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Stakeholders Task NASS to Complete Electoral Act Amendment in 2025

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Stakeholders in the electoral process have tasked the National Assembly to complete the amendment of the Electoral Act and the review of the Constitution, two years before the 2027 general elections.

The stakeholders said this in a communique issued on Monday after the National Multi-Stakeholders Forum on Electoral Reform Priorities, held under the auspices of Youth Electoral Reform Priorities.

The participants said this would enable all stakeholders and other Nigerians, to fully understand the changes made to the laws, for effective implementation and compliance.

The participants observed that the processes leading to the 2023 general elections fell below expectations.

“Constitutional reforms to strengthen the electoral process are national priorities for many Nigerians, especially the organisations represented at the multi-stakeholders forum.

“We urge the Federal Government to create special election committee with non-partisan people of impeccable character to take over the power of the President in appointing the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“This committee will also be responsible for appointing INEC National Commissioners and Resident Electoral Commmissioners,” they said in the communique.

The stakeholders also said that the amendments should ensure that all pre-election cases were concluded before elections and post-election cases concluded before inauguration of elected officials.

“There is also need for periodic audit of the National Register of Voters.

“INEC should transmit polling unit electlon results in near real-time to the dedicated portal accessible by the public. This should be induded in the Electoral Act amendment.

“INEC should be unbundled by creating the National Electoral Offenses Commission which will have the power to prosecute electoral offenders,” they added.

The participants called on government to empower and expand the scope of the National Orientation Agency to mobilise Nigerians for future elections through effective voter education programme.

“Nigerian youths and otherstakeholders should continue to be actively engaged in the electoral process, beginnng with the constitutional and electoral review,” they said.

The Forum was organised by Kimpact Development lnitiative with the support of National Democratic Institute and National Endowment for Democracy.

It was attended by a wide range of organisations including the Youth Electoral Reform Project; Nigerian Youths Parliament; National Association of Nigerian Students; representatives of political parties; Inter-Party Advisory Council, and the Conference of United Political Parties.

Others were the Nigerian Union of Journalists: Nigerian Labour Congress: Nigerian Bar Association; Christian Association of Nigeria; Jama’atu Nasril Islam; and Nigerian Medical Association.(NAN)

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FCT Spends $15m on Abuja Light Rail Rehabilitation – Wike

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By Laide Akinboade, Abuja
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, Monday said not less than $15 million was spent to rehabilitate the vandalized Abuja light rail.
Wike also revealed that the railway is ready for commissioning by President Bola Tinubu in less than seven days.


The Minister stated this while speaking to journalists at the sidelines of his final inspection of the project in Abuja.

He also expressed satisfaction with the facilities on ground and declared the Abuja light rail ready for commercial operations.

According to the Minister, thank God Almighty that we are good to go. We are ready and you can see the facilities.
“Just that we identify one or two things that were omitted during the design but we believe that during the full operations, some of these things will be taken into consideration.

“Particularly, I belief that as a standard Metro Line where the passengers will be waiting before they board the trains, there should be air conditioners and then I also thought that some of the stations should have had an elevator for those who are very old and those who may not have the strength to walk or to climb the staircases.
“Apart from that, I think we are happy with the work that has been done and we believe Nigerians will be happy, particularly the residents of FCT.
“The lack of the facilities will not inhibit the operation, they are just what will make the passengers’ ends more comfortable. When operations start these are things they could take care of. It will not stop the operation.
‘Without the access roads to the train station there would be no need for the metro line, how will the people from the various communities access the stations?
“But we thank God we have seen the access road, you can just take your car, park at the station, board the train, go to wherever you want to go and still come and take your vehicles and go back to wherever you live.
“So, we are happy , very happy, and we thank God the promise Mr President made has been kept.
“Mr President said he is going to deliver, and he gave a matching order to the foot soldiers which as ministers  and we have no choice than to make sure that the promise made by Mr President, his renewed hope agenda and Nigerians have come to see it’s a reality.
“Everything was made possible by God and the support and then by the Mr President has given to us in FCT. We are doing well because Mr President has given us every necessary support.
Assuming we are not getting the support from him, this would have been a reality today.
On the cost of the rehabilitation of the vandalized light rail the minister said, “The rehabilitation was not less than 15 million US dollars so not less than N10 billion and all that money has been paid. What we are doing now is additional work that was added.”
in a similar development, the Akwa Ibom State Governor Umo Eno has announced that his administration has expended N120 billion on road infrastructure within his first year in office.
The Commissioner for Information, Ini Ememobong, disclosed this in Uyo on Monday on the government’s achievements in its first year in office.
Ememobong said that the current administration in the state had been quite consistent with infrastructure development.
He said that within the first one year in office, the government had inaugurated the 3.3km Idua Road and carried out emergency intervention work on the collapsed section of the Afia Nsit Road in Eket.
“The governor has asked for a review of the Afia Nsit gully reclamation project to ensure proper channeling of rainwater,” he also said.
The commissioner also listed the 1.3km underground concrete flood control tunnel as another project undertaken by the Eno-led government.
”Remember that the governor recently invited former President, Goodluck Jonathan to inaugurate that project; it shows how serious we take the business of governance.
”We have reconstructed the failed section of the Atiku Abubakar Way, with a walkway, drainage and solar street lights.
”The reconstruction of adjourning 1km Afaha Ube road is also completed,” he said.
Ememobong further said that the state government had completed the 60 metre to Ide-Ikot Amba Bridge and the 800 metre approach road in Obot Akara Local Government Area.
”The government gives priority to infrastructure development. The essence is to ensure even distribution of dividends of democracy to Akwa Ibom people.
“As we speak, there is no local government area in the state that does not have either a completed or an ongoing project.
“The 1.8km, Paul Ekpo Crescent, 1km Emmanuel Ekon Avenue and 800 metre Obot Emem Street all in Uyo metropolis, are ready for inauguration,” Ememobong said.
He noted that the governor had not only performed creditably in the area of road infrastructure but had ensured human capital development.
The commissioner said that the governor recently spent N400 million to empower no fewer than 800 entrepreneurs in the state.
He said the entrepreneurs were rigorously trained on business techniques in order to equip them with the knowledge to begin their own businesses.
“Recently, a skills upscaling workshop was organised by the state government where a foreign-based senior academic advisor facilitated the training of public school principals in the state.
“The governor is also planning an education exchange programne in London for students in rural areas,” he disclosed.
”It is our promise to Akwa Ibom people; the governor will remain steadfast in delivering the dividends of democracy to the people.

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Nigerian Military Declares Nigerien Terrorist, Halilu Buzu Wanted

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The Nigerian Military has declared  Halilu Buzu, a national of  Buzu in Republic of Niger wanted for terrorising Nigerian territory, particularly Zamfara.

The Director of  Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, made the announcement on Thursday in Abuja, at a media briefing on the operations of the military.

Buba said the notorious suspected terrorist leader settled in Subbubu Forest in Shinkafi Local Government Area of Zamfara.

He said that Buzu had a camp for illegal gold mining located at Kawayi, in Anka Local Government Area of the state, and had lots of boys working for him.

According to Buba, the terrorist is also a prominent cattle rustler.

He said that the Buzu’s group had in the last week killed 19 villagers at Farar Kasa.

”He is a High Value Target and we hereby declare him wanted.

”Furthermore, he is a major arms supplier, trusted by arms dealers supplying arms from Libya.

”We have been on his trail and whenever we close in on him, he bolts across the border into Republic of Niger for refuge.

”At this time, we are through appropriate channels calling on the Nigerien authorities, regional and international bodies to support in effecting his arrest to hold him accountable for his atrocities,” he said. (NAN)

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Cooperatives Capable of Boosting Inclusive Growth, Eradicating Poverty-Shettima

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Vice -President Kashim Shettima, says cooperative initiatives have what it takes to boost inclusive growth, development and end poverty in the country.

Shettima said this at the 2nd Abuja Cooperative Summit organised by the National Cooperatives Agency of Nigeria (CFAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.

Shettima, represented by Dr Nurudeen Zauro, the Technical Adviser to the President on Financial Inclusion, said the role of cooperatives in facilitating economic activities was key to the administration of President Bola Tinubu.

He said that Tinubu’s administration had signed the Student Loan Act, set up the Credit Corp to enhance access to consumer credit.

The vice-president said the recent signing of Aso Accord on Economic and Financial Inclusion was also a commitment to support economic and financial inclusion which cooperatives played significant roles in achieving.

”This administration is mindful of the fact that over 30 million of our people do not have access to a broad range of affordable financial services to enable them to fulfill their economic potential.

”A major reason for that is low income.

”This is not just an economic problem but might further lead to insecurity, this is the reason why the conversation on economic inclusion, financial inclusion, and insecurity is of high priority to this administration today.

”This administration believes a strategic approach is important to address the subject of economic and financial inclusion, and as such has elevated the subject to the agenda of the National Economic Council, ” he said.

Ms Nkem Chime, the Head, Strategy Coordination Office, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said that 74 per cent of the populace was financially included while 26 per cent was excluded.

Chime said the CBN would continue to pave the way for innovative programmes to encourage cooperatives.

The Executive Secretary of CFAN, Mr Emmanuel Atama, said the summit was geared toward activating the Cooperative Development Fund.

Atama said the summit was also to have a robust discussion on cooperatives resilience in the face of diverse economic challenges.

He said the agency had also partnered with the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Department of Science, Technology and Innovation to build the entrepreneurial capacity of cooperative members.

The Director, FCT Department of Science Technology and Innovation, Mr Olobashola Kolawole, said that cooperatives were the backbone of entrepreneurship.

He said the department would continue to collaborate with cooperatives to establish youths for the development of the country.

Reports says that cooperatives’ members from different states attended the summit. (NAN)

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