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2022 appropriation will be passed today, Says NASS

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**INEC Seeks N305billion for 2023 elections 

The National Assembly will consider the 2021 budget and pass it on Tuesday, chairman senate committee on Appropriation Senator Jibrin Barau has indicated.

He also assured Nigerians that required appropriation would be made for the Independent National Electoral Commission in the 2022 budget in the general interest of Nigerians.

He spoke after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), on Monday presented N305b before the National Assembly as projected expenditure for the 2023 general elections.

According to Barau, “The report of this committee on 2022 budget proposals, will be laid in plenary at both Chambers on Tuesday, considered and passed”

The Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmud Yakubu made the presentation before the Senate Committee on Appropriations on Monday in Abuja.

The Committee had in view of the 2023 general elections, invited the INEC Chairman to bring before it, projected expenditure for the election for the purpose of capturing it in the 2022 budget billed for passage by both chambers of the National Assembly Tuesday (Today).

According to the INEC Chairman, the N305billion is different from N40biilion yearly budget of the commission.

He said though N100billion had been given the Commission as the first trache out of the total projected expenditure he would not be enough for adequate preparation

“The commission made a submission through the executive being part of the executive body . We made a submission for N305b for the 2023 general elections in  a very comprehensive 22 page document with 260 budget lines.

“In submitting the executive proposal to the National Assembly,  the sum of of N140b was made available to INEC as a one line item in the budget and as usual we broke it down and submitted same to the committee that oversights INEC in both  the House and the senate.

“The N140b was broken into two, we take it that N40b is our regular budget as an agency of Government and N100b was the first tranche of the 2022 budget and we have gone ahead to make provisions accordingly.

“For the N40b annual budget including in that are also elections that we are supposed to conduct particularly off season elections. It may interest the committee to know that we have 8 bye-election pending; three Federal constituencies and five State constituencies. Infact the last vacancy occured only last Wednesday following the death of a member represent Jiwa west in Kaduna State”, he said .

In making case for more releases from the N205billion balance, the INEC Chairman highlighted to the lawmakers activities that must be carried out ahead of the 2023 general elections.

“What we have done is to look at the activities that we have to conduct before the general election. 

“There are activities that must be concluded. For instance if you are going to replace some of the critical facilities like ballot boxes, voting cubicles, these things must be done before the election. 

“Party primaries must be conducted and concluded before the election and names of candidates submitted, registration of voter’s would have to be concluded before the election. Printing of the permanent voter’s card would have to be concluded before the election and then some of the critical election technology for the 2023 general election must be concluded and procured before the election”, he explained .

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Legislature

NASS Clerk wades into DSS, Staff face-off, tells security operatives to be civil

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***Reads riot act

Apparently piqued by the commotion caused by the alleged brutality of some top staff of the National Assembly on Friday by the personnel of the Department of State Services (DSS), the Clerk to the National Assembly(CNA), Alhaji Sani Magaji Tambawal has read the riot act to all security operatives in the complex.
He charged them to be civil in carrying out their duties at all times.
A statement signed by Birma Shuaibu Maina, Secretary, Human Resources and Staff Development on behalf of the CNA pointed out that the top management of the National Assembly was aware of the unfortunate incident that happened on Friday, 17th May, 2024.
It further said the CNA and top management team visited Comrade Odo at the National Assembly Clinic and immediately called for an emergency meeting between the Management, Security Personnel and Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) officials during which the “unfortunate incident” was deliberated upon and unanimously resolved as follows:
“That DSS and other Security operatives should work in harmony with the Sergeant-At-Arms.
“All security operatives within the National Assembly Complex should be civil in the discharge of their duties.
“All members of Staff should always display their I. D. cards for easy identification”.
Finally, the CNA and the top management appealed to the staff to be “calm, peaceful and law abiding as the situation is under control”.
It will be recalled that a face-off between the DSS and some staff of the National Assembly Friday, led to the brutalization of two senior staff of NASS leading to demonium at the complex

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Natasha makes case for local industries development

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***Pays courtesy call on SMEDAN DG

The Chairman Senate Committee on Local Content, Senator Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, on Thursday, made a strong case for the development of Local industries through creation of a market for local manufacturers rather than just training them in their existing skills.


She spoke when she met with the Director General, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN), Charles Odii, to make case for the growth of local factories and the manufacturing of made-in-Nigeria products.

The meeting, also attended by Senator Ede Dafinone, Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Local Content, focused on developing local content, investing in local manufacturers, and strengthening homemade products to boost the economy and create jobs for youth.


Senator Akpoti-Uduaghan emphasised the need to support local manufacturers and promote made-in-Nigeria products, highlighting the potential of local products like handwoven fabrics (popularly known as Kitipa in Ebira parlance), which can be used to produce shoes for military, paramilitary, and Corps members. This, she noted, would reduce importation and boost the economy.

“You cannot teach a local person how to make shea butter or black soap. They already know it. But what they need is market and access to finance.
“Local manufacturers need training on how to access markets and brand their products for international export. They already possess the skills, but need guidance on branding and marketing,” she stated.

Senator Akpoti-Uduaghan cited examples of successful international partnerships, such as the French cosmetics company L’occitane and Burkina Faso’s Shea butter industry, and Zara and Ethiopia’s cotton industry. She suggested that Nigeria could similarly partner with international brands like Prada or Louis Vuitton to boost its leather industry, creating revenue and downstream sectors.

The lawmaker criticised the government’s ‘50,000-era enterprise’ initiative, stating that it does not effectively support local industries.

She also emphasised the need for agencies like SON and NAFDAC to be more accessible and responsive to small-scale businesses.

By harnessing the local content of every part of the country, growing and strengthening it to produce in commercial quantity for local consumption and export, Senator Akpoti-Uduaghan believes that Nigeria can create more jobs, reduce importation, and boost the economy.

In his remarks, the SMEDAN boss promised to create a viable market for local content industry by working closely with the National Assembly to encourage local manufacturers to boost the local products that are needed in the country and valued outside the shores of Nigeria.

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Senate okays establishment of North West Development Commission

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The Senate has approved the North West Development Commission (NWDC) bill to address the challenges facing the seven states in the geopolitical zone.

The approval came after the consideration and adoption of the report of the Committee on Special Duties on the NWDC (Establishment).

The bill to establish the commission was sponsored by t

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau Jibrin and 20 other senators from the seven states in the North West geopolitical zone sponsored the bill to establish the commission
Chairman of the committee, Sen. Shehu Lawan Kaka (APC, Borno Central) moved the motion for the presentation and consideration of the report, while Sen. Ireti Kingibe (LP, FCT) seconded it.
Presenting the committee’s report, Senator Kaka pointed out that the intent and purpose of the bill are well structured and strategically streamlined for the socio-economic development of the North West geopolitical zone of the country.

He added that the commission’s establishment would bring the federal government closer to the North Western states and meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people.
He, therefore, urged the Senate to pass the bill.

When the bill was put to vote by the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Barau I Jibrin, who presided over the plenary, the senators unanimously supported it.

In his remarks, Senator Barau commended his colleagues for supporting the bill’s passage.

When established, he said the commission would address the challenges facing the geopolitical zone and, by extension, the country.

Describing the North West as the food basket of the country, he said the commission, when established, will work towards the restoration of infrastructure destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents and bandits in the region.

” So if we are serious about ensuring we have food and for food security to be attained in this country, we must provide the necessary infrastructure for all our key sectors to thrive well.

“This commission is needed. I commend you all for supporting this; no one said no. Everybody supported this idea. So, now we are pushing the Bill to the House of Representatives for their approval and then to Mr President for assent,” he said.

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