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BUHARI, 36 STATES GOVERNORS TASKED TO ENSURE TRANSPARENCY IN THE USE OF SECURITY FUNDS

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BUHARI, OTHERS TASKED TO DISCLOSE SECURITY VOTE FOR 2021 BUDGET

By Godwin Ogar

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to disclose how much the government has earmarked for security in the 2021 budget. This comes as a result of the high level of insecurity in the country.

SERAP made the call in a request presented to the presidency dated 26th December 2020, a request which is in line with the Freedom of Information, FOI, Act 2011.

The same request, according to sources, have been made to the 36 state governors in the country.

The statement which was signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, called on the president, along with the 36 state governors to disclose details of proposed security votes spending in the 2021 appropriation bills of the federal and states governments “to ensure the security and welfare of Nigerians, and to explain the measures your governments are putting in place to prevent the misuse and embezzlement of public funds in the name of security votes”.

According to SERAP, the time has come for governments at all levels to show transparency and accountability in the use of public funds meant to ensure the security of lives and properties in the country, in view of security challenges such as the killing of over 43 farmers in Zabarmari, the kidnap of about 344 students at the Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State, among many other incidences of kidnappings and killings carried out by bandits and Boko Haram members in the country.

SERAP states further that if the amount set aside for security is made known by the federal and states governments, it will help in creating understanding between the governments and their subjects concerning what the various governments are doing to address insecurity in the country.

The Freedom of Information Act which was signed by former president Goodluck Jonathan into law in 2011 gives individuals and organisations the right to request for information from all offices of government.

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Imo Politics

Nawao! dissolved Imo appointees sit tight at offices

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… Insist SSG gives counter directive

… Govt. pays salaries to only retained ones.

Three months after the dissolution of the cabinet of the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, some of the appointees affected are yet to understand that they have been relieved of their jobs as they still hold firm to their duties before their dissolution.

Governor Hope Uzodinma had three months ago dissolved the cabinet members as well as majority of the Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants

Investigation carried out by the Weekend Lead revealed that majority of the affected persons are of the opinion that the Secretary to the State Government, Cosmos Iwu allegedly gave a counter directive that they should continue working on the grounds that they would be re-appointed.

This paper authoritatively gathered that the State Government has paid the salaries as well as other entitlements of the only appointees which the Government retained upon dissolution since the said three months.

Imo people have not stopped to query the rationale behind how appointees dissolved by the Government that hired them should be signing press releases as well as performing other duties of the Government when they are yet to be re-appointed.

Speaking with the Lead, one of the APC chieftains in Imo who would not want his name in print appealed with the State Government to once again publish or announce the names of his retained appointees so that Imo people would be able to ascertain who to work or meet for a particular assignment and who not to meet.

This confusion is more amongst the Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants to the Governor hence I plead for government’s clarification, he said.

Meanwhile, every effort made to reach the Secretary to the State Government, Cosmos Iwu to ascertain whether or not a counter directive was given by the Government to the dissolved appointees to continue with their assigned duties proved abortive as the SSG did not pick his calls at the time of filing this report.

Read Also; I’m still in PDP- Ajaelu  

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Imo Power Commissioner meets NDDC over estimated bills

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The Imo State Commissioner for Power, Chief Enyinna Onuegbu has paid a courtesy visit to Enugu Electricity Distribution Company, EEDC, at their office at Royce road Owerri.

Speaking at the event, the Commissioner said that Governor Hope Uzodinma deemed it necessary to create the ministry of Power to boost the economy of the State, stressing that the engine of any economy is the power sector.

According to him, Imo State has an industrial estate at Onitsha road and other economic hubs that urgently need steady power supply which according to him is the panacea for rapid economic development of the State.

The Commissioner further disclosed that Governor Uzodinma is determined to industrialize the State hence the need for improved Power Supply.

Onuegbu appealed to the management of EEDC to improve the power supply to the citizens of the State as well as address the issue of estimated bills which according to him is adversely affecting the people.

The Commissioner who harped on the importance of the services of EEDC said the creation of the ministry of Power will further bring synergy between the State Government and EEDC, and urged the staff of the company to feel free to interact with his ministry for the overall good of the state.

He however appealed to EEDC to expedite action in restoring electricity to the State Secretariat saying the huge debts owed to the company by the State Government will be streamlined for payment.

He said: “We are here to extend our hands of fellowship and to seek your assistance in actualizing the 3R programme of His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Hope Uzodinma. You have friends in the Government.

Any problem, let us know. We will help market the good works that EEDC will do to Imo people during this tenure,” Onuegbu assured. Responding, the Revenue Service Manager, Chukwuemeka Uchime commended Governor Uzodinma for creating the ministry of Power describing it as a welcome development.

Uchime equally thanked the Commissioner for finding time to pay EEDC a courtesy visit for better dialogue and Communication saying the Commissioner has started in the right direction and will do well in the new ministry.

He however regretted the challenges the company is having especially in the Transmission Sector which has made it difficult to meet the electricity needs of the State saying that transmission of electricity is the responsibility of the Federal Government.

Uchime equally stressed the difficulty in revenue collection which is a result of apathy from people on payment of electricity bills saying Government and EEDC cannot do it alone but requires the co-operation of the people.

He however disclosed that the EEDC has started metering in some parts of the State Capital to reduce the issues of estimated bills.

Read Also; South East Governors divided over Ebubeagu

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Youth wing of Christian Association condemns attacks in Owerri Prisons, others

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Youth Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria, (YOWICAN), has condemned the attack at Police Headquarters and Correctional Centre in Owerri on Easter Monday where many prisoners and cell inmates were set free by gunmen whose identities are yet be ascertained.

Regretting the attack, National Chairman, Youth Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria, Hon Belusochukwu Michael Enwere , in a chat on Saturday, called for proactive security in the South East, particularly in Imo State.

YOWICAN told federal and states governments to ensure that security apparatuses in the country especially in the South East are well equipped, well paid to enable them to curtail insecurity.

Belusochukwu advised government to urgently address issues that lead to insecurity by providing employment, create economic opportunities, engage youths and women on meaningful skills training such as welding, barbing, sewing, ICT and empower them accordingly, including awarding scholarships in both home and overseas to youths and students, provide infrastructure to all existing communities to spur people to productivity, give loan or grants to devoted farmers to encourage production of sufficient food, as well as provide quality and affordable education.

YOWICAN regretted that Fulani herders are terrorizing peaceful farmers in their farms and at home hence rising insecurity, food insufficiency, hunger and suffering, calling on government to stop the terror of Fulani herders by encouraging them to rear their herds in secluded environments in order to reduce insecurity and hunger.

Lauding Governor Hope Uzodimma for achieving great feat on quality road construction and rehabilitation in the state, Belusochukwu encouraged the governor to continue to solidify good governance to recover the state so that citizens will share in the administration’s prosperity and goodies for peace, comfort and security to reign supremely, saying “Imo State is a walking progress and must prevail”. We thank His Excellency for the passion he has for good governance and youth empowerment”.

However, the association urged citizens and other residents of the state to throw their weights to the Governor and his apostles to enable them achieve success for the state.

Read Also; Imo jailbreak: FG to pardon escaped inmates who return voluntarily -Aregbesola

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