1. I won’t tolerate any disrespect to n’assembly, Buhari warns political appointees
President Muhammadu Buhari has warned government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) against disrespecting the national assembly.
Buhari issued the warning hours after the management staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) walked out on a house of representatives panel.
A statement from Garba Shehu, his spokesman, quoted the president as emphasising “his utmost respect for the national assembly”.
According to Shehu, Buhari said “any disrespect to the institution by any member of the executive branch will not be accepted”.
“Ministers and all heads of Departments and Agencies should at all times conduct themselves in ways that will not undermine the National Assembly as an institution, its leadership and members,” he also said.
“The President and the leaders of the National Assembly recognized and acknowledged that the Executive and Legislative arms of government are essential partners in the fulfillment of their mutually aligned goal of improving the lives of the Nigerian people.”
2. Osinbajo: Private schools will benefit from MSMEs support scheme
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says private schools will benefit from the stimulus package the government of President Muhammadu Buhari has put in place for micro small and medium enterprises to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at the 2020 edition of the MSMEs awards which held virtually on Thursday, Osinbajo listed hotels and road transport workers among the beneficiaries.
Osinbajo said the survival fund would help provide payroll support to MSMEs with a minimum of 10 and maximum of 50 staff members.
“I am glad to note that this year has been an exception despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Locally, businesses are facing their most challenging time and the impact is particularly severe on MSMEs,” he said.
“The central plank of our response as a government to the economic challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic has been the Economic Sustainability Plan recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Executive Council.
“In that plan which essentially envisages an overall N2.3 trillion stimulus package, we made extensive provision for financial support to MSMEs, ranging from a guaranteed off-take scheme to a survival fund that includes a payroll support programme for qualifying businesses.
“The guaranteed off-take scheme seeks to provide support for MSMEs, manufacturing local products by guaranteeing the purchase from them of qualifying products such as face masks, hand sanitisers, PPE for medical workers, etc.
“These products will be distributed to Nigerians, Nigerian institutions and entities that would require them.
“The survival fund will help provide payroll support to MSMEs with a minimum of 10 and maximum of 50 staff. The MSMEs that qualify for these will make available their payroll for verification by government.
3. Surrender one rifle and get two cows, Matawalle tells bandits
Bello Matawalle, governor of Zamfara state, has offered armed bandits in the state two cows in exchange of each AK47 rifle surrendered.
He made the offer when he hosted Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police, Yusuf Bichi, director-general, Department of State Services (DSS), and other security heads, on Thursday.
The governor explained that he chose to offer cows because the bandits need the cows to advance their economic interests.
“For every rifle submitted by a repentant bandit, there would be compensation of two cows. We don’t want to give them money, so they wouldn’t use the money to purchase new weapons,” he said.
“We said we will compensate them with cows, they need the cows to advance their economic interest.
“We also told the repentant bandits that all “Dabas” (Camps) in the forests should be disbanded. We won’t accept a situation where the bandits will disarm and then go back to the forest and be staying in these camps or Dabas
“We asked them to either come to town and be reintegrated into the society or be given economic empowerment where they are, so that they would start a new life.
“Most of them are residing in forests under the shades of trees and inside caves. That is why we came up with RUGA policy to help them.”
Zamfara is one of the states which has come under repeated attacks from bandits.
4. PDP charges FG to prosecute Magu for alleged corruption
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday urged the Federal Government to prosecute the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, for alleged corruption.
The party said in a statement titled: “Fraud Allegations: PDP Demands Magu’s Immediate Arraignment In Court …Rejects Pat on Wrist Approach,” and signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, its call for Magu’s prosecution was predicated on conflicting reports on the status of the processes related to the investigations and the direction of the federal government on the matter.
Magu, who was released from detention on Wednesday, had denied the allegations that he converted the recovered funds to his personal use.
He dismissed the allegations as trumped-up charges put together by “opponents” of the anti-graft crusade to crucify him.
The opposition party argued that the delay in arraigning the suspended EFCC chief was raising concerns about the anti-graft war.
The PDP said: “The delay by the federal government in arraigning the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, over allegations of fraud is raising public apprehensions over the integrity of the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
The fact is that the allegations of fraud including alleged stealing of billions of naira recovered by the EFCC among other accusations, which also include alleged transfer of stolen money to certain government officials, are already in the public domain.”
5. Magu, Corruption and weak value system
The current travail of acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFFC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has once again brought to the fore the issue of corruption in the country. Magu, regarded by many as, perhaps, one of the most successful EFFC Chairmen, is facing several allegations of fraud and abuse of office. He is currently facing a probe panel in what seems to be a case of the hunter being hunted.
The Magu saga has, no doubt, brought a momentary dent on the fight against corruption in the country. Though, Magu remains innocent until the allegations against him are effectively proven, the very thought that he could be guilty has brought a dark cloud on anti-corruption crusade in the country.
According to a survey by Transparency International (TI) in 2001, Nigeria was ranked 2nd most corrupt nation in the world after Bangladesh. 91 countries were surveyed in that year by TI. In 2003, Nigeria, again, was the 2nd most corrupt country in the world. The 2004 ranking showed a slight progress as the country ranked the 3rd most corrupt country in the world performing better than Bangladesh and Haiti who were 1st and 2nd respectively.
According to TI, Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2014, Nigeria was up eight places to 136 out of 175 countries ranked by the index. Indeed, Nigeria shares 136th position with well-known corrupt countries like Cameroon, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, and Lebanon.
A former British Prime Minister once referred to Nigeria as “a fantastically corrupt nation”. Angered, by this declaration, many came out to condemn the former Prime Minister’s frank assessment of our country’s corruption status. As if to further validate the truth about the nation’s corruption situation, the Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics’ recently reported that a total sum of N400 billion is spent on bribes each year since 2015!
Without a doubt, corruption is one of the biggest of the numerous challenges in Nigeria. It resonates in almost every sector of the country. In our clime, corruption has the colouration of embezzlement and nepotism, as well as abuses linking public and private actors such as bribery, extortion, influence peddling, and fraud.
It is rather sad that despite the hues and cries in the media by social critics and other stakeholders, the rate of corruption in Nigerian political circle is gradually ever-increasing with a surge in the number of cases where apparatus of government has become an instrument for the enrichment of members of political elites.
But then, how did corruption rise to become an integral part of our national life? Our rising corruption profile could be linked to the steady disintegration of moral values in our society. Since the early 90s especially, moral value has nose-dived to an all-time high. Today, crooks and individuals with warped moral code are being celebrated across the country.
What is urgently required to redress the situation is a complete re-orientation that cuts across all spectrums of the society. A process that is all encompassing in the sense of a fusion between the physical and the spiritual.
As a prelude, we need to change our value system as a people. We need to re-appraise our undue obsession to materialism and wealth accumulation. It is such mania that is partly responsible for the rot in our socio-political system. How come men of questionable characters and unproven integrity call the shot in our clime?
6. Health minister to fleeing doctors: UK won’t pamper you with hazard allowance
Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire has warned Nigerian doctors planning to migrate to the United Kingdom that they will not be pampered like Nigeria does, with hazard allowance.
Ehanire made the comment during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on Thursday in Abuja.
He was reacting to reports of 58 doctors stopped last week by Immigration from leaving the country for the UK.
“I think we are one of the few countries giving hazard allowance. This UK where they are going, there is no hazard allowance, they don’t give doctors hazard allowance but you just get your salary, that is all because I have spoken to the doctors there.
“They say it is part of your job and that is what you are trained for. They don’t pay you anything but here apart from your salary we try to add something to it with the hope that you will stay. We also appeal to state governments to prioritise the employment of doctors some of whom have not been employed.”
7. Edo State women declare for PDP, promise to vote Obaseki
Leaders of the Igbo women community defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the state secretariat of the PDP in Benin City.
The state’s PDP Women Leader, Lindsay Sorea, received the women, who were led by Blessing Ahoruonye in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Ahoruonye said they were joining the PDP so they can offer maximum support to Governor Obaseki in appreciation of the excellent work he is doing.
She recalled the elimination of double taxation by thugs in the previous APC government, which has brought relief to them.
She commended the impressive development in the state as well as the economic expansion that has positively influenced the rate of consumption and his prudent management of resources informed their decision to join the PDP.
She expressed fear that if Governor Obaseki’s administration is disrupted, they believe the state would go back to the “hands of thugs, brutal tax collectors and servicing of godfathers at the detriment of development and ease of doing business.”
Ahoruonye cautioned against the return of the state to a party immersed in corruption while citing recent NDDC and EFCC allegations among others.
She affirmed that they have vowed to vote for PDP and Governor Obaseki to ensure that the train is not derailed.
“We the Igbo community in Edo state have realized our past mistakes and we are fully ready to correct it this time by voting PDP,” Ahoruonye said
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