crashed in Kaduna. Similarly, on Oct. 10, 2015,  the F-7NI crashed with one casualty, while on Nov. 15, 2016 in Makurdi, Augusta Westland 101 Helicopter crashed.

In Jan. 2, in Damasak, Borno, the NAF Ml-35M helicopter crashed with five casualties, and on June 12, another NAF helicopter crashed in Katsina Airport with one casualty.

Also, on Aug. 17, NAF Air Beetle Aircraft crashed in Kaduna, and recently on Nov. 14, the NAF helicopter crashed in Enugu. The list is not encouraging.

We therefore set to find out the problems and proffer lasting solution to stop it for the future of the military and the safety of our personnel.

In his address, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, said NAF would cooperate to forestall such incidences in the future.

I am delighted that in addition to recognising the enormous contributions of the force, today you have looked at other areas we are having some drawbacks.

I think that is the right direction to follow and I want to say the government is doing everything to support us and we, in the Air Force, will do everything humanly possible to ensure we fly safe.

We are ready to give all the information you require to make our country greater.

The committee, however, continued in a closed door session.

Edited by: Chukwudi Ekezie

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Omo-Agege introduces amendment bill on electoral malpractice



Omo-Agege introduces amendment bill on electoral malpractice


/Angela Atabo

Abuja, Dec.9, 2019 Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege on Monday said, he had introduced a bill for comprehensive amendment of the Electoral Act No. 6 of 2010.

Omo-Agege said this at the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room Stakeholders Forum on Elections, organised by the coalition of more than 70 civil societies in Abuja.

He said the bill, co-sponsored with Sen. Abubakar Kyari of Borno North Senatorial District, was now making its way to public hearing, having scaled Second Reading with overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate.

It is a decisive response to a plethora of our Supreme Court’s decision inviting the National Assembly to make sensible amendments to the Electoral Act.

And I believe it is responsible for us to take the apex court’s constructive guidance on issues that fundamentally affect our democracy.

This apart, Section 153 of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended, specifically and expressly empowers INEC to “issue regulations, guidelines, or manuals for the purpose of giving effects to the provisions of this Act and for its administration thereof.

The pervasive non-compliance with the Guidelines, Regulations and Manuals, would carry clear consequences for people who think violating electoral due process is a rewarding exercise.

“The proposed Bill to amend the Electoral Act would focus on resolving issues surrounding INEC’s introduction of modern technologies into the electoral process, particularly accreditation of voters.’’

Omo-Agege said that the bill would also mandate INEC to publish the Voters’ Register for public scrutiny at every Registration Area and on its website, at least seven days before a general election.

According to him, it also mandates INEC to suspend an election in order to allow a political party that losses its candidate before or during an election to conduct a fresh primary to elect a replacement or new candidate.

He said the bill would grant agents of political parties the right to inspect original electoral materials before the commencement of election, define over-voting to include situations where “total votes cast also exceed total number of accredited voters’’.

According to the lawmaker, it also provides greater clarity and transparency in the process of reaching the final announcement of election results, starting with sorting of ballots, counting of votes among others.

Omo-Agege said the bill would mandate INEC to record and keep relevant detailed information of results sheets, ballot papers and other sensitive electoral materials used in an election, with clear consequences for violation.

He said the bill also provided sanctions for giving false information on registration of a political party, and that failure by INEC and others to comply with any provision of the Act carried clear and adequate sanctions.

INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who was represented by Mr Festus Okoye, Chairman Information and Voter Education, said the Commission was committed to electoral reforms that would strengthen the power and value of the vote.

Yakubu said the Commission would work assiduously with critical stakeholders in the electoral process in providing clarity, removing ambiguities, plugging existing lacuna in laws and constitutionally implementing those aspects of the law that guaranteed the credibility of elections.

“The Commission will definitely send its proposals to the National Assembly to clearly state aspects of the existing Law it supports, aspects that need further retooling, and new proposals that will strengthen the electoral process and the regulatory functions of the Commission.’’

Mr Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was committed to tackling electoral fraud and violence through the establishment of an Electoral Offences Commission.

Malami who was represented by Ms Juliet Ibekaku, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Ethics and Justice, said the government was already working with the 9th National Assembly with a view to ensuring an early passage of amendments to the Electoral Act and the Election Offences Commission Bill into law.

Earlier, Mr Clement Nwankwo, Convener, Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room, said the objective of the event was to discuss the current state of the electoral environment in the country.

Nwankwo said it also aimed to make recommendations and suggestions that would improve the political and electoral process in Nigeria.

“We believe INEC has the responsibility to be a key driver of the much needed change in the electoral sector,’’ he added.

Edited by: Nyisom Fiyigon Dore

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