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Some governors stealing money meant for LGs – Obasanjo

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says governors who are stealing funds meant for local governments through joint account are the enemies of Nigerians.

He said this on Monday while hosting Friends of Democracy (FoD), a non-governmental organisation (NGO), at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital.

The NGO had visited the former president to seek his support for the local government autonomy bill which had been passed by the national assembly but still needs the approval of some state houses of assembly.

Obasanjo said the states do not want local governments to enjoy autonomy despite the fact that they enjoy same privilege from the federal government.

He lamented that local governments as the third tier of government had been incapacitated financially by the state governments and are unable to perform their statutory functions.

“When in 1976, we brought in local government reforms, it was meant to be a third tier of the government and not meant to be subjected to the whims and caprices of any other government. Just the same way that the state government is autonomous from the federal government,” he said.

“Local government is meant to be autonomous from the state government, but from what we know, by design, most states have incapacitated the local governments. They have virtually stolen the local governments’ money in what they called joint account. They were to contribute 10 percent but they never contributed anything.

“So, what we have across the country are local government areas that have functions, but cannot perform the functions. They have staff but most of them cannot pay the staff, and we keep getting excuses upon excuses.

“And I see no reason if the federal government allows the states to enjoy their autonomy except in the case of state of emergency.”

Obasanjo noted that the bill seeking the autonomy of the local governments before the national assembly has only been signed by nine states and still requires to be signed by 24 state houses of assembly.

“I am proud of those states because they are what you will call progressive states that really believe in democracy,” Obasanjo said.

“My own state (Ogun) is one of them. I will say kudos to Ogun state. In the south-south, only Bayelsa and Cross River States have signed it. Kudos to those two states. In the north-east, it’s only Bauchi.

“In the north-west, it’s only Sokoto. In the north-central, we have four states, Kwara, Niger, Plateau and Benue. I will say kudos to the executives and the legislature of those states.

“But we must say those state executives and the legislatures that have prevented the bill from being passed, they must be taken as the enemy of the people and they should be treated as such. Because if you enjoy autonomy from the federal government why don’t you want local government to enjoy autonomy?

“Again, I will say leadership of NLC and NULGE who have always fought for the interest of the people should know that the interest of the people at the local government will be best served if the LG has autonomy which is meant that they should have.”

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BREAKING: Police Council confirms Adamu Mohammed as IGP

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Mohammed

The National Council of State and National Police Council has approved the appointment of the Acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Adamu Mohammed as the new IG of the Nigeria Police Force.

Adamu was confirmed at the police council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.

Musiliu Smith, chairman of the police service commission, and governors of the 36 states were part of the meeting.

Mohammed was appointed in the acting capacity on January 15, 2019 following the retirement of former IGP, Ibrahim Idris.

More details later

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Ekiti Gov. Fayemi elected Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

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Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has been elected Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF.

Fayemi was chosen by a consensus after he was nominated by Nasir el-Rufai, with Ifeanyi Okowa, governor of Delta state, seconding his nomination.

Abdulaziz Yari, the immediate past chairman, announced this on Wednesday evening.

He said Fayemi was unanimously elected by the governors to lead the forum till 2021.

“Members also elected Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State as the Vice-Chairman of the forum from 2019 to 2021,” Yari said.

He explained that Tambuwal was nominated by Akinwumi Ambode, governor of Lagos State and seconded by Rotimi Akeredolu, his Ondo State counterpart.

Reading a communique at the end of the meeting, Yari said that the forum was concerned with the recent guidelines of the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

The guidelines according to him sought to impose restriction on the powers of states and local governments to operate within constitutionally approved parameters.

“The new guidelines have no legal basis under the NFIU Act and are contrary to constitutional provisions which put the State Joint Local Government Account under the legislation of the state houses of assembly,” he said.

“The guidelines will also be detrimental to the interest of States and local governments by crippling programmes such as the Universal Basic Education programme, Primary Health Care Under One Roof, as well as the payment of the salaries of teachers, medical doctor and health workers among others which are primarily funded by state governments.”

On the call by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors to declare state of emergency on issue of insecurity, Yari said that they had all agreed to meet President Muhammadu Buhari for one-on-one discussion.

“The issue of security is under the mandate of Mr president, we are supporting him because he is the Commander-in-Chief and we hope to come up with solutions with him, ” he said.

In his acceptance remark, Fayemi expressed his gratitude for the confidence reposed on him by colleagues.

He pledged to build on the achievements of his predecessors and success stories of the forum.

“We will build on commitment with strong partnership with the Federal Government as federating unit and trash out issues as amicably as possible, in the over all interest of the country,” he said.

He pledged that they would represent the interests of Nigeria irrespective of their political affiliations.

“Whatever we are going to do will be in overall interest of the nation in ensuring that our states are continuously strengthened,” he said.

“Our country derives the benefit of strong, dedicated states to our citizens and the partnership with all arms of government, development partners working with us in the over all interest of Nigeria.

He commended the outgoing chairman and the secretariat for their commitment to states and Nigeria at large, TheCable reports.

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UI Alumni of Statistics department in reunion frenzy

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Plans are already in top gear as students of the Department of Statistics, University of Ibadan are set to mark the first homecoming/reunion event of past graduates of the department between June 7 and 8, 2019.

The two-day programme, which will audaciously take place at the department complex on the campus, is themed: “Homecoming event for Nation Builders and Celebration of Achievement.”

The Head of Department, Dr. Angela Chukwu, said the event is aimed at bringing together all alumni of the department to reunite and hopefully work together with the department in supporting research, creativity and to initiate an endowment fund to assist exceptional but less-privileged students of the department.

The event kicks off on June 7 with a breakfast and networking meet and exchange of pleasantries after a long time of leaving the department for greener pastures.

Afterwards, two alumni of the department, Prof. D.K. Shangodoyin, a Professor of Statistics, University of Botswana, and President, African Statistical Association; and Dr. Mohammed Tumala, Director of Statistics, Central Bank of Nigeria, will deliver keynote addresses.

The event will feature a panel discussion amongst distinguished alumni, which include Prof. Joy Nwabueze, Prof. Ethelbert Nduka, Olubusola Oyebadejo and Emmanuel John Udoh, who will all share expert opinions on the impact of statistics degrees in their various fields.

The second day of the programme, June 8, will be a social event where the department will be recognizing retired members of staff of the department and formally recognize and congratulate the newest professors in the department.

There will also be an official launch of the department’s Hall of Fame and an inauguration of the UI Statistics Department Ambassadors,” both of which will be moderated and conducted by the Head of Department.

The highlight of this home-coming event is the dinner/fund raiser ceremony at the International Conference Centre University of Ibadan.

The event is to celebrate many accomplishments of the department alumni, giving a chance to catch up on sweet memories with old classmates, lecturers and members of staff while enjoying a thrilling event in the ancient city of Ibadan.

Intending alumni of the department are urged to confirm their attendances at the event, through this GSM number: 08055441106, via sms.

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