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THE NATION

Senate joins Reps on Edo Assembly crisis probe

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The Senate, yesterday, raised an ad hoc panel that will join that of the House of Representatives to probe the crisis in the Edo State House of Assembly.

The panel has Deputy Chief Whip Aliyu Abdullahi Sabi (APC, Niger) as chairman. He will work with the House ad hoc panel headed by Rep Abdulrazak Namdas (APC, Adamawa) for the same purpose. ]

Other members of the panel as announced by Senate President Ahmad Lawan are Ahmed Babba Kaita (APC, Katsina), Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (APC, Adamawa), Nicholas Tofowomo (PDP, Ondo), Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu), Gabriel Suswam (PDP, Benue) and Biobarakuma Degi-Eremmenyo (APC, Bayelsa).

Raising a point of order on the matter, Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti) said the crisis in the Edo Assembly should be investigated to ascertain the true situation of things. But Sen. James Manager (PDP, Delta) observed that the House had already resolved to investigate the matter, and that since the National Assembly is a bicameral legislature, the Senate could wait and adopt whatever the House came up with.

But Lawan observed that the ad hoc committee would join that of the House to investigate the matter and get back to the Senate. Similarly, Sen Istifanus Dung Gyang (PDP, Plateau) raised a constitutional point of order, citing Section 11 (4) of the 1999 Constitution, which gives the National Assembly powers to take over the functions of a state assembly in the event that such assembly could not perform its functions.

He argued that he was yet to see any situation that would warrant the National Assembly to act on the matter at this time. However, Lawan said the matter had not reached the stage where the National Assembly would take over powers of the Edo Assembly which, he said, was the reason behind the investigation.

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THE NATION

NITDA DG, Isa Pantami, wins outstanding promoter of local content for national development award

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The efforts of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in the development and promotion of local content in ICT sector has been further affirmed by an array of industry players and stakeholders at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on 19th July, 2019. The Director General/CEO of NITDA, Dr. Isa Pantami, was awarded the prestigious Titans of Tech Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership in the promotion of local content for national development.

In a statement by Mrs, Hadiza Umar, NITDA’s head of Corporate Affairs & External Relations, the IT agency’s unwavering commitment to local content under Dr Pantami, has enhanced the purchase of indigenous brand of ICT devices by over 60% within the last three years. Local hosting of data doubled in value and local software consumption has significantly increased as attested to by the diversity of IT experts and business people at the Award ceremony.  The cumulative effect of these efforts, is that ICT contribution to GDP reached an unprecedented mark of 13.63% in Q4 of 2018.

Organisers of the Award further recognised the purposeful approach of Dr Pantami to ICT regulation in Nigeria. Organisers and stakeholders opined that the leadership of Dr Pantami is restoring confidence in indigenous technology development which has led to more foreign direct investment in the IT sector than any other sectors since 2018.

The Award was received on behalf of Dr Pantami by Dr Vincent Olatunji, the Director of e-Government Development and Regulations department of NITDA.

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THE NATION

TCN suspends KEDCO from electricity market

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The management of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), says it has issued suspension and disconnection orders to Kano Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) from the electricity market.

The suspension order was posted on TCN’s twitter handle @TCN_Nigeria on Sunday.

According to the twitter handle, the suspension order was as result of KEDCO’s default in the Market Conditions/Market Participation Agreements.

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THE NATION

How we spent $1bn security fund – Presidency

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The Presidency has dismissed Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) allegation that the one billion dollars drawn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was spent by the Muhammadu Buhari administration on the 2019 general elections.

The Peoples Democratic Party in a statement on Sunday asked Buhari to explain to Nigerians what his administration had done with one billion dollars drawn from the ECA in 2017 and meant to address the nation’s security challenges.

The amount was approved by the National Economic Council in December, 2017, to be used to purchase weapons to fight insurgency across the country.

However, Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday, said “this unverifiable allegation’’ clearly indicated that the PDP was suffering from socio emotional distress.

He said PDP ”thinks that all governments in the world run on the basis of freewheeling looting as they did their own.

”Here is what happened to that 1 billion dollars. It’s on record that the Buhari administration paid about 490 million dollars for a dozen Super Tucano fighter aircraft in a direct, government-to-government (no Contractors or Commission Agents) transaction with government of the United States.

”Various other military procurement have been made. Balance of expenditure stands at about 880 million dollars or so. The PDP spent Defence procurement funds on their failed 2015 political campaigns as proven in court. That is not to say every succeeding government, more so one led by a Buhari will do the same.”

The presidential aide added that, barring considerations of national security, the details of the stage of implementation, the procurement made and the suppliers would be obtained and made available on Monday.

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