The Federal Government says it plans to reduce the cost of providing houses to civil servants through the Federal Integrated Staff Housing Scheme.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
Oyo-Ita said that the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation was currently partnering relevant Ministries Departments and Agencies to reduce cost of infrastructure and land.
She added that this partnership would further reduce the cost of the houses and make it affordable for civil servants, instead of the initial price placed on it by the developers.
She said that the major challenge FISH was encountering was that the concept of the programme was not captured by relevant MDAs in their various budgets, but has been addressed in 2018 budget.
She said: “Now we have to go back to the drawing board, we are now working with our infrastructure housing MDAs.
“To see how we can bring down the prices to a level that civil servants can actually take advantage of.
“The private developers will no longer have to bear the cost of the land and infrastructure because these are two things that cause high cost of houses.
“We will now take advantage of the developers input by way of skills and technical knowhow, while the government agencies provide the land and infrastructure.’’
The head of service expressed her gratitude to the FCT Minister, Minister of Power, Works and Housing for providing a district for the FISH programme.
She also thanked the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, for providing infrastructure for FISH in the 2018 budget, and the Minister of Finance for their contributions towards the programme.
DSS denies tapping telephone lines of Nigerians
The Department of State Services (DSS) has denied tapping the telephone lines of Nigerians.
A political group had alleged that the DSS had tapped the telephone lines of Nigerians.
But Mr Peter Afunanya, the Public Relations Officer of the DSS, said in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja that the organisation was committed to its professional ideals and would not engage in unethical conduct.
He said the DSS had been criticised by unpatriotic citizens who fed the public with fake news and hate speeches against it.
The spokesman said that the social media had been awash with wrong information regarding the operations of the DSS that were misunderstood and misrepresented.
“It is obvious that some merchants of violence are determined to use their platforms to misinform the public for their selfish and political ends,” he said.
He warned mischief makers against misleading the public, adding that the law would catch up with them.
“The DSS is a responsible organisation and thus professionally adheres to the ideals of intelligence and security governance expected of it in a democracy,” he said
Afunanya urged the public to disregard the claims of the political group.
He said that the DSS should be left out of politics to maintain its usual transparency and neutrality in the discharge of its mandate.
The spokesman enjoined carriers of fake news and social media manipulators to always think of Nigeria.
Kebbi Gov. Bagudu signs 2019 N151bn budget
GOVERNOR Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state, on Wednesday, signed the state 2019 N151 billion budget into law.
Bagudu, while signing the budget at the Government House, Birnin Kebbi, said it would consolidate the gains achieved in 2018.
He said N104 billion of the budget representing 70 per cent is for capital expenditure while N47 billion representing 30 per cent is for recurrent expenditure.
“The budget will improve on infrastructure, power supply and exploration of mineral resources.
“It will further add value and improve the lives of the people,” he said.
The governor also commended the state House of Assembly for the speedy passage of the budget.
Earlier, the state’s Commissioner of Budget and Economic Planning, Alhaji Muhammad Yauri, commended the house for passing the budget on time.
The Speaker, Alhaji Abdulmuminu Kamba, said the house has fulfilled it promised of ensuring speedy passage of the budget with thorough scrutiny.
Kamba also assured that the house would sustain its cordial working relationship with other arms of government in the state
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN
Airspace to remain open throughout election period – NAMA
The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has insisted there was no disruption in the provision of air traffic services on Saturday, a day earlier scheduled for the Presidential and National Assembly elections before it was shifted till next Saturday.
The airspace manager said the flight service was in keeping with the agency’s mandate to provide uninterrupted safe, effective, efficient, and economic air navigation services in the country.
The agency also said it had earlier on Friday ensured a 24-hour operation at all Nigerian airports to facilitate the transportation of materials nationwide by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The claim counters Saturday’s claim by INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu that adverse weather condition stalled movement of electoral materials by air.
Some airline sources said apart from slight delays as a result of weather, there was no cancellation of such of flights.
NAMA in a statement by the General Manager, Public Affairs, Khalid Emele explained that it has sustained 24-hour operation in line with the directive of the Minister of State (Aviation), Sen. Hadi Sirika.
It said, “In the same vein, NAMA wishes to reassure all airspace users and the general public that the Nigerian airspace shall remain open for all airspace users before, during and after the rescheduled 2019 general elections.
“Thus, the agency has put in place appropriate contingency measures to ensure safe flight operations within the period, as well as possible extension of operational hours of any domestic airport when the need arises”.
NAMA urged airline operators, the travelling public and other service providers who are dependent on the agency’s services, to go ahead with their businesses as usual.
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