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ActionAid Nigeria: Nigeria’s Grim Period, Not Over Yet, Poverty Will Soar

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ActionAid Nigeria: Nigeria’s Grim Period, Not Over Yet, Poverty Will Soar

By: Michael Mike

ActionAid Nigeria has warned that the grim period is not yet over in the country, stating that poverty levels are projected to soar.

A statement signed by the Chair, Board of Directors, ActionAid Nigeria, Jummai Umar Ajijola at the weekend after a Review of the State of the Nation, said: “ActionAid Nigeria’s Board of Directors conducted a comprehensive review of the state of the nation during its 52nd meeting and highlighted critical issues affecting the Nation.

“The Board of Directors recognises that Nigeria is grappling with one of its most challenging periods in recent history. The period between December 2023 and March 2024 has been characterised by soaring inflation rates, fluctuating foreign exchange regime, escalating security challenges, electricity shutdown and power failures, and pervasive corruption in all tiers of government, culminating in a dire state of the economy and cost-of-living crisis. Nigeria’s current situation is seemingly grim and poverty levels are projected to soar.

It however recommended that: “The federal government must now take bold and decisive measures to combat the rampant inflation, particularly the soaring food prices, by swiftly implementing robust monetary and fiscal policies. It must also reevaluate subsidy policies on essential commodities like gasoline and electricity to mitigate the adverse impact on the cost of living and ensure equitable distribution of resources. Now is the time for a thorough review of budget allocations to ensure sufficient funding of critical sectors such as health, agriculture, security, and education, while minimising expenditures on debt servicing and expanding and strengthening social welfare programmes.

“Given the increase in the interest rate to 24.75% by the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), we urge the Federal Government and CBN to take immediate action to mitigate the adverse effects of the increased interest rates on small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs), particularly by providing alternative funding sources or financial support schemes for SMEs to access affordable loans.

“In the light of the alarming trend of mass kidnappings, particularly targeting students, internally displaced persons (IDPs), as well as ordinary citizens and health workers, with ransom demands reaching into the millions of naira, we demand that the federal and state governments allocate substantial resources and manpower to bolster security forces and intelligence capabilities. We urge security agencies to mobilise all available resources, enhance coordination between different levels of law enforcement, conduct thorough investigations to apprehend all individuals involved in kidnapping operations, and prioritise the safety and security of communities, schools, roads and IDP camps through increased surveillance and patrols.

“The Board of Directors strongly condemns the alarming allegations of budget padding and the mismanagement of public funds as reported within the Senate. The allegations of corrupt practices within the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, involving the two immediate former Ministers, are also appalling. We enjoin all CSOs and Nigerians to join us in reminding and calling out lawmakers and public officers that the welfare and interest of the Nigerian populace supersede their personal agendas. Any endeavors aimed at circumventing this principle or diverting public funds for personal gains warrant prompt and resolute intervention by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“While we applaud the recent anti-corruption efforts of the EFCC, we find the reported actions of some lawmakers and government appointees deeply concerning. Therefore, we ask that the EFCC and ICPC expedite their inquiries into these matters, ensuring that all individuals found culpable are held fully accountable under the law. The judiciary must also expedite legal proceedings and administer fair and impartial judgments in  corruption cases and abuse of office without delay to send a clear message that corruption will not be tolerated in our society.”

The ActionAid Nigeria’s Board applauded the deliberate steps being taken by government to guarantee the independence of the  judiciary with the appointment, confirmation and swearing in of 11 new justices of the Supreme Court, while praising the recent new salary structure put in place for  judicial officers, with the hope that it would enhance the independence and integrity of the judiciary.

It also applauded the Federal Government for the recent appreciation of the Naira, noting that the significant appreciation of the Nigerian Naira against the US dollar reflects the success of collaborative efforts and strategic interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stabilize and strengthen our national currency, calling for the continued support and adherence to sound monetary policies, transparency, and accountability in the financial sector to sustain this progress.

It stated that the recurrent breakdowns of the national power grid, coupled with the recent approval by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to increase electricity tariffs for customers are unacceptable, noting that the elimination of electricity subsidies will significantly compound the hardships endured by ordinary Nigerians, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and investors, it demands that the Federal Government conduct comprehensive reforms within the energy sector to address the persistent challenges faced by Nigerians, thereby enhancing electricity generation, transmission, and distribution capacities to mitigate power shortages.

It said: “We are also demanding a thorough review of energy subsidy policies to ensure efficiency and equitable distribution of resources, taking into account the impact on low-income households and the broader economy.”

It however commended the readiness to implement the Orosanye report and white paper; but insisted that President Tinubu’s administration ensures it follows through with the implementation of the recommendations in the report and the white paper, stressing that: “This is particularly critical given the President’s overload with 47 Ministers and hundreds of aides, all benefiting from the nation’s resources. The Federal Government must demonstrate commitment to cutting down on  executive profligacy and the people must be more proactive in holding their representatives in the National Assembly accountable for their financial recklessness.”

The Board of Directors condemned in strong terms the ambush and killing of 17 military personnel in Okouma, Delta state and ,demands swift and thorough action to bring the perpetrators of the ambush and murder to justice. It called on the Nigerian security forces to intensify their efforts in apprehending those responsible and ensure that they face the full weight of the law, but however stated that in doing this “we enjoin the military to operate within the ambits of the law and respect the rights of the people. Community leaders and residents are implored to assist in these efforts by providing any relevant information they may have and promote peace and dialogue within their communities.”

It urged civil society organisations (CSOs) to amplify their voices and advocate more for accountability, transparency, and social justice in response to the pressing issues in the nation.

ActionAid Nigeria: Nigeria’s Grim Period, Not Over Yet, Poverty Will Soar

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Governor Zulum Receives House Committee on NEDC

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Governor Zulum Receives House Committee on NEDC

By: Our Reporter

Governor Babagana Umara Zulum received the House Committee on the North East Development Commission (NEDC) led by Chairman, Hon. Usman Zanna, on a visit to Maiduguri. The committee assessed the projects executed by NEDC under the leadership of MD/CEO Alhaji Mohammed Goni.

Hon. Usman Zanna commended NEDC for its remarkable work, particularly the road construction projects in Jere and Mafa Local Government areas. He also praised Governor Zulum’s administration for its achievements in infrastructural development, security, and other areas. He wished the Governor a long life to continue serving humanity.

Governor Zulum expressed gratitude to the Federal Government for establishing NEDC and commended the commission for its developmental projects in the Northeast Region. He requested support for the resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their ancestral homes, as funding and feeding by the state government and NGOs are no longer sustainable.

Additionally, as Chairman of the Northeast Governor’s Forum, Governor Zulum requested NEDC’s support for a hybrid solar power plant with a capacity of 10MegaWatt, to complement the one being constructed by the states. This will provide sufficient power to the region.

The Governor thanked the committee for their visit and wished them a safe journey back to their destinations.

In attendance were the Head of Service, Commissioners, Special Advisers, and other officials.

Governor Zulum Receives House Committee on NEDC

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Chairman Global Links paid a condolence visit to the families of the late Emir of Tikau.

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Chairman Global Links paid a condolence visit to the families of the late Emir of Tikau.

By: Yahaya Wakili

The Chairman and CEO of Global Links Limited, Alhaji Yakubu Yunusa (Alias Alhaji Bakoji), has paid a condolence visit to the family of the late Emir of Tikau, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Ibn Grema, in Sabon Garin Nangere, over his recent demise.

Alhaji Bakoji, who is also a renowned transporter in Nigeria, describes the death of the emir of Tikau, Muhammadu Abubakar Ibn Grema, as a great loss to the Tikau emirate, Yobe state, and Nigeria at Large.

“The late Emir of Tikau, HRH, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Ibn Grema, was a first-class cheif and Paramount pillar of the Karai-karai people.” Alhaji Bakoji said.

According to him, the late monarch was a pillar of strength and wisdom and dedicated his reign to serving the Tikau emirate and upholding our traditional values as a people of Yobe state origin.

He expressed his deepest sympathies to the Emir’s family, the Chiroman Tikau, Alhaji Ibrahim Talba, and loved ones, and prayed to Almighty Allah (SWT) to grant the soul of His Royal Highness, Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Ibn Grema, rest in Aljannatul Firdaus. 

Alhaji Bakoji also prayed to Almighty Allah to grant his soul eternal rest in Aljannatul Firdaus, as well as grant his family and the entire people of the Tikau emirate council the fortitude to bear the loss.

Alhaji Muhammadu Abubakar Ibn Grema died at Specialist Potiskum on May 10th, 2024, after a protected illness. May his soul eternal rest in Aljannatul Firdaus. Ameen.

Chairman Global Links paid a condolence visit to the families of the late Emir of Tikau.

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Lawan joins Akpabio to present the 10th Assembly Magazine

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Lawan joins Akpabio to present the 10th Assembly Magazine

By: Yahaya Wakili

The President of the 9th Senate, Senator Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, Ph.D., GCON, Sardaunan Bade, Yobe North Senatorial District, said it was a pleasure for him to join his successor, the President of the Senate, His Excellency, Senator (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio, CON, for the public presentation of the 10th Senate Magazine during plenary on Wednesday.

Senator Ahmed Lawan revealed this in a statement issued and signed by him, which was made available to Newsng in Damaturu, the Yobe state capital.

The magazine is a compilation of the achievements of the senate during the 10th legislative session under the leadership of the president of the 10th Senate, Senator (Dr.) Godswill Akpabio, in the last year.

“During my time as Senate President between 2019 and 2023, we worked tirelessly to serve Nigerians and create impactful legislation to improve the lives of our citizens. I am confident that the 10th Senate Magazine will continue to showcase the hard work and contributions of all Senators who work tirelessly to achieve our legislative agenda,” Senator Ahmed Lawan said.

“I want to congratulate the Senate President, Senator Godswill Akpabio, for ensuring that the magazine accurately reflects the accomplishments of the 10th Senate.

It is my hope that under his leadership, the Senate will continue to make significant strides in moving our nation forward.

The president of the Ninth Senate further said, I look forward to celebrating the many successes of the Senate with my distinguished colleagues and fellow Nigerians. Together, we will continue to work towards a brighter future for our great nation.

Lawan joins Akpabio to present the 10th Assembly Magazine

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