President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday received the new President of the ECOWAS Commission and his Management Team, telling them the kind of sub-regional body West African leaders desire and must have.
The president told Dr Omar Alieu Touray, the new President and the delegation at the Presidential Villa, Abuja:
“I wish you success in your assignments, which we hope can collectively drive our sub-region to one that is economically integrated, politically stable, and socially in harmony with itself, to the admiration of our continent, and, indeed, global community.
“That is the ECOWAS we desire, and must have. You cannot afford to disappoint us.”
According to him, as the host of the ECOWAS Commission, Nigeria expects that the scrupulous processes that led to the new appointments “would impact on the fortunes of our Organisation.”
He said this should be in terms of ”efficient and effective service delivery that bears positive impact on the lives of our citizens.”
He added that when the founding fathers met on May 28, 1975, to establish ECOWAS, what was uppermost on their minds was the promotion of economic cooperation between the member-States.
He said this was to raise the living standards of citizens, hence driving the economic development of the sub-region in an integrated manner.
The president said: “Forty-seven years after, this core objective for the formation of ECOWAS remains critically relevant to our national and sub-regional aspirations.
”Issues of inter-state cooperation and collaboration, harmonisation of policies, integration of programmes, conflict management and security of the sub-region, have continued to necessitate the need for our solidarity and collective responses to our common challenges.”
He listed such challenges as climate change, terrorism, health issues, good governance and the sustainability of democracy anchored on rule of law and ultimately, development and progress for the citizens.
Buhari told the new Management Team that citizens of ECOWAS must directly feel the impact of the organization through people-oriented programmes.
He urged that projects must include effective advocacy around core issues of concerns to the sub-region.
“May I emphasize the importance of team-work and the necessity for the new Team to work assiduously to re-position ECOWAS in order to deliver to the expectations of our citizens,”the president said.
He said this could be achieved through a careful fine-tuning of the sub-region’s development agenda 2050, that is guided by the African Union Agenda 2063, and conscious of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda 2030.
“With many Development Experts on your Team, I have no doubt that you will evolve appropriate partnerships and working relationships with Development Partners across the globe, to maximise opportunities for progress,” he stated.
Touray thanked Nigeria for the support she gave to the candidature of the new Team members.
He pledged that they would live up to the expectations of West African leaders, “as we are fully conscious of the priorities set for us.”
He said they would work with member-States to pursue their objectives, “and make ECOWAS institutions what you want them to be.” (NAN)
Gov. Diri Queries Bayelsa Population Figures
From Mike Tayese, Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has faulted the population figures attributed to the state by the National Population Commission (NPC), of which he described as “grossly under-estimated.”
Diri made this known on Tuesday, during a Stakeholder Summit on the 2023 Population and Housing Census held at Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall, Government House Yenagoa.
Buttressing his claim, the governor stressed that the state had grown beyond the current structure of eight local government areas, and noted that “the projected population of Yenagoa, the state capital, points to the fact that the state’s population was misrepresented.
A statement by Diri’s Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying that such faulty census figures were responsible for the under-representation of Bayelsa in the House of Representatives with only five members.
Diri said Bayelsa State’s recent growth and contributions to the national economy as a result of its oil resources should give her more representation in the federal government.
“By the 2006 census figures, Bayelsa had a population of 1,704,515. That figure was not correct; we are hopeful that the next exercise will give a more reliable and acceptable figure.
“Our government is convinced that the National Population Commission has the commitment and capacity to deliver to Nigerians and, indeed, to Bayelsa State very credible, reliable, valid, and acceptable population figures.
“As a government, we are deeply concerned that Bayelsa has grown beyond the current structure of eight local governments. Clearly, we are under-represented in the House of Representatives with only five members. The current projected population of Yenagoa points to these facts. With our exponential growth and contributions to the national economy from our oil resources, we deserve more federal presence.”
Diri said the NPC needed to realize that an accurate census was critical for the nation’s democracy and economy because it underpins fair representation in government and enables those in authority to make appropriate funding for healthcare, schools, roads, and other critical infrastructure.
The state’s helmsman added that population figure was one of the basic parameters in the sharing of revenue, particularly in Nigeria.
In her address, the Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission in charge of Bayelsa State, Mrs. Gloria Izonfuo, said that the 2023 census would be fully digitalized in line with United Nations principles and recommendations for the 2020 round of Population and Housing Censuses.
Mrs. Izonfuo, who was a former Head of Service in Bayelsa, said the Commission had deployed technology to conduct the exercise and enhance data quality.
She expressed the Commission’s commitment to deliver credible and reliable census as well as ensuring that the results of the exercise are acceptable to Nigerians and the quality of the data to be generated meets international standards for planning and developmental purposes.
Izonfuo added that the stakeholder’s summit was the first of several meetings to be held in the state and thanked the government and people of the state for the support to the Commission.
In their goodwill messages, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, the Commissioner of Police, Bayelsa State Command, Ben Okolo, and Chairman, Bayelsa State Founding Fathers, Chief Benedict Gwembe, said population census was strategic to enable the government plan for every sector, including the creation of more voting centers in the country.
They also stressed the need for more census enumerators to be deployed in the rural areas as well as provided sensitization on the need for people to participate in the process.
They assured the Commission of their support to assist it to conduct ahitch-free and successful 2023 national population and housing census.
Flood Kills 23, Displaces 116,000 in Benue- BSEMA
The Benue State Emergency Management Agency (BSEMA) says no fewer than 23 persons have died as a result of flooding in the state since the beginning of the rainy season.
The Executive Secretary, Dr Emmanuel Shior, announced this while kick-starting the distribution of relief materials to flood victims on Tuesday in Makurdi.
He said that 116,084 persons had also been displaced as a result of the flooding in some parts of the state.
Shior said that the 116,084 displaced persons cut across 12,856 households in 11 local government areas.
“74 persons are having different degrees of injuries. 14 out of the 23 deaths arose from boat mishap in Guma Local Government Area,” he said.
The executive secretary further stated that the flooding had so far affected 14,040 hectares of farmlands while 4,411 houses had been submerged.
“Schools and markets, companies, houses and farmlands located in 104 communities are affected,” he said.
He listed the affected local government areas as, Guma, Vandeikya, Otukpo, Katsina-ala, Makurdi, Apa, Agatu, Tarka, Gboko, Gwer-West and Logo.
”The victims are in need of immediate support. That is the reason for this exercise.
”We began with Makurdi and Agatu because they are the worst hit with 34 and 28 affected communities respectively.
”The victims in Agatu who are currently taking refuge along the Federal Highway will soon be relocated to Obagaji,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, Mr John Digah, Principal Researcher and Rescue Officer, National Emergency Management Agency, said the agency had deployed water treatment machine to support the victims with potable water.
Digah said that the machine had the capacity to treat 2,000 litres of water within an hour.
”In the past two days, we have treated and distributed 140,000 litres of water to the victims,” he said.(NAN)
Senate Passes Bill to Increase Justices of Court Appeal from 90 to 110
The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill amending the Court of Appeal Act, 2013 increasing the number of Justices of Court of Appeal from 90 to 110 .
This followed the adoption of the report of Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and legal Matters by Chairman of the Committee, Sen.Bamidele Opeyemi(APC-Ekiti).
Opeyemi in his lead debate said the bill sponsored by Sen.
According to him, the legislative intent of the amendment is to ensure that the court has the requisite manpower to allow cooperation of all the divisions of the court.
He said the bill was designed to bring justice closer to litigants in line with the current reality at expediting the administration of Justice.
“This is necessary in order to eliminate delay in the justice delivery systems, as it relates to the adjudicatory powers of the court
“This proposed amendments undoubtedly is targeted at increasing the work load of the court and enhance its effective performance,” he said.
He said that stakeholders were unanimous in their support of the passage of the bill, given its strategic relevance to the justice sector reform.
He said the amendment would ultimately stimulate quick dispensation of justice
“The one silent improvement of this bill is the aspect that seeks to integrate virtual court proceedings which have become an integral part of our court proceedings.
” This also is in line with the guildline, given to courts by the Chief Justice of the Federation, as justice will no longer be delayed,” he said.
The Senate also stood down a bill for an act to provide for the rotation of power in the country.
This followed a submission by senators Bala Ib’n Nala(APC-Kebbi) and Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege that the bill was in conflict with the provision of 1999 Constitution.
The bill was sponsored by Sen.Abba Moro (PDP-Benue).
Presenting the bill,Moro said that it sought to enact a legislation to amend provisions of the constitution and provide for rotations of the presidency among the geo- political zones of the country.
The Senate also passed the National Health Act amendment Bill 2014 and the Federal University of Medicine and Medical Science Egbe, Kogi establishment bill.
This following the adoption of the reports of Senate Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary).(NAN)
Medical Workers Raise Concern over Lack of Access to Quality Healthcare in Nigeria
Share Post Views: By Laide Akinboade National President of the Medical and Health Workers Union, MHWUN, Biobelemoye Josiah, said it...
Bill to Amend CBN Act goes for 2nd Reading in Senate
Share Post Views: 8 The Senate on Tuesday at plenary, passed for second reading, a bill to amend the Central...
Plateau: Kwande Reconciles Warring PDP Groups, Party Ready for Elections
Share Post Views: 8 From Jude Dangwam, Jos The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has resolved to work for all candidates...
Adjustment of the Time-Table of Activities Earmarked to Commence Campaigns by the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council.
Share Post Views: 12 By Jude Opara, Abuja The crisis that trailed the list of members of the Campaign Council...
Buried PVCs: INEC Ready to Make Findings Public—Okoye
Share Post Views: 22 By Jude Opara, Abuja The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will soon make public...
Salem Varsity VC Bags Platinum Leadership Award
Share Post Views: 21 From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja Prof Alewo Johnson-Akubo, Vice Chancellor (VC), Salem University, Lokoja, Kogi, has bagged...
Poor Parenting, Bullying, Sexual Assaults Prevalent against Children in Kwara
Share Post Views: 21 From Alfred Babs, Ilorin Female children in Kwara State on Tuesday identified poor parenting, bullying and...
Abuja: FCTA Impounds 75 Motorcycles over Ban
Share Post Views: 20 By Laide Akinboade, Abuja The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) last week impounded 75 motorcycles, better...
Gov. Diri Queries Bayelsa Population Figures
Share Post Views: 19 From Mike Tayese, Yenagoa Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has faulted the population figures attributed to...
Flood Kills 23, Displaces 116,000 in Benue- BSEMA
Share Post Views: 19 The Benue State Emergency Management Agency (BSEMA) says no fewer than 23 persons have died as...