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Femi Gbajabiamila By Udora Orizu The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Thursday said internal security challenges threaten the very existence of the Nigerian state because they undermine public faith in the government’s ability to fulfil its fundamental obligation to protect the lives and property of citizens. Gbajabiamila stated this while declaring open a two-day retreat and workshop on promoting effective legislation and oversight of the security sector in Nigeria, organized by the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence in collaboration with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) foundation in Abuja. He tasked the three arms of government to take all necessary actions to face and address the security challenges facing the country, saying that a government cannot thrive without security. The Speaker also said the retreat should be an opportunity to critically assess the legislative role in ensuring a safe and secure country for the children. According to him, ”We are at this moment experiencing in many parts of our country, significant internal security challenges that have disrupted the lives of many of our citizens, and led to a loss of lives and property at a scale that cannot easily be quantified. These internal security challenges threaten the very existence of the Nigerian state because they undermine public faith in the government’s ability to fulfil its fundamental obligation to protect the lives and property of citizens. “Across the three arms of government, we have a shared responsibility to take all necessary actions to meet these challenges head-on. This is what the people who elected us rightly expect.National security is generally understood to be the preserve of the executive arm of government. As a result, the general public and even the political class often do not know what the legislative role in national security is or ought to be. “This knowledge gap presents an ongoing limitation on the policy-making and oversight role of the legislature as it pertains specifically to the challenges we face in the national security sector. Workshops such as the one we have gathered here for today are an essential tool in reversing this gap. “The realities of the moment require that we be willing to speak honest truths about the things we haven’t gotten right so that we can then focus our energies on making sure that we do better for the future. I encourage all of you to remember that a lot of the hopes we have for our country depend on our ability to guarantee the safety of our people and the security of property and investments. And from this remembrance, I hope we can find the motivation to do all that this moment requires of us. “Key followers of the House would notice that security has been a very important part of our work. It’s part of our legislative agenda. When I came in, I visited three key states affected by insecurity. I went to Katsina, Borno and Zamfara. We now have in our process the means of alternative funding for the security agencies. I think we should have the roles of each security agencies clearly defined. It’s important that we understand the separation. Anything else relies on security. That’s why when this government came in, security was one of the legs.” In his address, the Chairman of the House Committee on National Security and Intelligence, Hon. Sha’aban Sharada, said members of the committee were committed to seeing that all security agencies under them are provided with the necessary support to succeed in their mandate. Sharada said the retreat could not have come at a better time than now due to the security challenges facing the country, noting that the committee is currently working on a bill on proliferation of small and light arms as part of efforts to tackle insecurity. The lawmaker called on all security agencies to strengthen their efforts, adding that the citizens should give them the maximum support. Earlier, the Resident Representative of KAS Nigeria, Dr Vladimir Kreck, said his organization has been partnering with different government institutions in Nigeria, including the House of Representatives, in the area of security to find lasting solutions to the challenges in the sector. He added that his organization’s partnership with the House of Representatives is very critical in addressing security challenges in the country, hoping that such would yield fruitful results in the end. Share this:

By Francis Sardauna A stalwart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Katsina State, Mr. Salisu Ali, has been kidnapped by suspected gunmen in his hometown. Ali, a former youth leader of the party, was abducted by the hoodlums at his residence in Sukuntuni village in Kankia Local Government Area of the state. The incident occurred barely 24 hours after the abduction of Aisha Dangiwa, a sister to the current Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa. THISDAY gathered that Ali’s abductors stormed his house on Wednesday night shortly after his arrival from an outing and the house was ransacked before they took him away to an unknown destination. Sources within the village revealed that the kidnappers numbering about six on motorcycles, forcibly rode off with the victim from his compound and they are yet to contact members of the family. When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer and Superintendent of Police Gambo Isah said: “It is true. I called the DPO and he confirmed the incident but we are trying to rescue the victim.” Share this:

Zainab Ahmed By Ndubuisi Francis The federal government on Thursday tasked the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST) to avoid previous pitfalls which had tended to blur its modest achievements. Such pitfalls include infighting among tribunal members, lack of industrial harmony and maladministration, among others. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, who gave the admonition at the swearing-in of Mr. Amos Isaac Azi, and Nosa Smart Osemwengie in Abuja, as Chairman and member of the Tribunal respectively, said such negative developments had been the bane of the tribunal and a source of embarrassment, not only to her ministry but the federal government. While Azi was appointed for the first five-year term, Osemwengie was re-appointed for a second and final term of four years. In her address at the event, Ahmed said: “With your appointment, the tribunal now has a full complement of 10 members in line with the enabling law, the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), 2007. “It is, therefore, my hope that all the members will justify the confidence reposed in them by President Muhammadu Buhari by diligently working together to discharge the responsibilities of the tribunal.” Congratulating both of them for being found worthy by the president to be appointed to the highly exalted positions, she noted: “Your appointments have come at a time when all hands are needed to build our economy. As you all may be aware, the IST was first inaugurated in December 2002. It is a specialised fast-track court, established for the settlement of disputes in the capital market.” According to Ahmed, the necessity of the tribunal became apparent because of the time-sensitive nature of capital market transactions, which the regular courts could not cope with. She observed that the tribunal is fashioned after world class tribunals like the Financial Services and Market Tribunal (FSMT) of the United Kingdom (UK) and the Market Misconduct Tribunal of Hong Kong, adding that the core mandate of the tribunal is to conduct its proceedings speedily and to dispose of any matter brought before it within three months from the commencement of substantive hearing. The minister recalled that since its establishment, the tribunal had made some strides, particularly in its adjudicatory role which has gone a long way to sanitise the capital market and build investors’ confidence. Ahmed stressed that within the short time of its existence, in view of the dynamism in law, the tribunal had reviewed its Procedure Rules with the publication of the IST (Procedure) Rules 2014, adding that worthy of note is that the tribunal had partnered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to review the enabling law with the enactment of the ISA, 2007. Ahmed noted that the tribunal has to its credit the publication of its Law Reports –The Nigerian Investments and Securities Law Report (NISLR). The publication, in her view, has, in no small measure, enhanced capital market jurisprudence. Recalling the challenges that affected the tribunal in the past, the minister said: “Notwithstanding these commendable achievements, the tribunal has in the last five years suffered many setbacks due largely to poor administration. These setbacks have blurred, if not completely wiped out, whatever modest achievements the Tribunal might have recorded in its adjudicatory role. “We may recall that in November 2015, the Tribunal was dissolved and the chairman and its members relieved of their jobs. A new panel of the tribunal, which includes many of the members here seated, was inaugurated in 2017. “Again, barely two years into your tenure, the chairman of the tribunal was removed. The problems with the tribunal had been infighting amongst members, lack of industrial harmony and a series of complaints bordering on mal-administration. These have been the bane of the tribunal and source of embarrassment, not only to the ministry but the federal government.” In view of the challenges, Ahmed, who highlighted the chairman’s responsibilities, stated: “Let me stress here that the chairman’s responsibility is to provide good leadership that would galvanise the human and material resources at the tribunal’s disposal on the path of stability towards achieving its mandate in a consistent manner. “I call on all members of the IST to cooperate with the new chairman, so that the vision of the tribunal which is to be a world class capital market tribunal that is fair and transparent, dispensing justice without fear or favour could be attained.” Share this:

By Udora Orizu The Spokesperson of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, has described as biggest intervention, the approval for the construction of Umuahia-Bende-Ohafia road in Abia state by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), saying that it would boost the economic fortunes of the people in the area. FEC had on Wednesday given approval for the construction of the road which had been abandoned for 44 years. According to FEC, the approval for the rehabilitation is to commence from the Umuahia axis of the road which is valued at N12.08bn and to span a distance of 45km. In a statement issued on Thursday, Kalu expressed appreciation to President Muhammad Buhari and Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, for such wonderful intervention. Kalu who is currently representing Bende Federal Constituency at the House saidthe approval came after months of intense lobbying and frequent advocacy visits to the Fashola, by him. The lawmaker while congratulating his colleagues at both chambers of the National Assembly who represent the axes where the road cuts across in Abia State, appealed to the leadership of the National Assembly to make the road scale through in the 2021 appropriation exercise. The statement reads, ”I thank President Muhammadu Buhari and the entire Federal Executive Council for acknowledging our request for federal intervention in the Umuahia-Bende-Ohafia road and approving the rehabilitation and construction of the road which had been abandoned since its construction in 1976. The people of Bende have suffered greatly as a result of the severe dilapidation of the road; therefore, FEC’s approval of the project is concrete proof that this particular administration is genuine about stopping infrastructure decay in the country.” ”I especially thank the Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, for his cooperation and for taking this project as his own over the last one year. I appreciate his passionate presentation of the case of my people at the FEC meeting yesterday and must also acknowledge the Honourable Minister of State, Mines and Steel, Dr. Uche Ogah for lending his voice in support of this project at the FEC meeting and for being the first to break the news joyfully, congratulating me for a good representation of Abia people at the National Assembly.” ”Indeed, I am very impressed with the efficiency demonstrated by the people at the Ministry of Works during my engagements with them for this federal government intervention over the last one year. The people at the Ministry of Works demonstrated such excellence that gave me hope for the future of public service in Nigeria. I particularly appreciate the Ministry of Works Permanent Secretary, the former acting Permanent Secretary, Engr. Yemi, the Director of Works, South-East Highways, Engr. Funso Adebiyi, as well as the staff at the Abia State office of the Ministry, especially Engr. Nwankwo (rtd.) who worked diligently with my team headed by Cyril Kwubiri during the measurement and design of the road.” ”As this project moves to appropriation, I want to seize this opportunity to appeal to the leadership of both chambers of the legislature and indeed everyone involved in the appropriation process to render their gracious support to put an end to the suffering of my people. I am hopeful that the contractor will be duly funded to immediately commence work from the Umuahia axis, having secured this approval.” Share this:

Adebayo Adelabu By Kemi Olaitan The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 election in Oyo State, Chief Bayo Adelabu, Thursday, said with unity the party was more than ready to send Governor Seyi Makinde packing, saying he would be a better governor in 2023. Adelabu, who spoke during a media parley and lunch with journalists in the state to herald his 50th birthday coming up on Monday, September 28, said he was grateful that he did not win the 2019 election, disclosing that losing the election has afforded him the opportunity of knowing more about how progressives in the state operate. According to the former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), unlike before, he has warmed himself into the hearts of the grassroots and members of his APC. “Everything this administration promised the people of the state is still on their wish list 16 months after coming on board. With the caliber of people that have returned to APC, no party can stand the way of our party,” he said. Adelabu was full of thanks to God for sparing his life to reach 50 years, noting that his grandfather, Chief Adegoke Adelabu and father AbdulRauf Adelabu, both died aged 43 years and 33 years respectively. He said almost two years after Governor Makinde was inaugurated, nothing concrete could be pointed to as the achievement of the Peiples Democratic Party-led government. According to him, “No state needs a governor before salary is paid. When salary is paid through statutory allocations and it goes straight to the Accountant General, they take it to the bank and they pay. Why must that be the major achievement of any governor? “And when you embark too much on populist programmes, which, in most cases, are not always giving the state sustainable development, it is more about immediate consumption. “Populist programmes are short-lived. Within a short period, people will know that this man doesn’t really have so much to offer in terms of sustainable infrastructural development. “It is going to two years now, can you point at one or two major projects that this government has completed? Everything is still on their wish list and if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” Share this: