***Senator Ndume flays Buhari, says minister took advantage of his passiveness
Thursday was not a favorable Senate session for former president Muhammadu Buhari as he came under heavy criticisms as senators’ tempers flared at plenary over recent shoddy concessioning of Aminu Kano International Airport and others in a hasty manner almost one week to the end of his tenure.
This was just as the Senate condemned in strong terms the concessioning of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport as it was not done In the interest of the public.
The upper legislative chamber urged the Federal Government if need be to immediately review the entire exercise and give a level playing ground to all stakeholders.
The motion titled, ‘Urgent Need to Reverse the Concessioning of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano was sponsored by Sen. Suleiman, A. Kawu Sumaila (Kano South)
While presenting his motion Senator Sumaila indicated that the Federal Executive Council, on 17th May, 2023, approved the concessioning of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano for 30 years, to Messrs Corporation America Airports Consortium
He pointed out that the Federal Ministry of Aviation (and Aerospace) does not own, or run, any airport in Nigeria adding that by the dictates of the governing Act of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), ownership and management of all federal government airports are fully vested in the Authority.
He quoted the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) procedure document to state ‘With respect to the agency that wishes to concession a facility that, “The public entity should have enabling authority to transfer its responsibility – enabling legislative and policy framework or an Administrative Order to that effect;
He said from the combined import of the FAAN Act and the ICRC procedures manual, it is an evident manifestation that the entire airports concession is based on an incurably faulty foundation.
“For, there is no doubt that it is the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, not the Ministry of Aviation, that has power ‘to transfer its responsibility’ to a would be concessionaire.
“It is also FAAN, not the Ministry, which has the requisite ‘legislative and policy framework’ for such.
“If the claim that the FEC has approved the concessioning of Mallam Aminu Kano
International Airport has any substance, then the FEC has indeed been misguided in its decision, and that action cannot amount to anything than a nullity.”
Sumaila expressed concern about the rational in borrowing and spending public money to upgrade the airport only to hand it over to foreign businesses for a period of 30 years in the name of a concession
He raised more concern that Nigeria was receiving a concession fees of upfront of $1.5m while the total amount of money that the Kano airport is accruing to government is $97.4m
He said he was disturbed that the concession is clearly dubious ad he raised questions on the process and what the actors stand to gain.
According to him that unions in the aviation industry embarked on a strike to question the integrity of the concession
exercise, stressing that the concession of the airport away from FAAN would necessarily cause a cessation of the employment of all the staff involuntarily;
Explaining further he indicated the concession by the Buhari-led administration raised a fundamental question of injustice on why an elephant project with huge public investment would take place just at the end of the administration
He observed that the faulty gap inherent In the conceaslon would lead to array of law sults, thereby embarrassing the current adiminiatration
While making his contribution
Senator Adamu Aliero (PDP Kebbi) said the Federal Government did not do due diligence in the concession deal.
“Kano Airport is the premier Airport, in fact it used to be the only Airport in the entire Northern part of the country and so the concession in such half hazard manner without following due process certainly is a dubious process.
“Instead of asking the Federal Governmenr to withdraw the concession, I want us to do something like setting up an advocate committee by this senate to investigate the circumstances under which the Kano Airport was concessioned and if it is not done in line with the laid down procedure of the infrastructure concession commission, the concession should be revoked because that is waste of public funds.
He said the shoddy act was not only the Kano Airport, “I recall when the concessioning of the 4 Airport started in 2018, Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Portharcourt the the FAAN workers union decided to embark on indiscriminate buying and because of that the minister stopped the concessioning, I wonder why at the tail end of the administration just six days to the end of the tenure of Buhari administration, this concession was pushed to the Federal Executive Council.
“I want to assure you the FEC did not do due deligence in approving this concessioning and hence we should investigate the circumstances inter alia.”
Senator representing Borno South on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Ali Ndume lamented that Some of the government agencies and officials that did the recent concessioning and privatization in the Country took advantage of Buhari’s passiveness as a leader to carry exercise.
Ndume spoke while contributing to the motion
Ndume who said his contribution was just to guide the Senate on the issues that were coming up on the concessioning said there are so many of them.
“So many things have been done wrong in the previous administration and that was because the government was almost personalized and privatized and some people took advantage of the former President’s passiveness.”
He asked that his colleagues should not politicise the matter as it all started during the PDP days.
“What I am saying is, these issues are too many, it is not only Mallam Aminu Kano Airport (MAKIA) but all concessions done hurriedly without following due process should be thoroughly investigated, reversed and actions taken.”
He suggested a committee to be set up with experts involved so that they can look at all the hurriedly made concessions and privatization for them to be reversed because “some people are waiting for Government to waste $100m and they come to take that organization to pay back $1m.
“So I am suggesting that we should not only talk about the MAKIA but all concessions done at the tail end of the previous administration to be looked into by the committee.”
Sani Musa (Niger East)
Condemned the act saying “international best practice in concession was thrown into the gutters” while processing the concession.
He said the Minna International Airport was abandoned for 11 years as well as other airports in the country. Such concession is criminal.
He wants Senate to ask FG to direct complete evaluation of the concession.
He added that the Aminu Kano and Nnamdi Azikiwe airports concession were not transparently done.
Rufai Hanga (NNPP Kano Central) d3manded that concession reversed so that the airports can be brought back on stream.
In his comment, Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau said concession is the best practice all over the world.
He said major airports in Europe have been concessioned including the the Heathrow Airport in United Kingdom which was taken over by a Nigerian.
He maintained that there should be an overall investigation of concessions done.
Kogi CSDA renovates 75-year-old Ochadamu Leprosarium with N15m
By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.
KOGI State Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA) has flagged off renovation work on the 75-year-old Leprosarium, now known as Holey Memorial Hospital, Ochadamu.
Chief Dauda Momoh, General Manager of the Agency presented a cheque for the first stanche of the N15 million intervention on Wednesday at Ocharamu, Ofu Local Government Area of Kogi.
He said the intervention was part of the 16 micro project interventions under the Basic Services Infrastructure of the Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) Programme.
Represented by Engr. Bayode Oladipo, Operations Manager of the Agency, the General Manager hinted that the Leprosarium which was established 1948 as a leprosy and rehabilitation centre with a twin male and female colony now enjoys support from Kogi State NG-CARES Programme.
Chief Dauda Momoh said the renovation work entailed renovation of Ward, Toilets, Pharmacy building with Supply of drugs and equipment and was expected to cost ₦11,193,546.00
He said that renovation of classroom s and furnishing would take ₦3,803,887.50 bringing the total projects cost to
He said that the projects would reinvigorate the leprosarium with healthcare and sanitation facilities.
Momoh added that the Group Development Plan (GrDP) had revealed that the intervention also aimed to revamp the educational facilities provided for the children of the affected persons.
The General Manager explained that the GrDP would be implemented through the Group Project Management Committee of the Association of Persons Affected by Leprosy in Ochadamu.
He charged the group to ensure quality and timely completion of the intervention projects as he assured them that quality delivery would attract further intervention especially, in the area of termite eradication, to the hospital.
The Holey Memorial Hospital Administrator, Rev. Uduak H. Mmah who resumed duty barely a month ago, pledged seamless collaboration and support of the management with the implementing team and the Agency.
Mr Mark Abu, Finance and Administration Manager of the Agency, tasked the Community Projects Monitoring Committee (CPMC) on proper book keeping saying that various monitoring teams would be coming to monitor the projects from time to time.
Mr Akpa Adaji, Chairman of the Community Projects Implementation Committee assured of due diligence in the project implementation as he pledged the committee’s resolve to deliver within the stipulated time frame.
In his vote of thanks, the Hospital Secretary, Mr Daniel Ameh thanked God for the intervention and commended the CSDA, management of the hospital and the CPMC for making it a reality.
Highlight of the occasion was the presentation of a cheque of of N3.274 million to the committee as first tranche of the total project sum of N14,997,433.50. (Ends)
LP says it is in full solidarity with Nigerian workers over indefinite industrial action
***Says, Nigerian workers have shown enough patience, understanding
The leadership of the Labour Party (LP) has declared its support and solidarity with Nigerian workers over its planned industrial action to press for better welfare and equitable remuneration under the yoke of bitting economic down turn
The party reiterated the position that it is in support of any legitimate means deployed by Nigerian workers to press for better condition.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh said the party fully supports the resolution of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to embark on an industrial action slated to commence as of Tuesday, October 3rd.
“We have followed with keen interest, in the last four months, various meetings between Organized Labour and various government bodies including the President of the Senate, the presidency, and the ministers of Labour as well as all the efforts made by the Labour leadership to get the government to understand the magnitude of the hardship government policies have thrown Nigerian Workers and the entire populace into since the enthronement of this administration.
“Labour Party is not in any way surprised at the government’s apparent indifference, insensitivity, intransigence, and recalcitrant posture towards the genuine demands of the Labour bodies because their usurpation of power was not sanctioned by both the workers and generality of Nigerians.
“Nigerians went to the polls with clear conviction of the government they wanted but this was denied them through institutional conspiracy.
“Today, Nigerian workers are being punished for taking a stand during the February 25 Presidential Election.
“Labour Party is also aware of the sordid conditions which workers, the majority of them being our members, are subjected to, whereby many of them go to the office on a Monday and are forced by the prevailing economic challenges, to sleep in their offices all through to Friday before they return home.
“Labour Party is surprised that the government claimed that it has removed subsidies on Petroleum products and that it now generates over a trillion naira monthly, yet it finds it difficult to address workers’ demands.
“Daily, Nigerians are subjected to harsh economic realities where the inflation rate is nearing 30 percent, where a dollar is sold above N1000, and where par-capital income has depreciated. Many families are withdrawing their wards from schools over a hike in school fees, while criminal activities are surging daily.
“We think that the Nigerian workers have shown enough patience and understanding.
“We are also using this medium to inform all our members and supporters to stock their homes with their necessary needs ahead of a long-drawn mass action until victory is ascertained.”
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Subject: LP says it is in full solidarity with Nigerian workers over indefinite industrial action ***Says, Nigerian workers have shown enough patience, understanding
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INEC to conduct mock accreditation October 14 in Imo, Kogi, Bayelsa polls
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has indicated that it would conduct a mock accreditation on October 14, 2023 in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states, ahead of the off-cycle governorship elections.
The Commission had scheduled the off-cycle elections for November 11, 2023.
INEC, in a statement signed by its National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, indicated that the mock accreditation would include using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and upload of polling units results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal.
The statement reads, “The Commission met today Monday 25th September 2023 and, among other issues, reviewed the preparations for the forthcoming off-cycle Governorship elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi States scheduled for Saturday 11th November 2023.
“As was the case in recent off-cycle Governorship elections, the Commission will conduct a mock accreditation using the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and upload polling units results to the INEC Result Viewing Portal.
“The test run will take place simultaneously in the three States on Saturday 14th October 2023 from 8.30am to 2.30pm.
“A maximum of three polling units in each Senatorial District have been identified across each of the three States, covering a total of nine Senatorial Districts and 27 polling units.”
It further stated that lessons learnt from the exercise would be taken into consideration in ensuring a seamless process on election day.
“Full details of the polling units, including their locations by Local Government Area, Registration Area/Ward, Delimitation Code and number of registered voters have been uploaded to our website and social media platforms.
“The Commission appeals to registered voters in the selected polling units to turn up with their Permanent Voters’ Cards for the exercise.
“The public is advised that this is strictly a test accreditation exercise and not the actual election,” INEC added
The collection of Permanent Voter Cards commenced on September 11, 2023, and will end October 9, 2023.
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