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We’ve Lost over 15, 000 Pastoralists to Armed Banditry – MACBAN President

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From DanAmasingha, Minna.

Pastoral Fulani said a total of 15,000 of their Members were killed by armed bandits while over four million others were displaced within the last ten years.

 National President of Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Othman Baba Ngazalma has disclosed.

He explained that the pastoralists cutting across the country particularly,   within the North West and North Central states suffered unprecedented casualties in the hands of criminally minded elements as a result of the activities of armed bandits stating that they are at the receiving end of the banditry attacks compared to other Nigerians.

Speaking  with  newsmen shortly after an emergency National executive Council meeting of the association held at the weekend in Paiko town hall, Alhaji Baba Othman stated that the association expressed dismay over the manner in which  the military and the vigilante are looting and killing their cattle without just cause.

According to him,   MACBAN as an organization, have mapped out strategies to shape the behaviour of the Fulani youths across the country against all forms of crimes and criminality bedevilling the country.

“We have deliberated extensively on how to fish out bad eggs among the pastoralists, how to sensitize them against the use of illicit drugs and to check the proliferation of small arms and light weapons within the pastoralists community.”

He noted that the association under his leadership is disturbed with the increasing rate of hardship and the high cost of foodstuffs in the country stating that the association has decided to help the government to solve the food crisis in the country.

MACBAN national President said he has deliberately refused not to speak out  since the inception of the hardship that the citizens were subjected to as a result of the increasing rates of poverty across the country stressing that the association is worried and urged those in authority  to find a lasting solution to alleviate the suffering of the citizens .

Speaking further, Alhaji Othman Baba Ngazalma told Journalists that the government of Niger State under the leadership of Governor Mohammed Umar Bago will continue to be accorded the unflinching support and cooperation by the pastoralists’ community for creating the Ministry for Nomadic and pastoralists affairs in the state.

He said the governor is passionate about the Fulani Community in Niger State urging other state governors in the country to emulate the Niger State governor by creating the Ministry of Nomadic in their respective states.

“Governor Umar Mohammed Bago has really proved to the Fulani Community in Niger State that he is so passionate about their affairs.

“For the governor to create the Ministry for Nomadic and pastoralists affairs and appoint one of our own as a commissioner is an exhibition of his love for the Fulani race in the state” he concluded.

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Adamawa Govt. Earmarks N55.5 bn as 2024 Supplementary Budget

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The Adamawa  Government has approved the sum of N55.5 billion as supplementary budget for the 2024 financial year.

Mrs Neido  Kofulto, State Commissioner for Information and Strategy said this while briefing  newsmen on the development in the late hours of Tuesday in Yola.

She said the supplementary budget was part of the emergency Executive Council Meeting presided over by the state Deputy Governor Prof.

Kaletapwa Farauta.

According to her, the supplementary budget is necessitated by the need to capture and finance projects which were  not initially captured in the main budget.

“The council resolution on the supplementary estimate will soon be presented to the State House of Assembly for ratification and approval,” she said.

Mr Emmanuel Piridimso, State Commissioner for Budget and Planning said the budget was initiated to finance other additional projects as the State finances had reasonably increased.

According to him, the ministries captured in the supplementary budget are, Ministry of Education, Women Affairs, Commerce and Industries and Works and Energy Development and among others.

The Adamawa  government had on Dec. 9, 2023 presented an appropriation estimate of N225.8billion.

(NAN)

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Prominent People are Behind Mounting of Illegal Checkpoints in Benue- Chairman BIRS

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From Attah Ede Makurdi 

The acting Chairman of Benue State Internal Revenue Services (BIRS), Mr. Emmanuel Agema, on Monday, lamented over the activities of illegal tax collectors in the State, saying prominent people with the State are behind the mounting of those illegal checkpoints across the state.

Mr. Agema who disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Makurdi, said that not more than 35 persons have been charged to court.

He maintained that upon assumption of office, the board decided to terminated revenue contract with a few to close revenue leakages about and now using the board staff to collect taxes, a development, he said has assisted the board to generate more revenue for the state.

The acting chairman said the State government has giving the board a target to generate over 16 billion as internally generated revenue for 2024, adding that in 2023, the board met its 14 billion target and surpassed it.

Mr. Agena who decried the activities of illegal tax collectors in the State, said most of them are backed by very prominent individuals, averring that under his watch, the era of patronizing politicians is over.

“We have already arrested 35 people who are engaging in illegal tax collection and have been arraigned in court.

He disclosed that a truck conveying palliatives from Adamawa to Anambra State was hijacked by some youths in Aliade, Gwer East local government area of the State 

According to him, the youths who mounted illegal checkpoint, stopped the vehicles, broke their windscreen and stole the sum of #200,000 from one of the drivers.

He said two persons have been arrested and transferred to the DSS on the governor’s directives that a thorough investigation be carried out to fish out those behind illegal tax collection in the state

 “The truck was intercepted and the driver beaten while the windscreen of the vehicle broken and over 200,000 naira stolen. 3 persons have been arrested and are in police custody. They will be moved to DSS for thorough investigation

“Our aim is to flush out or reduce illegal tax collectors to the barest minimum. This has been a big challenge. We have constituted a team headed by director of Tax collection. Prominent people in the State are involved in encouraging these boys. 

“We also plan to recover over 5.6 billion from ground rent. We are liaising with the Ministry of Land towards this direction. 

“We also, engaged the service of Softnet, an ICT company to aid us collect revenue. They are paid commission. The company have engaged over 250 staff who have been trained and given POS to collect revenue.

“Taxation is about confidence. Our work now is easy because tax payers are willing to pay because the people are seeing what government is doing”.

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I’m not Desperate for Super Eagles Coaching Job – Emmanuel Amuneke

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1996 Olympic gold medalist, Emmanuel Amuneke, has said that although he would love to coach the Super Eagles if given the opportunity, he was not desperate for the job.

Amuneke, a former Super Eagles player, said this while addressing newsmen in Owerri on Tuesday.

The former Nigeria U-17 national team coach and former coach of the Tanzania national team, said the job of coaching Nigeria’s national team should be given on merit and to whom with the interest of football and Nigeria at heart”.

The Spain based former striker, who played for Sporting Lisbon football club in Portugal and Barcelona football club, expressed confidence that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) would eventually appoint the ideal coach for the Super Eagles top job.

He said that with a plethora of Nigerian talents scattered across the globe, a lot of professional capacity, technical expertise and consultation would be required to harness the talents, combine them and achieve the needed balance.

“The Super Eagles’ upcoming World Cup qualification matches against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa and their counterparts from Benin Republic would necessitate the appointment of a substantive coach who would also need some time to put the house in order for best results.

 “I am not desperate to be Super Eagles coach, though I nurse the ambition to coach.

 “If I have the opportunity to serve my fatherland , I will accept it and deliver my all,” he said.

He however, called for the development of football at the grassroots for further development of the Nigerian league for harnessing of more talents. (NAN)

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