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Senate debunks allegation that Tinubu is behind bill seeking transfer of NSIP to Presidency

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The senate on Wednesday debunked insinuations that President Bola Tinubu sponsored a bill seeking to transfer the control and supervision of programmes under the National Social Investment Programs (NSIP) from the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation to the Presidency
Chairman of the senate Committee on Special duties, Sen. Shehu Kaka (APC-Borno) gave the indication at the inaugural meeting of the committee on Wednesday in Abuja.
Speaking to a poser whether the President had a special interest in the bill, he said

“For now, the bill that was laid before the national assembly has no clause that contained any interest from the government.
“We had clause to cause consideration and we did not see any where the name of Tinubu or the presidency was mentioned, so I can assure you if there is anything it will be reflected in that bill. It’s just a hearsay.
On the suspension of the NSIP programes he said,
“For now, I’m yet to receive the official briefing on the suspension and the substitution of a new programme. I don’t want to comment on that but as a lawmaker saddled with the responsibility of this committee, I will study the enabling law that brought N-power as well as the bill that is before us that reading.

“If there is no overlap and it is out, the suspension was in the best interest of Nigerians, I will allow it go. But where the suspension is not in the best interest of Nigerians, you will see me shouting on the floor that we should bring it back.
On whether they will inveatigate the many controversies and allegations of mismanagement od the former program, he said,
“I will not comment whether we are going to investigate or not until after receiving briefs from the relevant MDAs.
On whether after the
amendment to the Act. His committee will oversight the Presidency, he said bringing that agency out and transferring to the presidency is under the purview of special Duties committee. “We are going to oversight that agency.”
He said the committee will come up with some interventions to tackle the plight of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the country.

Kaka while noting the importance of the committee and the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu, said that they would ensure that Nigerians living IDPs get succour.

“We are going to ensure no stone is left unturned, we are going to carry out oversight functions, we are going to engage and conduct public hearing on the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians.

“We will make sure the renewed hope mantra of the president succeeds.

“We are going to checkmate what the MDAs are doing vis a vis with the aim of enlightening Nigerians to ensure the right thing is done All hands must be on deck to ensure we achieve the desired result based on what we ascribe to and what the mandate of the committee is.

While contributing Sen. Fadahunsi (PDP-Osun) said that efforts must be intensified to resettle the displaced persons.

On his part, Sen. Mohammed Monguno (APC-Borno) said that the move by the Senate to transfer the National Social Investment Programme to the Presidency underscored the work of the committee.

“All hands must be on deck to oversight the Office of the President.”

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Legislature

Senate urges FG to withhold statutory allocation to LGC without elected officials

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Moro, Abba Patrick
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The Senate has urged the Federal Government to henceforth withhold statutory allocation to the Local Governments Councils(LGC) without democratically elected leaders
In the last three months of August, September and October the Local Governments received N702.647b out of N1.006 shared for the three tiers of government in the period under review.
The legality or otherwise of the Federal Governmemt’s power to enforce the Senate’s recommendation is left for legal experts to analyse
The Senate’s recommendation came after debate on the Urgent Need to halt the erosion of democracy: the dissolution of elected Councils in Benue State sponsored by Sen. Moro, Abba Patrick (Benne South)
The senate condemned the arbitrary dissolution of democratically elected Local Government Councils in Benue and other states in Nigeria

It also resolved to urge the Federal Government to review the Benue State governor’s dissolution of the elected councils and constitution of caretaker committees and reinstate the elected council executive forthwith.
The upper legislative chamber urged the governor of Benue state to adhere to his oath of office to obey the rule of law and defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

While leading the debate Senator Moro he was dismayed by the dissolution of Democratically Elected Councils in Benue State,

According to him, replacing the elected chairmen with Caretaker Committees to is an aberration and alien to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)

Quoting Section (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) he said it guarantees a system of local government by Democratically Elected Councils.

He insisted that it is the Constitutional responsibility of every state to ensure the existence of Local
Government Councils by law.

He indicated that there are subsisting court rulings directing the Governor, the House of Assembly, their agents, privies etc not to tamper with the tenure of the elected Councils

He therefore challenged the Governor/Government of Benue State to first appeale the outstanding judgments which has not been done adding that it is against the grain of the rule of law

Senator Adams Oshiomhole (Edo North) pointed out thatabout 16 states in Nigeria are currently without democratically elected council officials.
He urged the Senate to direct the Finance Minister to stop funding LGS without elected council officials.
Oshiomhole’s suggestion was supported by Senator Ali Ndume.
The senator representing Oyo North, Abdulfatai Buhari indicated that the Electoral Act should be amended to empower the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct local government elections.

The President of the senate Godswill Akpabio also frowned at the establishment of multiple federal agencies but advocated the creation of the National Electoral Commission for Local Government so that governors would no longer have overbearing influence on council polls

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Legislature

Tinubu asks Senate to endorse $8.6bn, €100m loans approved by Buhari’s govt 

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has asked the Senate to give him the authorization to borrow $8,699,168,559 and €100 million to carryout critical projects across the country.  

The president’s request was contained in a letter read at the commencement of plenary on Tuesday by Senate President Godswill Akpabio.

Tinubu, in the letter, explained that the request was part of the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. 

He said the projects to be funded with the loan cuts across different sectors of the economy, and were selected based on economic evaluation and the expected contribution to the country’s development. 

The letter reads, “I write in respect of the above subject and to submit the attached the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan for consideration and early approval of the National Assembly to ensure prompt implementation of the projects.

“The Senate may wish to note that the past administration approved a 2022-2024 borrowing plan by the federal executive council (FEC) held on May 15, 2023. 

“The projects cut across all sectors, with specific emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, water supply, roads, security, and employment generation as well as financial management reforms. 

“Consequently, the required approval is in the sum of $8,699,168,559 and €100 million.

“I would like to underscore the fact that the projects and programmes in the borrowing plan were selected based on economic evaluations as well as the expected contribution to the social economic development of the country, including employment generation, and skills acquisition.

“Given the nature of these facilities, and the need to return the country to normalcy, it has become necessary for the Senate to consider and approve the 2022- 2024 external abridged borrowing plan to enable the government deliver its responsibility to Nigerians.”

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Legislature

Niger Coup: Northern Senators ask ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic

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***Plead with Tinubu to restore electricity supply to Niger

The Northern Senators Forum on Monday called on President Bola Tinubu to as a matter of Urgency use his position as Chairman of ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic in the interest of business and border community
They also demanded that Nigeria restore electricity supply to Niger Republic in line with the Nigeria-Niger treaty mandate.
The senators had in July on the heels of the military forceful take over of the democratically elected government in Niger, cautioned President Tinubu against use of Military power towards tackling the military coup, as they called for diplomatic options.
A communique issued at the end of their emergency meeting which was read by the chairman of the forum, Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauch Central) stated, “The forum on very strong terms condemn the spate of Military intervention in the democratic spaces in the West African subregion.
“The Northern Senators Forum in particular condemns the coup in Niger and urged the military junta in Niger to soften the relationship with the rest of ECOWAS military by setting free President Muhammed Bazoum and his immediate family to freely choose a country of his choice for asylum
They further urged the junta in Niger to bring about a transition time table that will last not more than two years.
They ask ECOWAS to lift restrictions on Niger Republic in the interest of business and border community.
“It is important that Nigeriens should not suffer because of the coup that took place just like we have seen what is happening in Gaza
“We ask the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Commander in chief of the Armed forces and of course the chairman of ECOWAS, President Muhammed Bola Tinubu to as a matter of humanitarian gesture restore electricity supply to Niger Republic in line with the Nigeria-Niger treaty mandate.
Ningi called on Nigerians and Nigerien to remember that they remain brothers, partners and Africans and above all, we remain human beings

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