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Nigeria News

Fashola wants whistle-blowing policy in power sector

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has called on the Federal Government to extend its ‘whistleblowing’ policy to the power sector to curb energy theft.
Fashola made the appeal in Enugu at the 16th Power sector monthly meeting, sponsored by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company.

He said that available statistics revealed huge energy theft by Nigerians, adding that the problem had become a big challenge for not just the power distribution companies, but consumers as well.
According to him, if nothing is done, those who pay for energy consumption will continue to bear the overall cost.
The minister said that statistics revealed that only six million households consumed energy in the country, adding “if this is correct, it means that some people steal energy in the country, while only a few pay.
“The statistics cannot be correct and it is therefore necessary to extend whistleblowing to the power sector in order to expose those stealing our energy,” he said.

Fashola said that when all households who used energy were not captured, the ones captured were bound to pay more tariffs.
He called on Nigerians to be vigilant and report those who stole energy in their neighbourhood to law enforcement agencies.
He said that government was not pleased with most power distribution companies, whom he said, were far from attaining the mandate given to them since the privatisation of the sector.
The minister direct the distribution companies to call their staff to order, saying “they are giving their customers hard times through indiscriminate disconnections.

He said that efforts to improve power supply across the country were on course, adding that more megawatts of electricity would be added to the national grid before the end of the year.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting ended with a communiqué urging members of the public to discharge their responsibilities of paying for energy costs.
The communiqué also appealed to state government to appoint energy advisers to ensure understanding of the power sector, before formulating policies.

It also reiterated that the Power Sector Recovery Programme was developed to address the importance of unity and common purpose in making significant impact in the sector.
It stated that progress on incremental power was being made, and that the damaged transformers at Afam IV Power Station had been repaired and gas supply would start soon to provide additional 100mw of power.
NAN reports that officials of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Council, representatives of power generating and distribution companies and the Transmission Company of Nigeria, as well as other stakeholders, were in attendance.

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Protest as Deputy Speaker’s aide dies “over delayed salary”

Legislative Aides to lawmakers on Tuesday stages a wide protest in the National Assembly over delays in payment of their salaries and allowances.

The protesters who carried placards and obituary pictures said they were protesting the death of a legislative aide to the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Yusuff Lasun.
The protesters said that the aide, Hassan Abiodun died because he was unable to pay the sum of N165,000 as cost for surgery for appendicitis.

Speaking to newsmen during the protest, one of the aides, Mr Dayo Faduba said that if the salary had not been delayed, the diseased would have afforded to pay the hospital dues.
He added that the late aide died when the appendix ruptured one day after the due date of his surgery and he eventually gave up on Friday June 9.
Reading a press statement signed by Lawson Oviasogie, Faduba said that the delay in salaries had become common since the commencement of the 8th National Assembly.

“We are here today with heavy hearts to mourn the untimely and unfortunate death of one of our colleagues, Hassan Abiodun (ltalo).
“Even as we mourn, we see clearly that his death MAY have been averted. He died while waiting for salary to operate his appendicitis.
“Hassan is a victim of a flawed and unjust system and the unjust conditions of Aides in the National Assembly,” he said.
The aides berated the management of the National Assembly for moving the payment account of the aides from a known national commercial bank to a “microfinance” bank “masquerading as a commercial bank”.
NAN reports that SunTrust Bank is registered as a Mortgage Bank.

He said that since the management of the National Assembly started operating with Sun Trust Bank, payment of had always been delayed.
He therefore also blamed the bank for the death of their colleage adding that if they had paid on time, Hassan may not have died.
“This delay in payment, which has been the hallmark of Alhaji Sani Omolori led administration, is occasioned partly by the CNA unilateral decision to domicile Aides salary account with a mushroom and unknown financial institution known as Sun Trust Bank.
“From all indications, it is manifest that Sun Trust Bank does not have the capacity and infrastructure to handle the volume of transaction the CNA has foisted on them.

“Indeed, we are convinced that the decision to domicile our salaries with Sun Trust Bank is motivated by ulterior motive aimed at bolstering the financial standing of the Micro Finance bank masquerading as a commercial institution.
“The delayed payment of Aides salary is not an isolated incidence. Rather, it is a crescendo of series of actions from the management that highlights the utter contempt, disregard and disdain with which the National Assembly Management holds Aides.
“Some instances will suffice. lt is on record that unlike in other Assemblies, the current management has refused to pay the quarterly Duty

“Tour Allowance (DTA) and Trainings of Aides for 24 months amounting to 8th quarters and no reason has been adduced for this unconscionable dereliction. Perhaps, to perpetuate the regime of subjugation, the management has shown more than a passing interest in who leads the National Assembly Legislative Aides Forum (NASSLAF).

The protesters made their demands very clear to the Management of the Assembly. Their demands include:
* Timely and regular payment of our monthly salary;
*Ancillary to (1) above is the need to move Aides Salary account away from Sun Trust bank to a ’proper’ bank;
* Payment of our outstanding quarterly Duty Tour Allowances (DTA) and Trainings;
* Allowing Aides the freedom and environment to choose a leader to pilot the affairs of NASSLAF.
Meanwhile, the protesters met with the President of the Senagte Dr. Bukola Saraki as he arrived for plenary on Tuesday.
Saraki who gave them a brief audience promised to wade into the matter while also directing his Deputy Chief of Staff, Gbenga Makanjuola to meet with the aides and get details of their grouse.

Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the President of the Senate on New Media, Mr Bamikole Omishore told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that Saraki had already summoned the management of the National Assembly over the matter.
Omisore added that the President of the Senaate was unhappy with the development and is poised to get to the root of the matter.
NAN has been unable to reach the office of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives for comments.

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Speaker says Whistleblower Bill vital to war against corruption

Dogara said this in Abuja on Tuesday at a workshop organised for the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes.The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Yakubu Dogara, said the Bill for an Act to protect Whistleblowers was a vital tool for the war against corruption in Nigeria.
Dogara said this in Abuja on Tuesday at a workshop organised for the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes and members of the civil society on the Whistle Blowers Bill.

The bill, he added, would greatly enhance disclosure of information on corrupt persons when passed by the National Assembly.
He said the bill would help to uncover private collaborators who connived with corrupt public servants while providing adequate safeguards against victimisation of the person making such complaints.
The speaker said that the bill, when passed, would make more information available for investigation of alleged corruption and misuse of power by public servants.

He stressed the need for Nigeria to have a law that protects whistleblowers.
“What we have is the Federal Ministry of Finance’s whistle-blowing programme, which is designed to encourage anyone with information about a violation of financial regulations to report.

“This has not yet been backed by any legal framework, and therefore, not legally enforceable,” he added.
He also said that the burden of corruption in Nigeria was a peculiar one that inhibited its economic and social development.
Dogara added that to fight corruption and ensure a just society, the relationship between increased information in public domain, accountability and protection of persons, who exposed wrongdoings, could not be overemphasised.
According to him, disclosure of information for increased transparency is a necessary condition for accountability.
He said that the enactment of Whistle Blowers Protection law was therefore, an essential element of the war against corruption.
The speaker said that the proposed law would serve as a vehicle for the investigation of alleged corruption and misuse of power by public servants or their private collaborators.

He pointed out that the consequences of corruption were greater than the diversion of public resources to private gain as it destroyed societies and contributed to trust deficit.

He said that it also contributed to lack of confidence in governance, threatened sustainable economic development, ethical values and justice and destabilised the society and endangered the rule of law.
Dogara expressed concern that the poor and vulnerable in the society suffered the harmful effect of corruption more grievously because they did not get to enjoy democratic dividends.
He gave further assurance that the House would continue to work toward enacting a robust legal framework on the Whistleblower’s policy.
This, he added, would enhance quick and seamless recovery, forfeiture, and confiscation of property in respect of anti-corruption offences.
He expressed optimism that the Whistleblowers Bill would be passed by the National Assembly to break the jinx that had bedevilled the proposed legislation.

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President Buhari can’t fulfill all promises – Oyegun

Oyegun said that Nigerians reserved the power to vote it out in 2019 if it failed to meet their expectations.
National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, on Tuesday reaffirmed that the party-led Federal Government would not disappoint Nigerians.

He said that the party was conscious that Nigerians reserved the power to vote it out in 2019 if it failed to meet their expectations.
The chairman stated this when Mr Okoi Obono-Obla, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Prosecutions, presented his book to him at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja.

The book titled “All Progressives Congress: The Making of a Change Agent’’ was reviewed by the Minister of Mines and Solid Minerals, Dr Kayode Fayemi, and presented to the public in April.
Odigie-Oyegun commended the president’s aide for writing the book, and said that it was a great achievement that would help to enrich the country`s political history.
“You were there and you saw it happen, but this is not to say you are the custodian of all the facts, because there were other players,’’ he told the aide.

He encouraged all those who participated in the merger process that gave birth to the APC to document their findings from their perspectives for posterity and for the future generation.
“I want to take this opportunity to call on all those who participated in the merger process to please take the pain and document their experiences for posterity,’’ he said.

Odigie-Oyegun described the merger as “very significant event’’ that entrenched true democracy in the country.
He defined democracy as “the power to hire and fire’’ and said that such attribute was the beauty of democracy.
According to him, the merger made it possible for Nigerians to have the ability for the first time to “fire’’ an incumbent government.
This, the chairman said, had become internalised in the country`s political history.

He added that the APC would ensure that it lived up to the expectation of Nigerians and avoid the mistakes of its predecessor.
“We know now that we can be fired by Nigerians and that is the beauty of democracy, ‘’ he said.
Earlier, Obono-Obla had said that the book was a documentation of the merger history of political parties in the country, stressing that it was his personal experience “as an insider’’.

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2018 budget in process- FG

The early preparation is to meet up with a resolution that the Executive will submit 2018 budget proposals by October to the National Assembly.The Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning on Tuesday in Abuja began the process of preparation for the 2018 budget proposals.
The early preparation is to meet up with a resolution that the Executive will submit 2018 budget proposals by October to the National Assembly.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) gathered that an event, tagged: “Flag of the 2018 Budget Preparation Process’’ held behind a closed-doors at the Old Banquet Hall of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The event came up less than 24 hours after Acting President Yemi Osinbajo signed the 2017 Appropriation Bill into law.
NAN gathered that the objective of the event was to update the ministers and other relevant stakeholders on the processes and procedures expected of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the budget preparation.
The objective was also to ensure that that the budget proposals for 2018 align with achieving the key areas highlighted in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

The ERGP’s projected that Nigeria will make significant progress to achieve structural economic change with a more diversified and inclusive economy in five key areas by 2020.
The key areas are stable macro-economic environment, agricultural transformation, food security, sufficiency in energy and improved transportation infrastructure.
NAN also learnt that the meeting discussed step by step guidelines for delivering of each strategy in the ERGP.

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Husband and wife found dead in a farm in Ebonyi

The people of Mgbaleze Isu, Onicha local government area of Ebonyi state have been thrown into mourning as one Mr. Ani, 36, was found dangling on a tree in his farm while his wife was found dead also in the farm. An eyewitness, Chief Sylvanus Ani revealed that the couple was seen last on their way to the farm.

“Both of them went to the farm and did not return home, disturbed by this we informed other villagers and we went in search of them and finally found the wife, Ngozi Chijioke lying dead in pool of her own blood with marks of violence all over her body while Chijioke Ani was found hanging on a tree’’, he said. Also, Hycinth Ogbonnaya and Okechukwu Jude said they and entire villagers are still shocked on how a husband and wife should die mysteriously in the farm.

Contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP George Okafor who confirmed the incident said the man may have killed the wife and hanged himself. “Yes, it is true that the couple died at the farm but I am thinking that may be one thing led to another and the man killed his wife and hanged himself because the area is peaceful, no any dispute in the community. He assured that the police will get to the root of the incident as investigation into the matter has commenced.

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Spanish Authorities Accuse Cristiano Ronaldo of Tax Fraud

World’s highest paid athlete, Cristiano Ronaldo has been accused of tax fraud by the Spanish Authorities, BBC reports.

The prosecutor’s office in Madrid has said a lawsuit has been filed against the Real Madrid player.

Ronaldo, who is accused of evading tax of 14.7m euros from 2011 to 2014, had earlier denied allegations in December that he had avoided tax on income allegedly held in offshore accounts.

A journalist from Radio Television Portuguesa (RTP) had asked about the allegations and he said, “Quien no debe no teme,” which roughly translates as “He who has nothing to hide has no fear.”

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2019: Why Igbos should forget presidency – Ex-Ohanaeze leader, Ikedife

Former President General of apex Igbo social cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and the Convener of South East Elders’ Forum, Dr. Dozie Ikedife, has proffered the best way for Nigeria to separate.
The elder statesman advised the Arewa youths to avoid bloodshed in their quest to rid the north of other Nigerians, especially Igbo nationalities.

Ikedife, addressed newsmen in Nnewi, Anambra State, where he observed that the long expected split of the country may have finally come.
He noted that it seems that even restructuring which was being proposed to resolve the national question had already been overtaken by events given possible outcome of the quit notice to the Igbo in the north.
He said, “It is a truism that from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. As these people say they are youths, I take it that they are speaking with youthful exuberance with a touch of unguarded reckless talk.
“I can’t support the incitement or promotion of ethnic hatred. It is an ill wind that blows no good to anybody.

“If Nigeria will disintegrate into five or four countries like some other countries of the world, let us do it in a modern way.
“Let us do it without bloodshed. Great Britain voted to leave the European Union; there is no question of chasing non nationals, or talking of confiscating their property. Such approach is reckless and dangerous.
“Now, there is simmering all over the place and I think it is the duty of the Northern elders, if they do not support the youths, to come out openly, clear and condemn it, it may leave the impression that the elders are using them to fly the kites.

“The elders must ensure that they control the youths to ensure that they do not break into rampageous mob -like actions against anybody, be it Igbo, Yoruba, Efik, Ibibio, Anang, Tiv, or any other ethnic nationality.
“So, it is a sign of the time and if we are going to go apart, let us go apart as bloodlessly as possible. The Igbo are not talking about war. Let us do it in a civilized way.
“You see, I can almost bet that these people who are calling for war or making inflammatory statements never witnessed the Nigeria-Biafra civil war. They were not even casual observers. Most of them were not born then.”

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2 weeks before 2015 elections, PDP looted N150bn- Osinbajo

Acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, is set to hold series of meetings with leaders from the northern and eastern part of Nigeria. Yemi Osinbajo instructs security chiefs on the need to protect lives and property of all Nigerians always, everywhere .Junaid Muhammad says the federal government is not being frank with Nigerians on the quit notice issued to the Igbos living in the north by northern youth group Acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, is set to meet with leaders from the northern and eastern part of Nigeria to resolve the crisis which has surfaced following the quit notice issued to Igbos living in the norther part of the country. learnt that the media aide to the acting president, Laolu Akande‏, who disclosed this via Twitter said Osinbajo will first meet each group separately on different days before meeting with them at a joint gathering. Laolu Akande‏ said the acting president had earlier met with security chiefs over weekend, where he gave them firm instructions on need to protect lives and property of all Nigerians always, everywhere. recalls that a coalition of northern youths during a press conference in Kaduna ordered all Igbos living in the North to vacate the region. The group gave the Igbos a three-month ultimatum to leave the North. The group also advised all northerners residing in the south-E\east or south-south region to return to the north. The order by the youths which has come to be known as the Kaduna Declaration has been condemned by some prominent persons in the country.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state among other persons called for the arrest of all signatories to the declaration, but despite the call, the northern youths have refused to retract their statement. Meanwhile, a lawmaker during the Second Republic Junaid Muhammad has said that the Federal Government is not being frank with Nigerians on the quit notice issued to the Igbos living in the North by Northern youth group. The former lawmaker who spoke in Kano at a public lecture Mumbayya House, with a theme, “Electoral Democracy and Integrity in Nigeria, Reflections on INEC Transformation 2011-2015″ also urged the Nigerian government to tackle groups making such inflammatory statements through its security agencies. Muhammad warned that the failure of the government to tackle such national issues appeared to be fueling these drumbeats of war. In the video below, Yemi Osinbajo at the #Biafra50 event in Abuja said Nigeria is greater together than apart.

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Melaye calls for declaration Melaye calls for declaration

Senator Dino Melaye says there is a satanic and wicked manifestation by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state and his cronies against him. Melaye alleges that Governor Yahaya Bello sent assailants to attack him in Lokoja recently .The senator says there is a breakdown of public order in Kogi state Senator Dino Melaye has called on the Nigerian Senate to declare a state of emergency in Kogi state following the violence that has occurred in parts of the state.

The senator who represents Kogi west alleged that there was a satanic and wicked manifestation by Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state and his cronies against him. Melaye said he visited Kogi state to brief and debrief his constituents about the propaganda of recall by the state government against him only to be attacked by assailants allegedly sent by the Kogi state governor. The lawmaker stated that on Monday, June 12, shortly after addressing a crowd in Lokoja the state capital, some gun men attacked him.

The senator said while he sought refuge in his bullet proof car during the attack, the SSS and police men who accompanied him responded and shot some of the hood looms who launched the attack. Melaye alleged that he saw several aides of the governor in the midst of those who tried to assassinate him. The senator said the breakdown of public order in Kogi needed extraordinary effort as a state of emergency, noting that security in Kogi had deteriorated since Bello became governor.

In reaction, the deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu on the behalf of the Senate condemned the violence in Kogi state. He called on the federal and state government to take extra measures to ensure the security of lives and property in Kogi state. earlier reported that Senator Dino Melaye was allegedly attacked by unknown gunmen in Lokoja, the state capital on Monday. According to Tribune Online, the senator was attacked on Monday, June 12, in front of the Kogi state polytechnic. It was reported that Melaye had stopped in front of the institution to address his supporters due to the current political crises surrounding his senatorship. According to report, the gunmen emerged from the NATACO end of the road and started firing which resulted in the death of about 3 persons. The attack lasted for 30 minutes resulting in serious traffic along Lokoja-Abuja highway. Watch as people in Kogi state queue to sign the referendum on Senator Dino Melaye’s recall from the Nigerian Senate.

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