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Ministerial Appointment Won’t affect Budget Presentation- Lawan

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Nigeria President of the Senate Ahmed Lawan
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By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja

The Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, has said that delay by the President to appoint cabinet ministers would not affect the January budget circle which is one of the promises of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

Lawal said that there is nothing to worry about, adding that the budget itself is normally prepared by civil servants – the permanent secretaries superintend and the directors will work most of the time.

 

Speaking with State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Buhari, and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Lawal said he believes that the January-December budget circle is still on course.

 

“We are still on course and I believe both the executive and the legislature are on the same page on this.

“We desire and are prepared and determined to pass the budget by the first and second week of December by the grace of God, provided it is presented to us by the end of September,” he said.

Asked what transpired in the meeting with Mr President, Lawal said, “What we have discussed are those things that will ensure that the people of Nigeria are better protected, the economy of Nigeria performs better to the inclusion of everyone in the country, that governance generally is set to achieve the set targets of providing security and welfare for Nigerians.”

On what should Nigerians expect to see on security from the lawmakers; he said

“We are going to collaborate and cooperate with the executive arm of government, work together to ensure we find better approaches, improved paradigm to ensure we improve the current situation is addressed appropriately.”

The senate president assured that once they receive ministerial list from President Buhari, the senate would fast-track the confirmation of the nominees and other appointees.  

According to him, the speedy confirmation of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Mohammed Tanko is an indication that the senate would be prompt in all confirmations.

He said: “In fact tomorrow (Thursday) we are going to confirm some directors of the NCC. What we did today is to set the tone of what will be coming in the future. 

“That is to say we will be confirming the nominees from Mr. President because that will really ensure that the country is properly governed. 

“The CJN confirmation was a fantastic way to start confirmation process and we are very happy we are able to confirm him today having received letter of request from Mr President only last week.

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Rivers Assembly Screens, Confirms Eight Commissioner Designates

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The Victor Oko-Jumbo-led faction of the Rivers State House of Assembly, on Tuesday screened and confirmed eight nominees for possible appointment as commissioners in the state.

Reports says that the screening took place at the temporary legislative chambers located within the state Government House.

The Oko-Jumbo-led three-member legislature is loyal to the state Governor, Siminalayi Fubara.

The commissioner designates are to fill some of the vacancies created by the recent resignation of nine commissioners loyal to the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Chief Nyesom Wike.

During the sitting, Oko-Jumbo read the correspondence from the governor, requesting the screening and confirmation of the nominees.

He expressed the assembly’s commitment towards supporting the governor to provide democracy dividends to Rivers people.

The factional speaker said that the screening was part of the assembly’s responsibility in the governance of the state

Responding, the House Leader, Mr Sokari Good-boy and Deputy Speaker, Adolphus Timothy, unanimously adopted the request.

They said that most of the nominees had previously served the state at various capacities without blemish.

The commissioner designates include, Mr Charles Bakee, Mr Collins Onunwo, Dr Peter Medee and Mr Elloka Amadi,

Others are, Mr Basoene Benibo, Mr Sydney Gbara, Dr Ovy Chukwuma and Mr Solomon Eke.(NAN)

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Police Arrest Suspect for Allegedly Defrauding Thai Citizen of $216,000, N30m

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Police in Lagos State have arrested a suspect, Chimereze Chinedu, for allegedly defrauding a citizen of Thailand of $216,000 (₦317,725,271) and N30 million.

Police spokesman in the state, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the arrest in a post he shared on his X (formerly Twitter) handle @benHundeyin on Tuesday.

He said that the suspect was arrested by detectives of the State Criminal Investigative Department (SCID).

“Chinedu defrauded his victim under the pretense of selling 37 tricycles to her.

“He further expanded his fraudulent activity by forging letters of SCID, Lagos, showing that the tricycles were seized by the police and further extorted N30 million from the victim to purportedly secure the release of the tricycles,” he said.

The image maker said that the suspect was arrested on May 10 in Enugu State following weeks of diligent investigation and technical support from the International Criminal Police Organization, (INTERPOL)

The spokesman said that the suspect was currently in detention, as investigations continued to uncover details towards identifying and apprehending his accomplices.

According to Hundeyin, the Lagos State Command remains steadfast in its commitment to combating internet fraud and ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice. (NAN)

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Death Penalty for Drug Traffickers not Proven Effective, Says UNODC

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The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has said that the move by the Nigerian Senate to impose death penalty for drug trafficking offenders would not yield the desired result.

UNODC Country Representative, Oliver Stolpe, said this at a two-day Media Personnel Training organised in collaboration with NDLEA and other partners on Tuesday in Abuja.

Reports says that the training is centered on Anti -Corruption, Police Accountability, Wildlife Crime and Sensitisation on Drugs Prevention, Treatment and Care, (DPTC).

“Our stance as UN is clear on the death penalty we are principally and categorically against it. And from a very practical viewpoint, I have to say, it doesn’t make sense,” he said.

Stolpe maintained that the UN had always advocated for clear distinction between crimes of drug trafficking as opposed to the issue of drug use.

He said that it was always considered primarily to be a health issue saying that it should be dealt with as such.

According to him, addiction is a health condition, it is not a choice.”

On the need for an updated drug data for Nigerians, Stolpe observed that the current national drug survey for Nigeria was last done six years ago, (2018), and therefore does not reflect the current situation for Nigeria.

He said “the drug use survey of 2018 remains as far as I can tell the most cited study in the media.

“This data is outdated and I think a very critical question that media could ask at that point is really well, how can we still refer to 2018 data to describe today’s levels of drug use?

Stolpe enjoined the media to keep the good work while ensuring that information were disseminated efficiently and effectively. NAN)

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