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THE NATION

FMBN disburses N1.2bn home renovation loan to FRSC personnel

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Corps Marshall, Federal Road Safety Crops (FRSC), Boboye Oyeyemi (5th, L); Managing Director, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN), Mr Ahmed Dangiwa (5th, R); Executive Office, Finance and Loan Services, FMBN, Mr Melville Ebo (4th, L); some beneficiaries of the NHF Home Renovation Loan Certificate and management staff of FMBN and FRSC during the visit of the FMBN management team to the Corps Marshall at FRSC headquarters in Abuja (28/11/18). 06093/28/11/2018/Hogan Bassey/BJO/NAN

By NAN

The Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) on Wednesday disbursed the sum of N1.2 billion as Home Renovation Loan  to 1, 207 personnel of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), across the country.

Managing Director of the bank, Mr Ahmed Dangiwa who made the presentation of the cheque in Abuja said of the figure, N640 million was for 640 beneficiaries in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

According to Dangiwa, this is in addition to the sum of N1.8 billion approved for 195 staff of the corps as mortgage loans for the purchase of their own houses.

“This is a clear demonstration of the Corps Marshal’s unique concern for the welfare of the FRSC members through collaboration with FMBN to address their housing needs.

“It is pertinent to note that a total sum of N15.7 billion has so far been disbursed by the bank to 19,169 beneficiaries across the country under the Home Renovation Loan window.”

He said that the FMBN was a leading player in the housing and construction sector of the Nigerian economy.

“It has a mandate to provide affordable mortgages to Nigerian workers particularly low and medium income earners through the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme.

He said the fund was sourced from 2.5 per cent of the basic income of Nigerian workers earning the minimum wage and who were 18 years and above.

He said the overall objective was to provide cheap source of loan-able funds to nurture and sustain the mortgage industry and facilitate affordable home-ownership for the low and medium income earners.

“Section 14(2) of the National Housing Fund Act Cap N.45 of 1992 stipulates that a contributor to the Fund can access a loan from the Fund for the purpose of building, purchasing or renovating of existing homes or houses.

“In other to achieve this, FMBN has developed concessionary loan windows to enable Nigerians access to mortgages for home ownership,” he said.

He however said that the bank’s objectives had been hampered by challenges including lack of access to land, inadequate funding for the housing sector and inaccessibility of mortgage loans due to lack of proper title to landed properties.

“In consideration of these challenges, it became necessary for FMBN to develop some quick-wins that will allow a greater number of Nigerians, access to the National Housing Fund, consequently, the FMBN Renovation Loan was introduced by the bank.”

He explained that the loan window afforded Nigerians who were contributors to the Fund an opportunity to access mortgage loans to renovate or improve existing properties which were personally owned by them or through family ownership.

“We have also given succour to Nigerians with the cancellation of equity requirement for NHF loans under N5 million and a reduction in equity percentage payment to 10 per cent for loans from N5 million to N15 million from the initial 20 per cent to 30 per cent.”

In his remark, FRSC Corps Marshal, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi said “When we came on board in 2014, one of the first things I told the staff was that I would ensure ‘one man, one house’and we have a workforce of over 20,000 staff.

“I am happy we have made tremendous progress in respect of this.

“We want people to be happy after retirement. I want people to have a life after retirement, people to be comfortable after retirement,” Oyeyemi said.

-NAN

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THE NATION

Poly lecturers suspend strike, resume Wednesday

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The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has officially suspended a strike it commenced two months ago.

The union directed polytechnic lecturers to resume duty from tomorrow, February 13.

The suspension of the strike was confirmed by the national president of the union, Usman Dutse, in a phone interview with PREMIUM TIMES Tuesday evening.

The union embarked on a strike on December 12 over the failure of the federal government to implement agreements reached with the union in 2017.

ASUP went on strike in November 2017. But when it reached an agreement with the federal government to implement the recommendations of the 2014 NEEDS assessment, the strike was suspended 15 days after.

The agreement particularly highlighted the need for increased funding of polytechnics. – Premium Times.

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THE NATION

Election scare: Okowa makes u-turn, reviews Uduaghan’s 2015 civil service recruitment

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Delta state Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has set up committee to review the 2015 civil service recruitment by his predecessor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan in what appears a political strategy to appease those who are seriously angry with his government’s decision to halt the exercise.

This newspaper learnt that the governor has set up a fact finding committee to probe into the exercise in which Uduaghan employed over 3,000 people into the civil service at the last lap of his tenure which was halted by Governor Okowa on assumption of office over alleged irregularities

The decision to revisit the scrapped recruitment exercise which has been a minus to the Okowa’s administration is coming barely 21-days to the Governorship and State House of Assembly election.

A statement signed by the Head of Service, Reginald Bayoko said the state government has set a 9-man Committee to re-examine the 2015 recruitment exercise.

The statement reads: “It is hereby announced for the information of the general public particularly Deltans that in fulfillment of his earlier promise to revisit the 2015 recruitment exercise which was suspended due to alleged irregularities, His Excellency, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, has approved the commencement of a screening exercise to review the suspended recruitment with a view to lifting the suspension.

“The screening exercise which is to be handled by a 9-man Committee is expected to be concluded within three weeks.

“The action of the government was in deference to public concerns regarding the fate of candidates who might have genuine cases, the continuous exit of staff in the civil service due to retirement and the apparent incremental improvement in the state economy.

“Considering the fact that, the allegation of widespread irregularities in the 2015 recruitment exercise have not been fully debunked, there is therefore the need to screen the affected candidates who participated in the exercise to establish those with genuine cases and ascertain the areas of personnel shortfall, so that those found worthy could be re-absorbed and personnel gap in the civil service bridged.

The Committee has the following terms of reference:

i. to determine the number/nomenclature of advertised posts that were filled;

ii. to screen the candidates, specifying those considered eligible and those not eligible for each of the advertised posts;

iii. to ascertain the number and geographical spread of applicants/candidates involved in the exercise according to their respective local government areas and the genuineness of their certificates/credentials and their local government of origin;

iv. to make appropriate recommendations to government on the number of candidates and categories to be absorbed from those found eligible v. to recommend measures to avoid future occurrence of irregularities in the recruitment process”.

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THE NATION

Presidency backs El-Rufa’i, says ‘he spoke in defence of national interest’

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KADUNA State Governor Mallam Nasir El-Rufai has stirred the hornet’s nest, with his warning that foreigners  should not interfere in the conduct of the general elections.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday threatened to pull out of the peace accord it signed with other parties before the National Peace Committee (NPC) chaired by former Head of State Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar.

The opposition party hinged its decision on the “death threats” issued by the governor, according to it, to officials of the United States (U.S.), United Kingdom (U.K.) and the European Union (E.U.).

But the Presidency dismissed it all as a storm in a tea cup. “There is nothing more to sneeze at”, it said.

Besides, the governor denied calling for violence.

Also yesterday, the EU Election Observer Mission (EOM) said its men were in Nigeria on the invitation of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and that they will remain in the country to monitor the elections billed for February 16 (presidential/National) and March 2 (governorship/state Assembly).

Speaking on an NTA live programme El-Rufai was reported to have threatened the foreign nationals who might interfere with Nigeria’s upcoming elections with violent attacks.

“Those that are calling for anyone to come and intervene in Nigeria, we are waiting for the person that would come and intervene, they would go back in body bags,” he was quoted as saying.

The governor, however, explained himself yesterday, insisting that his comments were not in any way calls for violence, but a defence of Nigeria’s sovereignty.

El-Rufai said he merely stood up for Nigeria’s dignity as against those who would traduce their country and reduce it to a colony in their vain quest for power.

In a statement last night, the Presidency said: “The Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari would cooperate with election observers and would not let the international community down in the conduct of the coming elections.

“The Presidency assures Nigerians and the international community that the President would do everything within his power to ensure free, fair and credible elections in the country.

“We have taken note of the clarification to a reported earlier statement by the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufa’i concerning opposition call for foreign interference in our domestic affairs and to say that latest statement by him should rest the issue for good. There is nothing more to sneeze at. The Governor spoke strongly in defense of of national interest. It is clear that El-Rufa’i, our party the APC and all its candidates have reposed their faith in democracy through general elections. They are all of the view that there is no place for violence against local people or foreign citizens in our midst.

“Opposition PDP ought to own up to the mistakes of their own policies for 16 years which have led the country to a sorry pass that has cost lives, jobs and growth instead of dwelling on diversionary issues.”

The PDP’s threat was issued at a news conference in Abuja. Its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan described El-Rufai’s comments as inimical to peaceful, free and fair elections.

He said: “The PDP is left with no option than to consider a review of its signatory in the National Peace Accord, if no action is immediately taken to curb this trend.”

But a pro-Buhari group, the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), said neither the PDP nor its presidential candidate, was genuinely committed to any peace deal.

According to the BMO, PDP’s presidential candidate signed the peace accord reluctantly.

The main opposition party called on the international community to immediately impose a travel ban on El-Rufai for what it described as the inciting comments against peaceful elections.

Ologbodiyan also called on the Gen. Abdulsalami to summon El-Rufai on the threat.

He said: “The PDP holds that any situation that seeks to allow the APC to abuse the tenets of the accord will definitely force our party to review our signatory to the peace process.

“We therefore call on the NPC to immediately summon El-Rufai on his inflammatory remarks against peaceful election in our country.

“In that regard, we might have no option left than to allow our members to defend their votes with whatever that is available to them.

“This country belongs to all of us and no individual or group, no matter how highly placed, can subjugate other citizens, or seek to appropriate any sort of absolutism to himself.”

The PDP also kicked against what it described as an alleged plot by the police authority to redeploy Kayode Egbetokun as Commissioner of Police to the Kwara State Command.

The opposition party alleged closeness of Egbetokun to a section of the leadership of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).

This, according to the PDP, might lead to Egbetokun taking sides in the ongoing supremacy tussle between the PDP and the APC chapters in Kwara State.

Ologbondiyan said: “This is in line with plans by the Buhari Presidency and the APC to effect a mass deployment of top security officers, particularly the police, to intimidate, harass and manhandle Nigerians that will not support the self-succession bid of President Muhammadu Buhari as well as aiding APC thugs to snatch ballot boxes and orchestrate violence in the elections.

“Nigerians are aware of how CP Kayode Egbetokun was posted to Lagos State by the former Inspector-General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, to serve the same partisan interest and how that posting was stopped by the new IGP Adamu Mohammed. Now, he is being redeployed to Kwara State for the same ignoble plot.

“It is necessary to state that the PDP is a party of peace and we are committed to the peace accord. However, the deployment of Kayode Egbetokun as Kwara CP directly negates the principle of the Peace Accord and can only hurt the fragile peace that currently exists in Kwara state.

“We wish to remind the acting Inspector General, Adamu Mohammed, that his acceptability among Nigerians across party line was based on the pedigree, which was presented to Nigerians before his appointment.

“These pedigree and exposure place on his shoulders, the responsibility to be just, firm, equitable and professional in the discharge of his duties. We therefore urge him not to allow his reputation to be mired in controversial political activities.”

The party called on the National Peace Committee to note the alleged infractions by the APC and its leaders to the peace accord.

-THE NATION

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