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THE NATION

Ekiti Assembly summons Fayose, ex-Speaker, others over alleged financial impropriety

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The Ekiti State House of Assembly has summoned former Governor Ayodele Fayose to appear before it to throw light on alleged misappropriation of local government funds while in office.

Also summoned are former Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) Mr. Dapo Olagunju, former Commissioner for Local Government Affairs Mr. Kola Kolade and 16 former local government chairmen.

The Assembly, in its plenary yesterday, took the unanimous decision sequel to the adoption of the recommendations of the joint committee of the House on Public Petition and Local Governments on a petition submitted to the Assembly by eight suspended PDP council chairmen.

The Assembly had on December 18, 2018, suspended indefinitely the 16 council chairmen and 177 councillors to pave way for a forensic audit of the councils’ accounts over alleged fraud.

Eight were reinstated in July, following a petition they filed, appealing for their reinstatement. Others were suspended for further forensic investigation.

Presenting the report at yesterday’s plenary, the Chairman of the Public Petition Committee, Adegoke Olajide, said the remaining eight chairmen on suspension made a plea to the House for the review of their indictment and possible reinstatement.

Olajide said the suspended chairmen during an appearance before the committee confessed to have diverted funds of their councils on monthly the basis to an account, but said the action was in compliance with the directive of the immediate past governor.

He said the council chairmen, who provided documents to back up their allegations, claimed that the instruction to withdraw the councils’ fund was often passed to them through Olagunju and Kolade.

The assembly also summoned a former Speaker of the House, Kola Oluwawole, some suspended members of the Fifth Assembly as well as the former governor over the passage of a N10 billion revised appropriation law towards the end of the former governor’s tenure.

The motion for the summon was moved by the House Leader, Gboyega Aribisogan, on the recommendation of the report of the ad hoc committee.

But, Fayose’s media aide, Mr. Lere Olayinka, was also directed to appear before the lawmakers for alleged un-remittance of revenue of above N13 million while serving as a supervisor at the state-owned broadcasting service.

The summon was consequent upon a motion moved by the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Ayokunle Yemisi and seconded by Femi Akindele representing Irepodun/Ifelodun Constituency 1

The Speaker, Funminiyi Afuye, said the lawmakers would continue to do their best at sanitising the state and ensuring prudence in the management of its resources.

Afuye urged the anti-graft agencies to freeze his account immediately.

In a reaction, Fayose, through Olayinka, said: “Fayose will not dignify an Assembly of clowns, who are under the total control of a governor, who is desperately in search of ways to cover his electoral thievery and failure to secure the acceptance of Ekiti people.

“If they have any evidence of financial impropriety against him (Fayose), they can ask the man who used SMS to appoint them to invite EFCC operatives and accommodate them in the Government House as he has done on many occasions. As for us, we are moving on.”

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THE NATION

Communications minister, Pantami hails ICT’s contribution to GDP

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The Honourable Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, has hailed ICT’s contribution GDP in the second quarter. In the report released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the contribution of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) surpassed that of Oil and Gas in the second quarter of 2019.

The report, released on Tuesday 2nd September, 2019, observed that the country’s GDP grew by 1.94% (year-on-year) in real terms in the second quarter of 2019 compared to the second quarter of 2018, which recorded a growth of 1.50%. Furthermore, the non-oil sector contributed 91.18% to the nation’s GDP in the second quarter of 2019 as opposed to the 8.82% contributed to total real GP by the oil sector. Particularly, the ICT sector contributed 13.85% to total nominal GDP in the second quarter of 2019 which is much higher than the 11.22% contributed in the same period in 2018.

The Honourable Minister observed that the significant contribution of the ICT sector to the GDP is as a result of the concerted efforts of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, especially the manner in which the implementation of the administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) is being pursued. These efforts, he said, led to a sustained focus on growing the non-oil sector of the economy, especially ICT and the results witnessed are testimonies of impact of these efforts.

The Honourable Minister reiterated the Communications Ministry’s commitment to the economic diversification efforts of the present administration and called on all stakeholders to support Mr President’s laudable initiatives aimed at taking Nigeria to the next level.

 

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THE NATION

FMBN to provide affordable homes for Nigerian workers

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FMBN CEO, Ahmed Dangiwa

The managing director and chief executive officer of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa said the Bank is committed to providing affordable mortgages to drive home ownership among Nigerian workers.

Dangiwa was speaking when the Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Sir Joseph N. Ari and his team paid him a courtesy call in the bank’s headquarters in Abuja.

In a statement, Dangiwa said providing affordable mortgages to Nigerian workers is done through the National Housing Fund(NHF) Scheme into which Nigerian workers both in public and private sectors contribute 2.5% of their monthly income.

“Through the scheme, the bank has continued to provide affordable mortgage to Nigerian workers and construction finance for housing development. Our National Housing Fund (NHF) individual mortgage loan, granted at 6%, is the most affordable in the country” Dangiwa said.

In his response, the Director-General of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Sir Joseph N Ari, commended FMBN on the giant strides in reforming the bank under the present management.

Ari said the purpose of the visit was to provide a platform that the two organisations will work together for their mutual benefits.

He called on FMBN to arrange for a sensitisation workshop for the staff of ITF.

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NURTW members protest Oluomo’s emergence as caretaker committee chair

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Some members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos State on Wednesday marched on the premises of the Lagos State House of Assembly in Alausa, Ikeja.

They protested the emergence of Musiliu Akinsanya aka MC Oluomo as the chairman of the caretaker committee of the union.

The protesters carried placards with inscriptions such as: ‘We say yes to union constitution, we want the government to save our soul in Lagos’, ‘We say no to Lagos NURTW, we say no to imposition’, ‘We say no to self-imposition as NURTW Lagos State chairman’, ‘We say no to thuggery in Lagos NURTW’, and others.

NURTW National President Alhaji Tajudeen Ibikunle Baruwa appointed MC Oluomo as the caretaker chairman, Lagos State chapter of the union.

It was gathered that Baruwa issued a statement on Tuesday dissolving the executive committee of the state chapter hitherto headed by Comrade Tajudeen Agbede, who is now Baruwa’s deputy, and replaced it with an 18- member caretaker committee led by MC Oluomo.

MC Oluomo, the chairman of Oshodi branch, Lagos chapter of the union, is one of those contesting for the Lagos State NURTW chairmanship.

Speaking during the protest, one of the leaders, the Chairman of Ojuwoye NURTW branch, Ademola Olanrewaju, alleged that MC Oluomo’s emergence would cause chaos.

“A meeting was held yesterday and after the meeting, it was decided that MC Oluomo should emerge as the chairman of the caretaker committee.

“Directly or indirectly, they are trying to impose him on us because there was fracas in Abuja and both parties were supposed to be dealt with, but MC Oluomo’s group was exonerated.

“What we are agitating for is that we don’t want MC’s government in Lagos State.

“Lagos State has given us the little it can in terms of empowerment, by giving us what to eat.”

At press time, no government official had addressed the protesters.

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