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We were not consulted on choice of nominee -Oyo APC alleges

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The Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Oyo State, Chief Akin Oke, has alleged that the party at the state level was not consulted on the choice of a minister to represent the state.

In a telephone interview with the Nigeria News Agency , said he, nonetheless, wished the new cabinet members designate well.

“I know it is the constitutional responsibility of the president and I believe even without due consultation to us, the president in his wisdom, has decided to choose which he has the power and the constitutional right to do.

“My prayer and wish is that the nominees will meet the expectations of the government on the basis of which they are considered worthy for the appointment and be able to take us to the next level,’’ he said.

On the choice of the Mr Sunday Dare, the Oyo State nominee, the chairman disclosed that the nominee had shown great potential and ability to deliver over the years.

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INEC presents certificate of return to Bello

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Certificate

Lokoja, Nov. 21, 2019 ( NAN) The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has presented certificate of return to Gov. Yahaya Bello for emerging victorious in the Nov. 16 governorship election in Kogi State.

Speaking at the event in Lokoja on Thursday, INEC National Commissioner  in charge of Kogi, Kwara and Nasarawa states, Malam Mohammed Haruna, urged Bello to see his victory as an opportunity to usher in a new beginning for the state.

He asked him to embark on fence mending, bearing in mind the fact that the election was characterised by violence.

The state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. James Apam, said that the issuance of certificate of return to Bello and his deputy, Chief Edward Onoja, climaxed the process of the election held on Nov. 16.

Bello won the election by polling 406,222 votes to beat 24 other candidates, including his closest rival, Mr Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party, who scored 189,704 votes.

Speaking shortly after receiving his certificate, Bello commiserated with relations and friends of those who died during the wide spread violence that characterised the election.

He promised to work with police and other security agencies to identify the perpetrators of the violence and make them to face justice.

Bello promised to use his second term in office to work more for the people of the state, especially in the areas of infrastructural and human development.

The governor also commended the INEC, police and other security agencies for their efforts before, during and after the election.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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We saved FG N15b by blocking leakages on projects – NGO

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Connected Development (CODE), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) on Thursday said it saved the Federal Government more than N15billion by blocking leakages in funded  projects in rural communities.

Mr Hamzat Lawal, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CODE made this known at a news conference to mark the group’s seventh year anniversary and to unveil the new brand of its “Follow The Money Initiative’’.

According to Lawal, Follow The Money Initiative advocates and tracks government and international aid spending in health, water, sanitation hygiene and education across grassroots communities to ensure and promote open government and service delivery.

He said that apart from saving government N15 billion in seven years of its establishment, CODE had also tracked an estimate of 113.6 million dollars in budgeted sums for projects across 181 communities in more than 25 Nigerian states.

“We have improved more than four million lives in the rural areas, practically, we have also ensured that 5million children have gone back to school.

“When you look at the data from 2015 till date, Follow The Money was instrumental to reducing the statistics of out of school children from 15 million to 10.1 million.

“We did this by ensuring that the children go back to school with the basic education resources we tracked.

“Also in tracking basic healthcare, we have ensured that we saved over 15 million lives in various communities because today they now have access to quality primary health care centres .’’

Lawal said that grassroots communities in Nigeria were constantly deprived of access to basic human needs like healthcare, water, and education in spite of billions of naira of tax generated revenues appropriated for these projects.

According to him, most time these funds do not reach the communities so disturbed by this anomaly, CODE is providing marginalised communities in Africa with resources to amplify their voices by creating platforms for dialogue.

He said that the group build capacity of citizens and empower them to hold their elected representatives accountable through the Follow The Money Initiative,

He said that Follow The Money was now in seven countries in Africa namely: Kenya, The Gambia, Cameroun Malawi, Zimbabwe Liberia and Nigeria with Canada at the verge of joining.

Lawal said that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recently expressed readiness to partner with CODE in the fight against corruption at the grassroots and ensure that government and international funds for projects were appropriately utilised.

He said EFCC agreed to assign a desk officer for CODE to manage and ease communication with the Follow The Money chapter leads across states.

Also speaking , Ms Kevwe Oghide, Lead Communications and Advocacy, CODE said that Follow The Money recently emerged winner of the 2019 Council of Europe’s Democracy Award.

Oghide said that Nigerians suffer because of a broken system which allowed public funds to be siphoned and until public funds begin to work for the good of the people, the dividends of democracy may not be attained.

She called on the media to also help in holding government accountable and to be the voice of the people to ensure that communities get access to social amenities.

She said that Follow The Money unveiled its new corporate identity in line with its mission to track government funds and international aid funding to promote transparency and accountability in governance.

Mr Busayo Morakiyo, Community Engagement Manager, CODE said that all the chapters of CODE were in Abuja to mark its 7th year anniversary and to assess its impact since 2012.

Morakiyo said that CODE empowered youths to track projects in their various rural areas as a form of including youths in the anti-corruption fight and three persons emerged winners.

He said Mr Akinsola Jeremiah from Kwara,Ukeme Anwan from Akwa Ibom and Muhammad Kime from Yobe were the winners and were awarded N100,000 each.

The awardees commended CODE for the privilege and promised to continue to work toward tacking projects in communities to ensure that appropriations were unitised effectively.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama (NAN)

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Be above board, do us proud, PDP urges members in Nasarawa Assembly

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nasarawa State has advised the lawmakers elected on its platform to be above board, do the party proud and enhance the development of the state.

The state PDP Chairman, Mr Francis Orogu, gave the advice on Thursday, when the executive members of the party paid a solidarity visit to the lawmakers in Lafia.

He appealed to them to work hard in improving the wellbeing of their constituents to project the image of the party in positive light.

“Our mission is very simple; we are here to fraternise with you; to advise you and to let you know that we are proud of you.

“I want to call on you to be alive to your responsibilities as minority members, by speaking for the voiceless in the state. Your criticism must, however, be constructive.

“I urge you to continue to stand for the party at all the times and make positive impacts on your constituents, in the interest of development.

“You should also continue to initiate good policies and programmes that will have direct bearing on the lives of your constituents and the state at large,” he appealed.

Orogu also congratulated the lawmakers on their victories at the tribunal and the appellate court.

He assured the lawmakers of their support to enable them succeed in the task ahead of them.

Earlier, Mr Danladi Jatau (PDP-Kokona West), the Minority Leader of the state House of Assembly, commended the party leadership for the visit, assuring that they would not to fail in their responsibilities.

“We, the seven members of this Assembly from the PDP, will never let the party down.

“We are united, focused and competent, and we will not fail in our responsibilities, by God’s grace,” he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the seven PDP lawmakers are: Danladi Jatau (Kokona West); David Maiyaki (Karu/Gitata); Abel Bala (Nassarawa Eggon West); Peter Akwe (Obi I); Luka Zhekaba (Obi II); Samuel Tsebe (Akwanga South) and John Osewu (Doma South).

Edited by Philip Dzeremo and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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6 parties vie for 21 chairmanship seats in Adamawa LG Poll

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The Adamawa State Independent Electoral Commission (ADSIEC), has said that only six political parties have fielded candidates for 21 chairmanship positions in Dec. 7 Local Government poll in the state.

ADSIEC Information Officer, Mr Innocent Daniel, made this known while briefing newsmen on Thursday in Yola.

Daniel said the other parties only fielded candidates for councillorship positions.

He named the six parties as -Action Alliance (AA), Africa Democratic Congress (ADC), All Progressives Congress APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Movement for the Restoration and Defence of Democracy (MRDD).

Daniel said screening of all candidates had been concluded and the list of those cleared pasted at the commission’s headquartres and Local Government offices.

He, however, could not confirm whether some candidates were disqualified after the screening.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the cleared candidates will contest for 21 chairmanship and 226 councillorship seats in the poll.

Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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APC chieftain tasks Bayelsa Govt. on speedy transition

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Mr Yekini Nabena, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on Gov. Seriake Dickson to begin to make plans for his exit by immediately constituting a transition committee.

Nabena said on Thursday in Abuja while speaking with journalists that there was an urgent need for him to make his exit plan by immediately composing a transition government.

“He should use his remaining months in office to fast track the process of transition to the APC Governor elect in the state.

Nabena, lauded the 41-member Bayelsa Transition Committee already named by Dickson.

The APC candidate, Mr David Lyon, won the Nov. 16 governorship election in the state and is slated to assume office on Feb. 14, 2020.

According to Nabena, Dickson must be commended for swiftly inaugurating the 41-member transition committee.

He advised the governor to concentrate on preparing his handover notes in the remaining time he had left in office.

The APC deputy national spokesman also dismissed claims by Dickson that security agents connived with the APC to hijack electoral materials in many Local government Areas (LGAs) during the election.

He urged Nigerians to disregard the claim, noting that “it is obvious that the people of Bayelsa chose to embrace the change and massively rejected governor Dickson’s stooge.”

edited by Emmanuel Nwoye/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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Gov. Ayade presents N1.1 trillion budget for 2020

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Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River on Thursday presented a budget of N1.1trillion for 2020 to the State House of Assembly.

The budget, tagged “Budget of Olimpotic Meristemasis”, has a capital expenditure of N911 billion representing 82.8 per cent and a recurrent expenditure of N188 billion, representing 17.2 per cent.

While explaining that meristemasis is the active cell that stimulates growth in a young plant, which in this case represented the state, he pointed out that, “the budget will catalyse into existence a great opportunity for the state to put all hands and legs on the pedal.”

He said the decision to set aside 82.8 per cent of the budget for capital expenditure, was indicative of government commitment that will continue to reduce recurrent expenditure and focus on capital expenditure.

On the sectoral breakdown, Ayade disclosed that the health sector has an allocation of N44 billion, education N38 billion, New City Development N35 billion while agriculture was allocated N22 billion and social housing N12 billion, among others.

The governor announced that his administration would sustain its current tax policy with adjustment.

“All low income people like civil servants earning below N100,000 will be exempted from tax.

“Small scale businesses like barbing saloon, hair dressing and others are hereby exempted from taxation,” he said.

He also abolished daily levy of between N500 and N1000 by taxis in the state, noting that they will now pay N2000 only every month.

“We must come to the understanding that indeed any state whose budget is driven by envelope size is limited in vision.

“There are two ways in business and public sector management that you place your budget. It is either that your budget comes as an expression of your envelope size or as an expression of your ambition.

“The prosperity agenda set for this state does not allow me the opportunity of an envelope budgeting,” he said.

Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

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