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Governor Obiano Signs N114.9bn Anambra 2020 revised budget

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Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has signed into law, the revised appropriation bill of N114.9 billion for the year 2020.

The budget with the theme, ‘‘Accelerating Infrastructural Development and Youth Entrepreneurship’’ has a total reduction of N22.2bn from the original budget of N137.1bn, translating to a 16 percent reduction.

According to a statement made available to newsmen in Awka, on Friday, by executive assistant to the governor on Research & Policy Formulation, Honourable Nonso Ndumanya, the budget originally approved by the state House of Assembly on the October 25th, 2019, was earlier assented to by the Governor on November 8th, 2019.

At the State Executive Council Chambers, Governor’s Lodge, Awka, Obiano said the revision became necessary following the COVID-19 pandemic which brought about a fall in crude oil price and the national and state-wide lockdown of businesses.

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This development, the governor said, has forced Federal and state governments to review their approved budgets downwards in line with the expected reductions in revenue.

“Breakdown shows the revised budget has a recurrent expenditure of N49.2billion representing a 16.3 percent reduction from the original estimates of N58.8billion and capital expenditure of N65.8billion as opposed to N78.4billion in the 2020 original budget, representing a reduction of 16.1 percent.

Further analysis shows expected revenues & grants and financing respectively were reduced to N89.4billion and N10billion from the former estimates of N120.9bn and N16billion respectively, which represents 26 and 37.5 percent reduction.

He said despite the significant reduction in the current expenditure estimates, the state government had kept faith with its responsibility to the workforce by ensuring that minimal reductions were made in the personnel budget.

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The bulk of the reduction was made on non-critical personnel and overhead costs, however, overhead and personnel costs for MDAs in the health sector were not reduced as they are central to the State COVID-19 response.

“Clarifying further, the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Budget and Development Partners, Mr. Mark Okoye, said the downward revision was due to financial risks arising from the emerging global economic crisis, especially the fall in the prices of oil at the international market, cut in production and low demand caused by lock-down/movement restrictions with attendant effects on the economy and consequent reductions in federal allocations to states and local governments.

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The revised budget, he affirmed, is in sync with the World Bank Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (CARES) program, part of a broader emergency intervention which begins next year, to protect livelihoods and food security of poor and vulnerable families and facilitate recovery of local economic activity in all participating States across Nigeria while aligning with the States Fiscal Transparency Accountability for Sustainability (SFTAS) requirements which avails states certain grants, if they meet specified conditions, including that COVID-19 related expenses must be at least 10 percent of the total budget.

Okoye said that the COVID-19 response expenditure of the entire 2020 revised budget (Recurrent and Capital) is 12.1 percent.

 

 

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Gov. Fayemi mourns ex-Ekiti lawmaker, Fakiyesi

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Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has described the death of a former state lawmaker, Mr Kola Fakiyesi, as “very shocking and unfortunate”.

The governor, in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Yinka Oyebode, and made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Sunday, said that Fakiyesi passed on at his prime.

He said that his death was a great loss to the state and the APC family to which the deceased belonged.

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Fayemi described Fakiyesi as a very loyal party man, adding that since his election into the Assembly in 2003 on the platform of Alliance for Democracy, he did not waiver in his political belief, as he remained in the progressive camp throughout his lifetime.

He added that the late Fakiyesi also represented Irepodun/Ifelodun constituency I in the Second Assembly meritoriously.

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He said the late former lawmaker’s pedigree as an astute and loyal party man earned him the position of Minority Leader in the Assembly.

“He later served as a member of the State House of Assembly Service Commission and Local Government Service Commission,” he said.

The governor said that the deceased spent his life in service to humanity, adding that his dynamism and diligence endeared him to the people of his constituency.

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Fayemi commiserated with the family of the late politician and the people of Iyin Ekiti, his home town, praying God to grant them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.

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PDP BOT Chairman seeks conduct of LG election by INEC

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Sen. Wali Jibrin, the Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has urged the National Assembly to hasting the process of empowering INEC to conduct all elections in the country.

This, he said, would go a long way in giving the electorate the opportunity to elect credible leaders at the grassroots, thereby strengthening democracy.

Jibrin made the call while speaking with newsmen in his country home, Nasarawa, during the Nasarawa central constituency’s bye-election, conducted by INEC on Saturday.

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According to him, most of the elections conducted at the local government level in most parts of the country lack credibility and therefore, a slap on Nigeria’s democracy.

“If the National Assembly formulates a law that empowers INEC to conduct all elections in the country, it will further strengthen democracy.

“That is why I am calling on National Assembly to hasting the process of allowing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct all elections in the country.

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“This will allow the people at the grassroots elect credible leaders of their choice and ensure speedy development in the country,” he said.

Jibrin lauded INEC for the peaceful conduct of the by-election in the constituency.

The BOT chairman called on relevant stakeholders and politicians to support INEC for the improved electoral process.

He also enjoined PDP stakeholders and supporters in the state and the country at large to continue to remain united for the peace, progress, and development of the party.

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The Newsmen reports that counting of voting was still ongoing in many polling units visited as at the time of filing this report.

reporters also report that the bye-election was the sequel to the death of the member representing Nasarawa’s central constituency in the state House of Assembly, Alhaji Suleiman Adamu (APC) on April 30.

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Wike tackles Oshiomhole on Obaseki’s certificate

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Wike, Oshiomhole

Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike has denounced claims by former Edo Governor Comrade Adams Oshiomhole that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governor Godwin Obaseki lacked required academic credentials to contest the September 19 poll.

Wike, in a statement by his Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, said Oshiomhole did not have the moral standing to question his successor’s qualifications.

The Governor, who is also Chairman of PDP National Campaign Council for the Edo 2020 Governorship Election, dismissed issues surrounding Obaseki’s certificates.

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Reacting to comments by Oshiomhole during the flag off of the APC Governorship Campaign in Edo, Wike berated the former APC National Chairman for his continued claims despite affirmation by the University of Ibadan that Obaseki is an alumnus.

Wike challenged Oshiomhole to present his academic certificate and stop discouraging Edo people from voting a candidate he once claimed was the brainbox of his administration’s achievements.

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He said: “The certificate claims about Governor Obaseki by the former APC National Chairman is a non-issue because he is the best candidate for Edo State.

“It is unfortunate that we are in a country that somebody that does not have a certificate will question the one that has.

“Oshiomhole has trade test which is not an academic qualification. I challenge him to show the world his academic qualification.

“Oshiomhole is trying to tell Edo people whatever he decides is what will be and this is an opportunity for Edo people to say no.

“His claim that if APC loses the election they will secure the mandate through the courts is a total confirmation that the party cannot win the Edo election through the ballot box.

“Securing victory through the courts will be null and void as there are still Judges in Nigeria with conscience who cannot dance to the tune of the APC.”

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