Calls for inclusion of more persons in Amnesty Programme
Ondo State Governor, Chief Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), at the weekend, appraised the performance of the Presidential Amnesty Programme under the leadership of Prof. Charles Dokubo and expressed conviction of a deep rooted commitment to the development of the Niger Delta.
Akeredolu spoke in Abuja when he paid a courtesy visit to Dokubo in his office. He said the Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme has within a short period on the saddle, demonstrated a clear commitment to the objectives of the Programme.
“Well, it is not the first time I have met him. Prof. Dokubo is someone from Niger Delta and he is committed to this programme (Amnesty); that, he has shown today. He has a personal commitment to everything that has to do with Niger Delta because he is one of them. So, I see that in him, and he has shown it”.
The governor, however, urged the Federal Government to continuously assess and review participation in the Amnesty Programme to provide a window of opportunity for more youths in the Niger Delta to be included in the interventionist programme. He said expansion of the scope of the Amnesty Programme to accommodate more persons will take away a lot of unrest in the Niger Delta region.
Akeredolu had visited Dokubo to solicit for the inclusion into the Presidential Amnesty Programme, some youths in Ondo State who had been disarmed and granted amnesty by the state government. “We are here to discuss matters that have to do with amnesty as they affect our people in Ondo State. The meeting went well and we are going to work on our decisions.
I think a few things have been done by him (Dokubo), and from my discussion with him, there must be continuous assessment of this programme, at least, to be sure that people do not take advantage of it. If you have had opportunity to be trained or you have gone to school, then use the benefit for yourself; don’t deny others the opportunity to come into the scheme.
If you have been to the university or you have been trained and you still want to be collecting money; don’t deny others the opportunity to come into the scheme; it cannot be unending that you think that the government has all the funds in this world to spend. People who have been trained should not be expected to be paid money. No, it is not right.
I think that there must come a time where people who have completed the programme should exit so that others can come in and others who have not yet come in, there must be a way the programme can accommodate them; which is what we anchored our discussion on. The Federal Government should look into it in its entirety, so that where there are people coming in, there should be budgetary provisions for them so that they can run this programme properly.
So, if there is no money and there is no budget, there is no way that Dokubo will use his blood to run Amnesty; it is not possible. So I call on the Federal Government to look at this again so that when proposal papers are written from Amnesty, from the coordinator, then the Federal Government can look into it urgently so that they can have more people who will participate in it; it will take away a lot of unrest in the Niger Delta and this is what we are working on”.
In his remarks, Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, who expressed gratitude to the Ondo State governor for the visit, explained that inclusion of more persons into the programme is an exclusive preserve of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria. He said unless there was a presidential proclamation to accommodate more persons into the Amnesty Programme alongside a budgetary expansion, he lacked the powers to take such decision.
Dokubo, however, expressed the willingness of the Amnesty Programme to train Niger Delta youths who are not beneficiaries of the programme at the world-class training facilities which he completed and activated if state governments in the region were ready to pay monthly stipends of their delegates.
“But if we have to involve non-beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme in our training without payment of stipends, I will not be happy or willing to do so because that will be discriminatory. I can assist you with the training, but that means they will have to receive stipends from Ondo State government”, he noted.
Bauchi govt to launch agricultural policy document
Bauchi State Government is set to launch an Agricultural Policy Document to ensure smooth agricultural production in the state.
The State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed disclosed this on Saturday at the official launching of the 2019 farming season and sales of Fertilizer held at Zaki Local Government Area of the state.
Governor Mohammed who announced the sales of the fertilizer at a cost of Five thousand, five hundred naira per bag, noted that funds has been released to Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to provide six thousand metric tons of the fertilizer.
He said in order to meet the fertilizer demand of farmers, the Ministry of Agriculture and BASAC was been directed to ensure the availability of the commodities across the 20 local government areas.
The Governor said the sales of the fertilizer was part of the determination of his administration towards the provision of agricultural inputs to farmers in line with his campaign promises.
According to him, agricultural sector has remained a vibrant sector which has the potentials of providing raw materials to industries and empowerment opportunities to unemployed youth.
Governor Mohammed applauded the peaceful coexistence among farmers and herdsmen in the state and assured of his support to them.
In a key note address, the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dr Bala Lukshi said significant improvement in agricultural productivity and efficiency would no doubt address unemployment and assist towards poverty reduction in the state.
The Permanent Secretary while disclosing some of the agricultural intervention programmes introduced by the Ministry, observed that agriculture remained the mainstay of economy and major employer of labor.
Dr Bala Lukshi therefore appealed for the immediate government action on the outbreaks of qualia birds, army worms and stem borer in the crop sector in order to address the challenges affecting the sector.
James Hope College student wins Cambridge scholarship
James Hope College (JHC) has reaffirmed its impressive stance on academic excellence with its recent award for the Cambridge Immerse Scholarship. Just a few months after the College published its outstanding IGCSE result, recording 100% score in 14 subjects (A* – C), one of JHC’s students, Akajiugo Amucheazi won the highly sought-after 2019 Cambridge Immerse Scholarship, following his qualification through the rigorous nomination round.
Akajiugo will be joining other award winners worldwide in Cambridge, from August 11 to August 24, 2019 for their intensive course. This Scholars Programme is an excellent accolade for any high-performing student interested in pursuing further studies at a leading university.
Immerse Education, the award provider of the Cambridge Immerse Scholarship, is an award-winning academic programme in the United Kingdom. Its unique academic enrichment programmes provide an unparalleled glimpse into university-level education. All programmes are designed by expert, experienced tutors, which include some of the brightest minds from some of the world’s leading universities. Visit here for more details.
James Hope College is one of the educational initiatives of the Jim Ovia Foundation, which offers its students world-class education at a subsidized rate. James Hope College is supported by an endowment fund and currently has 40% of its students on full scholarship. It is located in the serene environment of Agbor, Delta Stat
N3.4bn: Emir Sanusi lied, says Kano agency
The Kano State Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission has described the claim by the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, that he was not the accounting officer of the Kano Emirate Council as a misrepresentation of facts.
The agency debunked this in a preliminary report on the investigation being carried out in respect of the alleged misappropriation of over N3.4 billion by the Kano Emirate Council between 2014 and 2017.
The report was signed by the commission’s Chairman, Mr Muhuyi Magaji, a copy of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kano on Thursday.
The report dated June 11, 2019, was addressed to the Secretary to the State Government.
It read: “In furtherance to the Commission’s earlier communication No. PCAC/GEN/6/V.I, dated 31st May, 2019, on the above subject matter and the unfolding events, the Commission deemed it necessary to make some clarifications as follows:-
“It is imperative to state categorically that, the Commission’s investigation is on alleged misappropriation and questionable expenditures but not on the funds left behind by the Late Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero, and we still maintain our stance.
“In the cause of investigation we undertook an analysis of the main Account belonging to Kano Emirate Council domiciled at First Bank with Account No. 2005888452 starting from the era of the Late Emir to enable the Commission have an idea of how the money is being managed.”
According to the report, there were 783 withdrawals or transfers and placements from Jan. 2, 2013, to June 6, 2014, during the time of the late Emir.
“As from 2nd January 2013 to 13th April, 2017, the opening balance was N432,338,412.98. Total credit made in the account during this period was N6,784,146,335.73 while the total debit during the period under review is N7,209,035,163.09.”
However, it added that, “the closing balance as at April, 2017, was N7,449,585.62″.
It further revealed that on Feb. 13, 2014, and Feb. 26, 2014, payments were made to Philko Ltd, the company said to have undertaken the construction of Ado Bayero Royal City via Inter Bank transfers of the sum of N776,159,519.50.
“There were transfers of N388,079,759.75, N338,079,759.75 and N50,000,000.00 made on Feb. 13, 2014, and Feb. 26, 2014, respectively; making the total quoted figures for Philko Ltd.”
The report also alleged that during the period, fixed deposit placements were made to the tune of N581,884,729.54 (placement and rollovers) while net withdrawals on some engagements both cash and withdrawal stood at N1,056,533,728.31.
“In summary, the total withdrawal made from the Account under the Late Emir was N2,414,577,977.35, subtracting this amount from total debit on the account which is N7,209,035,163.09.
“It is evidently clear that the current Emir is responsible for the expenditures to the total sum of N4,794,457,185.74 from the Emirate Council Account domiciled in First Bank Plc,” it said.
Similarly, it alleged that all the expenditures made by the Emirate Council were either based on the approval or instructions of Emir Sanusi.
The commission attached copy of a payment voucher in respect of one of the withdrawals to buttress its claim, which read “Being payment to the above named in respect of making special prayers for peace as directed by H.H. Emir of Kano respectively“.
“Therefore, any claim that the Emir is not the accounting officer of the Kano Emirate Council is a deception and a misrepresentation of facts.
“Specifically, the reason of our recommendation for the suspension apart from obstruction of investigation which formed the basis, investigation further reveals that Rufa’i Buhari (Senior Accountant) usually made cash withdrawals directly from the account and changed it to Dollars on behalf of the Emir.
“Sometimes direct transfers from the account are made to a Bureau De Change belonging to one Jazuli Sani who was said to have died.
“The Commission still maintains the allegation on unappropriated, seemingly personal expenditures, making the total sum of questionable expenditures uncovered by this investigation to the tune of N3,432,090,797.94 only,” the report emphasised.
INVESTIGATION3 days ago
Homeowners accuse CMB Building Company, its CEO Mbagwu of fraud, petition EFCC
BUSINESS21 hours ago
Titan Trust Bank set for grand entry into Nigeria
INVESTIGATION3 days ago
Presidential panel probes Delta Senator, Peter Nwaoboshi over corruption allegations
BUSINESS2 days ago
Fidelity Bank partners NIPOST, launches agency banking
THE NEWS2 days ago
N3.4bn: Emir Sanusi lied, says Kano agency
THE NEWS3 days ago
Why Nigeria is yet to achieve economic diversification – Abraham Nwankwo
SPORTS2 days ago
SOPAN hails Falcons for South Korea Victory
INVESTIGATION5 hours ago
Publication threats: Billionaire bank debtors lobby CBN Gov to save faces