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Nigeria: Peter Obi blames churches for corruption

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Vice presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in the last general elections, Peter Obi, has told churches in Nigeria to be more critical in the fight against corruption.

Obi stated this yesterday, on the theme: “The Church and Good Governance” at the All Soul Church, Lekki, Lagos State.

The former Anambra State governor, said all institutions, including the church, contributed to that failure either through commission or omission.

“By blessing poor people who suddenly make money in government and come to church for thanksgiving rather than calling police for them, the church is not showing right example.”

Obi harped on the need for the church to be conscious of being the conscience of the world.

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He said that to reduce corruption, the government must make deliberate efforts to reduce so many tollgates by changing her procurement processes to ensure money moved directly to institutions they were meant for.

He also spoke of the exceptionally high cost of governance and proffered solution flowing from his practical experience.

“As governor of Anambra, I reduced the cost of governance through eliminating many unnecessary things our people make part of government such as long convoys, maintaining multiple guests houses, travelling with retinue of aides, among others.

“By the time you know it, I had excess money to meet our obligations including clearing arrears of pension to the tune of about N35 billion and saving over N75 billion for the state as at the day I left office,” Obi added.

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Wike signs revised 2020 budget into law

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Emergency rule: Some citizens plan to cause a breakdown of law and order in River state, says govt

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has signed into law the revised 2020 Appropriation Bill.

This followed the presentation of the budget by the Majority Leader of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Martin Amaewhule, at Government House, Port Harcourt.

The 2020 fiscal year signed by Wike is put at N300, 370, 071,183.33 billion.

This represents 48 percent reduction from the N530; 813,357,619.00 billion originally budgeted for spending, in the beginning of the fiscal year (2020).

Governor Wike said the unfortunate effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in Nigeria, necessitated the review.

He noted that the development has led to the reduction of budgetary allocations including capital and recurrent expenditures.

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But however assured that it will not affect the delivery of quality developmental projects and services to the people of the state.

“It is most unfortunate that everybody is living a different life now because of the pandemic, which calls for us to face the economic reality.

“The COVID-19 has affected economic activities and revenues of government, and so it became necessary to review our budget.

“By the revised budget, it means that so many things have to change. We have cut down the capital and recurrent expenditure to face reality.

“We are the only State that has not cut down the salaries of political appointees and elected officers. Virtually all the States have cut down 20 to 30 per cent of salaries of political appointees. Having cut down the recurrent expenditures, the overhead will no longer be the same,” he said.

The Governor also stated that his administration is determined to ensure that the proposed reconstruction of the Assembly quarters stands the test of time

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“One thing I can assure you is that we are working with Julius Berger Nigeria PLC to reconstruct the Assembly Quarters. We want something that will stand the test of time.

“A good living environment and quality houses will enhance your input and services to our State,” he stated.

The Governor promised to release the balance of funds for the 2018 constituency projects of the legislators.

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Also speaking, the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Martin Amaewhule said the state revised Appropriation Law No. 7 of 2020 is intended to make provision of services to fall into current reality.

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Former Delta governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, denies collecting contracts from NDDC

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Former Delta state governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, has denied claims of being one of the beneficiaries of contracts the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC.

Recall that PUNCH earlier reported that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, in his letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, listed the former governor as one beneficiary of the contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC contracts.

However, in a statement released Monday morning August 3 by his media aide, Monoyo Edon, Uduaghan denied the allegation, describing it as false.

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Read his statement below;

The attention of His Excellency, former Gov of Delta State Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, has been drawn to a publication by The Punch Newspapers of Monday 3rd August 2020, which stated that the “Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has linked two former governors of Delta State, Messrs James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan, to the various contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission”

In the said publication, it was stated that “Uduaghan was linked to the emergency repairs of Close B, Alhaji Estate & Environs, Rumuodomaya, Port Harcourt at a cost of N429m.”

We want to state very clearly that the said accusation is FALSE. Dr. Uduaghan has never approached the NDDC for any contract whatsoever. It is even more ridiculous that the said contract is a road inside Port Harcourt town. 

Dr. Uduaghan has drawn the attention of the Hon. Minister of the Niger Delta, Sen Godswill Akpabio to the publication and hopes he makes a correction. 

Members of the public are advised to disregard the mischevious publication. 

Monoyo Edon,
Media Assistant to His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, CON, the Immediate Past Governor of Delta State.

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Oyo to repatriate 40 trafficked women from Lebanon

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The Oyo State Government has begun preparation to repatriate no fewer than 40 of its female indigenes trafficked to and being used as slaves in Lebanon.

According to a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Oyo Governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa,  the Senior Special Assistant on Diaspora Matters, Mrs Bolanle Sarumi-Aliyu, said while briefing Governor Seyi Makinde on the plight indigenes trafficked to Lebanon.

Sarumi-Aliyu added that  40 female indigenes of the state had been identified in Lebanon while the state continues with identification of others to know the actual number of Oyo State indigenes being used as slaves in Lebanon

Makinde says the state will cover the expenses for the repatriation of all its indigenes found to have been trafficked to Lebanon.

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According to Adisa, the governor made the pledge while receiving a brief on the plight of Oyo indigenes trafficked to Lebanon from Bolanle Sarumi-Aliyu, senior special assistant on diaspora matters.

“We will pay for the repatriation of all Oyo State indigenes who have been confirmed to have been trafficked to Lebanon. Please put all necessary plans in place to bring them back,” Makinde was quoted to have said.

“I understand that some well-meaning individuals and groups have made some donations to some of the victims, let them use such donations as pocket money.

“This state will pay for their flights and the fees requested to conduct COVID-19 tests on each of them.”

In a video published recently, some Nigerian ladies had appealed to the federal government and other relevant stakeholders to rescue them from Lebanon.

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While giving the governor an update on the persons stranded in Lebanon, Sarumi-Aliyu said 40 of such victims have been screened and are ready for the journey home, while more victims were still being discovered.

“We are expecting them back on a special flight on August 12. The government of Engineer Seyi Makinde has shown renewed commitment to the welfare of our people in the diaspora and we are pleased with that,” she said.

“Since the government found out that we have some victims of human trafficking, who are stranded in Lebanon, we have stepped in.

“On the 11th of July, we received 11 victims and they are going through rehabilitation with the social workers in the Ministry of Women Affairs. The state has given commitment that they will all be empowered.

“The same thing will happen to those we are expecting from the flight from Lebanon this August, once they have been cleared.”

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