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Reps Query NPC Over ₦‎1.9bn Spent On Conferences

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The House of Representatives Committee on Population has queried the National Population Commission over N1.9 billion spent on the presidential summits in villa and conferences organised across the country.

 

The committee at the budget defence in Abuja, on Wednesday, challenged the NPC directors to make an oral presentation of the N1.9 billion expended for summit and conferences.

 

Gboluga Ikengboju (Ondo-APC) moved the motion for the NCP to go back and take a critical look at the discrepancies in the document they presented to the committee.

According to him, in view of the discrepancies that cannot be justified by the commission and the fact that the 2022 format cannot be accepted, we want the commission to go back and provide more detail.

 

“We cannot be speculating over taxpayers’ money. I hereby move that they should go back and tidy up these documents,” he said.

 

Rep. Ifeanyi Momah (PDP-Anambra), a member of the committee expressed worry over how N129 million was used for a one-day seminar at the villa.

He further asked if the money spent on the presidential summit held at the villa was meant only for the villa event or stakeholders conferences held in various states.

The lawmaker also asked the commission why the N5 billion budgeted for the mock census did not reach the staff deployed for that purpose in Anambra.

 

He said this was because some of the staff deployed to Anambra had to reach out to him and other stakeholders for financial support when the money budgeted for that purpose was not forthcoming.

 

Momah said he along with other stakeholders had to bail the staff out while calling on the commission to throw more light on what they used the money for.

 

Reps Bamidele Salam (PDP-Osun) also asked why the money used at the villa for the summit was not captured in the 2022 budget.

The committee however asked the commission to furnish the committee with expenditure patterns at the villa summit and the stakeholders’ conferences at the state level.

 

The committee demanded to know how N5 billion was spent on the mock census while asking that NCP should provide the utilisation of the N1.9 billion spent by the commission.

 

The committee gave the commission till Nov. 16 to give them feedback and reconvened.

The representative of NCP Chairman, Mr Bala Banye, Chairman, Finance and General Purpose Committee of the commission, had earlier posited that the money spent covered the summit and states conferences.

 

He said the commission had documentary evidence of how the money was spent, saying, the understanding is that the summit was also done in all states of the Federation.

 

Mrs Arinola Olanipekun, Director of Census, NCP, said the stakeholders’ workshop was to bring to the Nigerian census 2023 instrument to question and the nature of data that would be generated.

She said it was also to meet the development of the country in order to seek Nigerians’ opinions on how to meet their needs.

 

“The national stakeholders are very necessary and needed the buy-in of the President, it added a lot of colour to it.

 

She said the stakeholders’ conference was captured in the capital expenditure, adding that was meant to be a one-day activity, stressing that the stakeholders’ meeting was captured in the 2022 budget.

Mr Fagbemi Benjamin, NPC Director of Finance, who was put on oath by the committee said the money spent at the villa event was N129 million, adding that the remaining N1.2 billion was for the 36 states and FCT.

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Politics

Lalong Appoints Ten New Permanent Secretaries

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Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau has approved the appointment of 10 new Permanent Secretaries.

The governor made the announcement in a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Dr Makut Macham, on Monday in Jos.

According to the statement, the new officials are to fill the vacancies created following the retirement/resignations of some Permanent Secretaries in the service of the state government.

“The new Permanent Secretaries are expected to be sworn in on Tuesday 24th January 2023.

“The new Permanent Secretaries are: Keziah Dung (Barkin Ladi); Yusuf Ayuba Gimba ( Bassa); Gongden Micah Sunday (Mangu); Lamu Michael Dennis (Mangu).

 

“ Peter Wuyep (Kanke); Bapman Naankin Emmanuel (Mikang); Boniface Gwotbit Bankshuet (Mikang); Gotan Benjamin James (Pankshin); Salamatu Ritmwa Parlong (Pankshin); and Wuyep Zitta (Langtang South)”.

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Enugu2023: My Government Will Explore The Opportunities Of Coal, Gas And Solar Energy To Meet Power Needs Of Enugu State – Frank Nweke Jr

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Frank Nweke Jr, the Enugu State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), on Sunday night, said that his government would explore the opportunities of resources like coal and natural gas (CNG) which the state has, as well as solar technology to meet the power needs of the citizens.

Nweke who spoke during a virtual town hall meeting with the Enugu Association, Canada, noted that Enugu has one of the highest electricity tariffs in Nigeria, an issue he would work closely with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) as Governor to understand and resolve.

“Electric power is critical for domestic use and economic progress. While working with the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company to improve supply and reduce tariffs, we have some opportunities available to us as alternatives to power from the mains.

“The use of coal has been stalled due to agreements induced by Western powers on the basis of managing climate change. What we have now are illegal miners and private companies who have expanses of coal deposits concessioned to them.

“As a government, we will work to retrieve these concessions by making deals with the people concerned or by making a strong representation to the government at the centre who hold the rights to mineral resources on the exclusive list under section 39 of the constitution.”

He also noted that the developed economies that had opposed large scale mining for reasons of climate change had fallen back to the use of coal due to the effects of the Russian-Ukraine war. He declared that he had the political will to ensure that all resources and opportunities available to the State would be explored.

On the use of natural gas (CNG), Nweke referred to Lagos and Abia where communities are sequestered, and clean energy provided to them. He revealed his team have had conversations with licensed operators who are willing to do the necessary due diligence checks and explore that opportunity whenever his government is ready.

Nweke further stated that as Governor he will also explore the opportunity of solar technology. He noted that Enugu already had young companies assembling inverters and looking to extend their production to solar panels.

“We will work with these local companies and with some established international companies from Japan, Turkey and other parts of the world to establish a ‘Partnership in Technology Program” to set up plants for assembling solar panels and training our people to do the same in Enugu State.

“Our intention is to put in place a policy that will mandate developers of new estates to deploy structures for renewable energy, taking sections of the State off-grid by providing power from natural gas or solar technology.” He concluded.

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Politics

Cross River Declares Work-Free Days For PVC Collection

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The Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, has declared Thursday, 26 and Friday, 27 January, 2023 as work-free days in the state to enable civil and public servants across the state to collect their Permanent Voters Cards.

 

The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Eric Anderson, said in a statement on Friday that the collection of PVCs was “in readiness for their full participation in the 2023 general election scheduled for Saturday, February 25, 2023 for Presidential and National Assembly elections as well as Saturday, March 11, 2023 for Governorship and State Houses of Assembly Elections.

“Government wishes to make it abundantly clear, especially for the benefit of members of the general public, to note that these work-free days are not Public Holidays and should NOT be seen as one.

 

“Civil and public servants in the state are hereby advised to take advantage of the work-free days to get their PVCs in readiness to make their votes count in these elections. Your PVC is the pathway to achieving credible elections.”

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