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CSJ Describes Purchase of SUV to Lawmakers in this Time as Insensitive

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CSJ Describes Purchase of SUV to Lawmakers in this Time as Insensitive

By: Michael Mike

Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has described as insensitive the purchase of Toyota SUVs worth about N130 million each as official vehicles to members of House of Representatives against the background of Nigeria’s perilous fiscal position, insisting that from all indications money was borrowed to buy the exotic cars for the lawmakers

A statement jointly signed by the NGO Good Governance Manager, Victor Emejuiwe, and Public Finance Management, Sundayson Chidi said the organisation noted “with regret the confirmation by the House of Representatives, that it is taking delivery of Toyota SUVs worth about N130 million each as official vehicles.

“According to the Chairman, House Committee on Media, Akin Rotimi, the vehicles allocated to the Honourable Members was in accordance with extant procurement law and this has been the practice in previous Assemblies.

“He justified the purchase of the vehicle stating that this is not peculiar to the legislature as unelected government officials in the executive, precisely from the level of Director and above have official vehicles attached to their offices.”

The statement said: “Furthermore, the committee chairman asserted that the vehicles which will be allocated to the offices of the honourable members are utility operational vehicles tied to their oversight functions in the discharge of their duties in standing committees; they are not personal vehicles gifted to honourable members.”

The statement added that: “CSJ and indeed all right-thinking Nigerians are extremely troubled about this development against the background of Nigeria’s perilous fiscal position. The 2022 year-to-end budget implementation report confirmed that 96 percent of Nigeria’s revenue was used for debt service, thus implying that only 4 percent was available for personnel, overheads and capital expenditures and this trajectory has worsened in 2023.

“The implication of this is that Nigeria is borrowing to buy these vehicles at a time we are unable to meet foreign exchange obligations to service providers like airline operators and manufacturers who can no longer secure foreign exchange for the purchase of raw materials.”

The CSJ said “Nigerians expected reduction in cost of governance but instead the Honourable Members in an insensitive manner increased the burden on the people. Even if the legislators have to drive SUVs, they could as well have bought same from local manufacturers.

“By their action, the Representatives have not only exported jobs, denied government of personal income tax and corporate income tax of the workers and companies respectively; they have put further pressure on the exchange rate of the Naira which is currently trading at its lowest ebb since independence. By their actions, they have contributed in no small measure to the economic adversity of Nigeria.

“The legislators have failed to realize that it is part of their duty to stop public office holders from abusing public resources, rather they have chosen to justify their SUVs acquisition on the grounds that other officials are acquiring SUVs. If legislators cannot improve the living conditions of Nigerians, they have no right and it is not part of their duty to worsen the living standards of the majority who stayed under the sun and rain to cast their votes for them.”

“In the light of the foregoing, we are demanding that these vehicles be returned to wherever they were bought from and the treasury reimbursed,” the CSJ asked.

CSJ Describes Purchase of SUV to Lawmakers in this Time as Insensitive

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Nigeria Commiserates with Tanzania Over the Pssing of Former President Ali Hassan Nwinyi

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Nigeria Commiserates with Tanzania Over the Pssing of Former President Ali Hassan Nwinyi

By: Michael Mike

The Federal Government of Nigeria has commiserated with the Government and People of the United Republic of Tanzania over the passing of former President Ali Hassan Mwinyi.

The former President died on Thursday. He would be remembered as
an African Elder Statesman, who was an astute and influential politician that contributed significantly to laying the foundation for Tanzania’s economic development.

A statement signed by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Francisca Omayuli on Friday said: “Nigeria stands with Tanzania in this period of grief. May the soul of the departed former President rest in peace and may God grant the bereaved family, the Government and the good people of the United Republic of Tanzania the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

Nigeria Commiserates with Tanzania Over the Pssing of Former President Ali Hassan Nwinyi

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Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

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Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

By: Ladi Dapson

The Borno state government has charged the youths to take the lead in peace building,conflicts management and learn how to be tolerant in respective of faiths and ethicity coloration.

The State Commissioner for Information and Internal Security, Prof Usman Tar made this known during an inaugurating of 100 awardees of yoths as Peace Advocates in Borno State held in Maiduguri.

He urged the youths to take the advantages of their population in Nigeria just like the way China took the advantage of their population and bring some innovation to boast their economy.

“Today we inaugurating the young peace Ambassadors that we will be going into the society tricking down the capacity of peace building and tolerance that we have thought them.

“The outcome of this excise is that we now have critical young mind that will serve as ambassadors of peace go out and target specific community as well as teach the art of peace, conflict resolution, conflict management, peace building, and diplomacy.

“So that the society will be more tolerant, more engaging and society will learn to leave side by side with people of all faiths and tendency,”he said.

Earlier, the Founder of Peace Ambassadors Center for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment, Amb. Ahmed Shehu said youths are critical stakeholders in peace processes, urging the people in the community to identify the youths in their community and give them the necessary support.

“As a civil society, we thought we have to play our role towards ensuring we have a stable society.

“What we observed in these efforts is that a critical element is missing. This is the youth groups and we thought why can’t we come up with an initiative where we build the capacity of the youth and make them youth advocates and unleash them to the society for peacebuilding.

“We carefully selected young people and voices across all sectors, from the media, CSOs and academia. Our dream is you would go back to the community and change the narratives,”Ahmed said.

He was awarded for a responsible media practice and promoting of a culture of peace.

One of recipients of the Peace Advocate Award and Social Media Influencer, Aliyu Mohammed Tong applauded the Peace Ambassadors Center for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment and partners for finding them worthy of this award after a series of trainings and community engagements.

“As we accepted the award we equally took it as a challenge to positively make an impact in our various communities by stepping down the knowledge we gained on reintegration and sustainable peace.”Aliyu thanked.

Some of the recipients include Mohammed Usman, General Manager of Al-Ansar Radio; Usaman Mohammed, Report with Yerwa Express News; Umaru Kirawa, Correspondent of Newscentral Africa, Zainab Yetunde Adam, Reporter with NTA amongst.

The project was funded by the British Council in partnership with the Borno State Ministry for information and Internal Security and implemented by Peace Ambassadors Centre for Humanitarian Aid and Empowerment.

Youth are vital to sustainable peace, better Nigeria-Prof Usman to Youths

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New NIS CG Promises Policies Discouraging Illegal Migration, Foster Bilateral Relations

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New NIS CG Promises Policies Discouraging Illegal Migration, Foster Bilateral Relations

By: Michael Mike

The newly appointed Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service, Kemi Nandap has promised to evolve policies that would prevent illegal migration, safeguard the lives of Nigerians and foster positive bilateral relations.

Nandap made the promise on Friday in Abuja during her decoration with her new rank by the Minister of Interior, Hon. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo

The Comptroller General, while expressing gratitude to President Bola Tinubu and the Minister of Interior for her new appointment, said: “I extend my sincerest gratitude and profound reverence to His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the trust and confidence placed in me to lead this esteemed organisation. I am very grateful to my Honourable Minister of Interior- Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo-for his vision, meticulous focus, tireless work ethic, and leadership. I must also acknowledge and sincerely thank the Permanent Secretary and the entire Board for their unwavering support and endorsement.”

She added that: “As I step into this role, I want to first assure our fellow Nigerians that I am fully prepared and committed to serving our nation with utmost dedication and integrity. I am not unaware of the socioeconomic challenges and pains facing our beloved country, and I pledge-to use the functions of the Nigerian Immigration Service to alleviate these struggles to the best of our
ability.

“To that end and under the guiding principles of the “Renewed Hope” agenda set forth by his excellency, President Tinubu’s administration, we will strive towards unity, growth and development. We will prioritize the welfare of our immigration officers and enhance the ease and .efficiency of engagement between Nigerian citizens and the Immigration service. We will focus on improving the entry and acclimatization processes for compliant foreigners through various visa and residency programmes.

“Furthermore, we are steadfast in our resolve to strengthen policies to prevent illegal migration, safeguard the lives of our citizens and foster positive bilateral relations. Tightening border security will be our major objective to reduce the porosity of our borders and enhance overall national security.

She added that: “We will strive to implement revenue generation programmes to bolster the economy, contribute to our tax quota, and aid in job creation.

“In addition, we will continue to integrate cutting-edge techology to modernize the Nigerian Immigration Service. Our Honourable minister has demonstrated the power of technology in creating a seamless e-passport system for citizens. We will continue under his aegis to reform the service for greater efficiency and ease.”

Earlier, the Minister of Interior has charged the new CG that it was important that she performs as no excuse for non-performance would be entertained.

He noted that the entire nation is looking up to her to perform and not ready to entertain any excuse.

New NIS CG Promises Policies Discouraging Illegal Migration, Foster Bilateral Relations

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