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10th House Speaker: G7 Unruffled by Open Ballot Voting System

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Rep. Yusuf Gagdi (APC-Plateau), a member of the ‘G-7’ says his group remain unruffled in spite change in the House rules that now allows open ballot voting.

Gagdi, the Chairman, House Committee on Navy said this while speaking with newsmen on sundry issues ahead of the June 5 inauguration of 10th National Assembly in Abuja.

This is coming against the backdrop of recent agitation over plot to doctor the House of Reps Standing Order 10th edition which adopt open ballot voting.

This was allegedly aimed at compelling members-elect to openly declare the names of their nominees during the election of the presiding officers.

The lawmaker said, in whatever manner the election was going to take, the G-7 were not bothered or scared, adding that such moved had it disadvantage and advantage to both parties.

The G7 are a group of aspirants for the 10th National Assembly speaker, opposed to the consensus candidate the APC chose.

Members of the group are Reps. Ahmed Wase, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, Sada Soli, Sani Jaji, Miriam Onuhoa, Aliyu Betara and Gagdi.

Gagdi said what would befall the fate of opposition parties that would conspire against their own party’s directive to vote for the ruling party adopted candidate might not be savoury.

”Look at the composition of the house, the opposition has 182 put together, while the ruling APC has 178, in the circumstances, the comfortable majority we do not have as the rulling party.

“You think the 182 will not be scared of their governors and leaders who already gave them instruction regarding who becomes the speaker,” he queried.

He said the consequences of the open ballot would affect all group, adding that with this, the G-7 would be good to go in whatever way the house wanted to approach the election.

NAN reports that the rules, referred to as the 10th edition, has a new provision for electing the Speaker and Deputy through an open ballot instead of the existing rule of secret ballot  that has been in use since 1999.

Section 2 (f) (iii) of the controversial clause read this: “election of presiding officers” every member voting shall name clearly and in the open the candidate of his choice.”

Meanwhile, a former Clerk of the House of Reps, Mr Gani Ojagbohunmi has confirmed that voting during the election of the two presiding officers of the Senate and House of Reps, were usually through secret ballot. (NAN)

POLITICS

Tinubu Tasks APC Stakeholders in North-Central on Unity

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President Bola Tinubu has urged the stakeholders and members of  All Progressives Congress (APC) in the North-Central Zone to remain united in order to take the party to the next level of development.

Tinubu made the call on Saturday at  the Zonal stakeholders meeting of the party in Lafia.

Tinubu, who was the Chairman of the meeting, was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation ( SGF), Sen.

George Akume.

The president said:” I want to appeal to all of you to maintain unity. We need to maintain unity of purpose, unity of brothers and sisters for the progress of our party and the country at large “

He also commended Governors of the zone for initiating projects that have direct bearing on the lives of the people.

Tinubu solicited continued support and prayers from the stakeholders, APC members and other Nigerians to enable him succeed.

The president assured of his administration’s commitment to continue to provide infrastructure and other good policies that would improve the lives of Nigerians.

On his part, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, the APC National Chairman, said the party has introduced a lot of reforms,  including e- registration for party members.

” We have introduced e-registration for party members as e-registration will give us accurate numbers of our party members,” he said.

Ganduje appreciated Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa and the North Central APC leaders for inviting him to the meeting.

He also called on the stakeholders and other members of the party to embrace unity for the overall development of the party and Nigeria at large.

The APC national chairman urged  Nigerians to support Tinubu’s administration to succeed.

Also Speaking, Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara , who is the North-Central APC Coordinator, said the meeting was to discuss issues that would move the party forward.

” It is also to thank our party stakeholders for the success of our party and to interact with ourselves for the overall development of our party,” he said.

The governor urged stakeholders and other members of the party to build a formidable North-Central zone, urging,

” Let’s all make North-Central formidable.”

On their parts,  the Nasarawa governor, Gov.  Usman Ododo of Kogi and Gov. Hyacinth Alia of Benue, also called for  unity among APC members.

Sule said: ” Dear members of APC, let’s have the party in our hearts for the progress of the party and for the overall development of the country.

 Also, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, Rep. Idris Wase, Hajiya Imaan Sulaiman Ibrahim, Minister of Police Affairs ( State), Hajiya  Hajarat Danyaro, member representing Nasarawa Central at the State House of Assembly, among other stakeholders ,  urged for focus and unity.

They appealed to party members to remain focused and united for the progress of the party.

They appealed that all hands must be on the deck to take the party to the next level of development.(NAN)

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POLITICS

Niger Assembly Halts Ongoing Construction of IBB University Teaching Hospital Over Substandard Quality

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From  Dan Amasingha, Minna. 

Niger State House of Assembly joint committees on works, health and Nutrition have directed the immediate suspension of the ongoing construction of IBB University Teaching Hospital Minna due to lack of compliance with the contract specifications.

Chairman of the House Committees Arch.

Suleiman Abubakar Gomna and his counterpart, Pharm.
Umar Nasir gave the order during an oversight visit to the project site in Minna.

The Lawmakers described the project as below standard and a deliberate plan by the contractors to shortchange the state government. 

Abubakar Gomna expressed sadness over the substandard nature of the ongoing project noting that, Poor quality work has repercussions that extend to safety and communication in addition to wasted time, resources and materials.

The lawmaker explained that lack of adequate quality control procedures and improve construction project efficiency can have a ripple effect of high expectation.

“There is  urgent  need for material testing towards  ensuring  quality and standard.”      

Chairman house standing committee on health and Nutrition, Pharmacist Umar Nasir said durability, strength, and quality of materials play a pivotal role in the safety and longevity of structures in construction and can significantly impact the overall performance of a construction project.

The Head Project Management of Think Lab Group Limited, Mohammed Lawal Aliyu disclosed that the project consist of three phases which includes; renovation of old structures and building new one.

He said infrastructure such as road, electrification and water as well as supply of medical equipment is also embedded in the contract.

Daily Asset gathered that the contractor, Think Lab Group is  handing the project have already access an advance payment of N9 billion from the state government .

The House committee are insisting that, to  ensure that sharp practices was not recorded, the company must abide by the directives from the lawmakers in order to have an edifice that will stand the test of time

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POLITICS

Reps Query Abandonment of Skills Acquisition Centre Project in Akwa Ibom

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By Ubong Ukpong, Abuja

The House of Representatives Committee on Niger Delta Ministry has queried the contractors for abandoning the skills acquisition center project at Iwuo Achang, Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Chairman of the Committee, Rep.

Eugene Dibiagwu, issued the query at an investigative hearing on the abandoned Skills Acquisition Center.

He said that the lack of commitment by the contractors had made them part of the problem Nigeria is facing over abandoned projects.

He added that it was ridiculous that the project was yet to be completed after being paid 85 percent of the contract sum.

“As a contractor that has been paid up to 85 percent, you were supposed to have completed that project; you know the reason why you have not; we will not allow the project to die that way.

“We understand the situation we found ourselves in in the country economically regarding the cost of materials.

“We will engage the ministry of Niger Delta so that they will know whether to consider further valuation for your request for additional money.”

He expressed shock that part of the fence built by the contractors had broken, saying the committee would unravel whether the fence the contractor built that fell was their fault or of a natural cause.

He, however, charged the contractor to do everything possible to complete the project, adding that the committee would not join issues with the contractor until the project was completed.

The committee said that if the skill acquisition center must work with all the necessary facilities to make it functional, it would require an additional N2 billion from the N4.2 billion earlier quoted for the project.

“We are looking at an additional 2 billion naira, which will bring the total project to 6.2 billion naira, having committed 4 2 billion naira initially.

“And even if we commit 6.2 billion naira, the center will not still work considering what is left to be done. That center cannot train one person even with 6.2 billion naira.

The committee added that this is because the center would accommodate training workshops, train personnel to man the center, and also equip the training center to work.

It would be recalled that the House, on Nov. 23, 2023, deliberated on a motion titled “Need to Complete the Construction of the Skill Acquisition Center at Iwuo Achang, Ibeno Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State”.

The House had urged the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to ensure completion of the project within the 2024 fiscal year and mandated the Committee on Niger Delta Ministry to ensure compliance.

However, the Chairman stated that the contract for the center was awarded on March 15, 2010 by the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to three companies.

He stated that the project had reached about 85 percent completion 12 years ago but was abandoned due to an unexpected increase in the price of goods.

This, he said, left the property vandalised and in deplorable condition.

The contractors who appeared before the committee include Stegis International Agency Nigeria Ltd., a civil construction building, and Enarosol Nigeria Ltd., a landscaping and perimeter fencing company.

Others include Y. S. Associates, Electrical and Mechanical Works.

The contractor who tried albeit unsuccessful to defend their actions, were requested to appear with copies of the contract agreement, interim performance certificates, and any other relevant documents relating to the project.

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