We won’t allow Buhari’s govt spend $800m loan — Rep
A member of the House of Representatives Committee on Loans, Aid and Debt Management, Dr Abubakar Yunusa Ahmad has said in spite of the approval given to the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to take an $800 million loan, the lawmakers would not allow the outgoing government to spend the money. He said the House had given the caveat to the president in approving the loan.
Speaking on a breakfast television show in Channels Television monitored in Abuja, Ahmad said the lawmakers have a means of ensuring that the Buhari administration adheres to the conditions it attached to the loan approval.
He said; “On the $800 million, we engaged in consultations and we advised them (FG) to leave this thing to the incoming government but since the loan has been granted, we can collect but we cannot use it, maybe when the next government comes in, they might have a different approach to issues.
“We have read in the social media that they intend not to retain any of Buhari’s ministers because they have rated them to underperform. Yes, we have granted that loan, it has been approved and we want Nigeria to take it, but it is not going to be utilized by this outgoing government. When the next government comes, they can decide on what to do with the loan”. On Nigeria’s debt profile, he described it as baffling, saying the House of Reps members had reasons not to approve the N22.7 trillion Ways and Means requested by President Buhari.
“Our debt profile is baffling. That is why we declined the N22.7 million Ways and Means even though the Senate has granted the request. Those of us in the House of Representatives raised a lot of questions and the request has not yet been attended to. There are things I can’t say because I don’t want to open the can of worms but I hope people understand this language of ways and means. In a nutshell, it means printing currency.
“First, Nigeria’s high debt profile, Nigeria has the capacity to pay. It is the intention of the APC government under Buhari, the infrastructure they put, the railway they built, if utilized properly, within one or two years, they would have generated the money to pay back the loans. Our problem is lack of patriotism. When the government comes up with an initiative, along the line, you have people who will engage in what I will refer to administrative stupidity to frustrate it. If Ajaokuta which remains three percent to complete and the railway would work effectively, I tell you that within 5 to 10 years, the situation of this country would change.
PWDs to Tinubu, give us 10% of ministerial, SA appointments
AHEAD of May 29 swearing in, Persons With Disabilities, PWDs, Thursday, tasked President-elect, Bola Tinubu, on giving 10 per cent of ministerial and Special Advisers, SAs, appointments to them to form a government of national unity and inclusion.
The Founder, TAF Africa and Convener, Disability Inclusion, Nigeria, Amb Jake Epelle, said this during a ‘Stakeholders’ Strategic Roundtable on ‘Able To Serve’ Campaign’ with theme ‘Disability Inclusion in the Appointment of Cabinet Members: A Call for Inclusive Governance’.
Epelle further stated that there is nothing wrong for Tinubu to appoint PWDs into his cabinet, because they have a major stake in the development of Nigeria as far as they are equal citizens as their physically able-bodied brothers and sisters including qualifications, experience, exposure and expertise.
He emphasized that in the spirit of inclusivity, the appointments will add value and give a sense of belonging to PWDs.
Meanwhile, according to him, the ‘Able to Serve’ was inaugurated by the Foundation and leverages on media advocacy, mentorship and accountability toward inclusion in the governance process at all levels.
He also explained that the strategic roundtable target awareness creation about the importance of PWDs’ appointment into cabinets federal, State and local governments, and to point out the huge but untapped potential, skills and perspectives PWDs possess to impact positively in the decision making process and good governance, hence the agitation for appointments.
He said: “If you take us (PWDs) out of governance, what you are going to run is an exclusive government and exclusive government is not a government of national unity.
“If you truly want to run a government of national unity, then that government should be inclusive of all irrespective of gender, status, religion, whatever that needs to be done so that everyone will sit on the table, which is the way forward.”
The TAF Africa boss also pointed out that PWDs role in national development cannot be over emphasized based on their enormous contributions to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product GDP, including tax payment.
Open heart surgeries commence in Anambra community hospital
Open heart surgery has commenced operation at Dame Irene Okwuosa Memorial Hospital (DIOMH), Oraifite, in Ekwusigo Local Government Area of Anambra State.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that the Hospital was built by Sir Emeka Okwuosa Foundation (SEOF), to assist people with heart problems.
The Spokesperson for the foundation, Sir. Oselloka Offoh, who disclosed this in a statement in Awka, on Saturday, also informed the public that the Foundation has kicked off its May 2023 Medical Mission at the Hospital.
Sir Offoh, said that the Mission is the sixth held, since 2021 and the third involving Open Heart Surgeries, which began in May 2022 when DIOMH, a world-class cardiology facility and flagship project of SEOF, was opened.
“This year’s Mission runs from 14th May 2023 to 26th May 2023 with highly skilled medical experts in Cardiology, Nephrology, and Critical Care from VOOM Foundation (VOOM), based in College Station, Texas, USA, supporting the necessary interventions.
“At least 18 people will benefit from the Foundation’s Open Heart Surgeries this time around. A total of 33 adults and children have benefited from the two previous Open Heart Surgeries sponsored by SEOF and VOOM Foundation and performed at DIOMH.
DIOMH hit a healthcare milestone in Africa when it performed three Open Heart Surgeries in a day and a total of 25 Open Heart Surgeries in less than 2 weeks in May 2022. 23 (or 70%) of these Open Heart Surgeries were performed at no cost to beneficiaries while the remaining 10 (30%) were highly subsidised at just 14% – 20% of the cost charged for those surgeries by Nigerian hospitals.
“The total bill borne by SEOF for the 33 Open Heart Surgeries in 2022 is in excess of #300 million.
At the ongoing Mission, a Community Health Fair will be organized by the Foundation on Wednesday, 24th May 2023 from 9 am to 3 pm.
“The Fair will provide free treatment for Diabetes, Arthritis, Malaria, Hypertension, Chronic Pain, Typhoid, and Eye Care. Dispensing of drugs and clinical examinations will be free.
Nigeria’s healthcare industry also recorded a big boost in March 2023 following the distribution of critical health intervention drugs worth #48m to medical facilities across the six geo-political zones in the country by the Foundation.
Tribunal: A’Ibom Govt, 2 Polytechnics Exonerate Etteh Over Forgery Claims By Eyiboh
The Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State; the Temple Gate Polytechnic (formerly known as School of Management and Technology) in Aba, Abia State, and the Examination Certification Division of the Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Education, have faulted claims by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 25, 2023 National Assembly elections, Hon. Eseme Eyiboh, that the Member-elect for Eket/Onna/Esit Eket/Ibeno federal constituency of Akwa Ibom State, Rt. Hon. Okpolupm Etteh, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), presented forged certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to contest the election.
The representatives of the Institutions, who faulted the forgery allegation while testifying as witnesses before the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Wednesday, said Rt. Hon. Etteh’s certificates were all genuine, as they were obtained from the two institutions after compliance and fulfillment of all the necessary conditions for such to be issued.
Hon. Eyiboh had approached the Tribunal to declare him winner of the February 25 federal constituency election on the grounds that Hon. Etteh of the PDP was not qualified to have contested the said election, having presented what he termed forged academic certificates with inconsistency with his name as documents to INEC.
The petitioner also asked the Tribunal to declare him winner considering that he scored the majority of lawful votes cast at the polling units and that majority of his votes obtained from the units and the results as announced and pasted at the units were unlawfully excluded at the Collation Centres to the advantage of Rt. Hon. Etteh.
At the resumed hearing of the case, Counsel to Rt. Hon. Etteh, Barrister Ekpenyong Ntekim, argued that his client obtained all his certificates from recognised institutions in Nigeria and therefore, there was no basis for any forgery as was alleged by the petitioner.
The PDP candidate’s Counsel further argued that there was no inconsistency in the name of Rt. Hon. Etteh, as all documents bearing his name have not shown any contradiction with his age declaration certificate, which he tendered to INEC during his screening prior to the election.
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