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Lagos reduces 2020 budget from N1.17trn to N920bn

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The Lagos State Government has reduced its 2020 budget from N1.17trn to N920bn.

The state Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Sam Egube, on Thursday, said the review would reduce the budget by 21 per cent.

He said the aim of the downward review was to mitigate the economic and social headwinds caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

The Lagos State House of Assembly had in December 2020 passed N1.169trn Appropriation Bill for the atate.

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The budget contained N457bn recurrent expenditure and N711bn capital expenditure.

Egube said the first quarter of 2020 recorded a budget performance of 56 per cent (N163.2bn); which in absolute terms was higher than the 68 per cent (N148.3Bn) recorded for the same period in 2019.

The commissioner listed some of the factors that necessitated the review of the budget to include fall in crude oil prices, downward pressure of IGR, devaluation of the naira, reduced public and private investment, increased inflation, decline in demand for goods and services and reduction in manufacturing activities.

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“To restart the economy, we are going to optimise the state’s budget for investments in jobs and priority sectors through job creation, economic stabilisation and fiscal consolidation.

“While to re-imagine the state economy, we will prepare the state to operate and thrive within the new reality with digitisation, business environment reforms, improved economy and diversification of revenue sources” he added.

He gave the proposed breakdown of the revised budget as follows; total budget size reduced by 21 per cent from N1,168.562bn to N920.469bn with the financing deficit increasing by 11 per cent from N97.533bn to N108.005bn.

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Politics

Anywhere there is strict law and order, a lot of Nigerians would have problems – ambassadorial nominee

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Covid-19: China reports 27 new cases, death toll at 4,632 after data revisions

Nigerians in China having disputes with authorities because they find it difficult to abide by the stringent laws

An ambassadorial nominee, Mr Ismail Abba, has given reasons Nigerians living in China are having disputes with Chinese authorities.

He added that anywhere that you have strict law and order, a lot of Nigerians would have problems

Abba, who appeared before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs on Friday, stated this while answering a question from a member of the Committee, Senator James Manager, on how he hoped to address the hostilities between the Chinese officials and the Nigerians there if posted to the country.

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The nominee said from his diplomatic experience in the Foreign Affairs Ministry, a lot of Nigerians usually had problems in any country where there were strict laws.

He said they found it difficult to cope “because many things Nigerians take for granted in their own country are taken seriously in other climes.”

He further stated,

“The challenges that Nigerians are having in China are not limited to China alone.

“I discovered in the course of my career because I had worked on the consulate immigration desk, I found that anywhere that you have strict law and order, a lot of Nigerians would have problems.

“ This is because a lot of things we take for granted here, others don’t; that is the number one problem.

“The second problem is that of constructive engagement. The job of a diplomat anywhere in the world is to constructively engage his host country to the benefit of his home country.

“We have a big distraction to the point that the consular issues tend to overshadow the real diplomatic issues and then your engagement with the host country would be always about prisoners, among others.

“When I was in China, we had about 2,000 Nigerian students in China from all over the country, a lot of them on self-sponsorship and private sponsorship and they were doing very well and the Chinese respected them.

“The people that the Chinese do not respect are those who come in with tourist visas, overstayed and did nothing, that is the problem.”

He said the consulate often enlightened the people whenever they arrived in China.

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Politics

Dissolution of Zamfara LG councils unconstititional – APC

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The Zamfara chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned the dissolution of the 14 Local Government administrations by the state government, describing it as unconstitutional.

The state APC Chairman, Alhaji Lawal Liman, made the condemnation in an interview with the Newsmen

Reports have it that the state house of assembly had on Thursday recommended the immediate dissolution of all the councils for alleged negligence on security and financial recklessness.

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Gov. Bello Matawalle, after approving the recommendation of the house, appointed caretaker chairmen to pilot the affairs of the 14 councils.

Nine of the chairmen who had defected to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were among those appointed as caretaker chairmen of the LGAs.

Liman described the dissolution as a violation of the Constitution, saying the APC as a law-abiding political party would not accept it.

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He said the party would follow due process to challenge the government on the matter.

“The matter of tenure of local government chairmen is before the court, therefore, we will follow the Constitutional means to challenge the government over the issue.

“This is very unfortunate, the way PDP led government is violating the constitution to protect its political interest.”

He also said that the dissolution was a “political blackmail” against the five LG council chairmen who refused to decamp to PDP.

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Liman called on APC supporters in the state to remain calm, saying the party was working to protect their interests.

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Nigeria Update

Governor Bello lifts lockdown, insists Kogi is COVID-19 free

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COVID-19: Bello orders two weeks total lockdown in Kabba/Bunu LGA

The lockdown imposed on Kabba-Bunu Local Government Area of the state over suspected cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19), has been lifted by the Kogi state government.

Governor Yahaya Bello who made the announcement at the Government House in Lokoja on Friday, June 5, said the decision of lifting the lockdown in the local government area was reached after samples which were tested came back negative.

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The Governor who insisted that Kogi state still remains a COVID-19-free state urged residents of the state to observe protocols of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to curb the spread of the disease.

This is coming days after the NCDC announced that two Coronavirus cases were confirmed in the state. Dino Melaye also confirmed this by revealing that he knows one of the patients.

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