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Disclose Debt Profile Of The State, Orbih Tackles Obaseki

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Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Edo State, Chief Dan Orbih, Sunday, challenged governor of the state, Mr. Godwin Obaseki to publicly declare debt profile of the state as at when he came to power and present.

Orbih, who spoke at the grand finale of the Edo North PDP Leaders Tour in Fugar, described Edo State as the second most indebted state in the country.

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READ ALSO: Orbih Mocks APC, Says ‘I Have Called Obaseki, Oshiomhole For Settlement’

He said, “I want to challenge Governor Godwin Obaseki to disclose the state of indebtedness to the people of the state. Indebtedness as when he took over power and as of today. Somebody just wisper to my hear that he has evidence to show that Edo State is the second most indebted state in Nigeria today.”

Former Chief of Staff to the President, Chief Mike Ogiadomhe (left) and Chief Dan Orbih, PDP chairman, Edo State (right) during the Edo North PDP Leaders Tour at Fugar on Sunday

Stating that Edo State treasury has been emptied by the ruling APC, Orbih called on gobernosrhip aspirants under the party to prepare for the worst when the party eventually assume office.

READ ALSO:Photos Speak: Colourful Pictures From The PDP Leaders Tour In Edo North

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He said governorship aspirants under the PDP are crops of young men who have what it takes to rule the state, stressing that the PDP is the only party that can deliver dividence of democracy and profer solution to the challenges of the state.

L-R: Dan Orbih, PDP Chairman Edo State; Senator Victor Oyaifo and High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, chairman of the Edo North PDP Leaders Tour at Fugar on Sunday

“The present governorship aspirants under the PDP are crops of young men who have what it takes to rule the state. But I want to use this occasion to send a strong signals to our governorship aspirants that as they prepare for the governorship primaries, they must put at the back of their minds that when PDP comes back to government, they are going to face very serious problem because they are going to inherit an empty treasury”, Orbih added.

Speaking on the incessant fire outbreaks that occure in the state, the PDP chairman lamented that resources the state government ought to use in procurement of fire fighting equipment are been expended on the internal crisis rocking the ruling party.

READ ALSO:APC Primaries: Judge Explains Why Lokpobiri Lost At Appeal Court

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He noted, “I want to use this opportunity to call on the government to do something urgent so that there will be permanent end to fire incident in the state. A lot of people have lost so much in these market fire outbreaks, and I believe and will be speaking with authority to call on Godwin Obaseki that he should direct the resources of the state to finding lasting solution to the problems of the state. And let them put aside their internal crisis. What the government is using in fighting their internal crisis is enough to purchase fire fighting equipment for our fire fighters.”

Also speaking, Deputy National Woman leader of the PDP, Umoru Adizet Hadizat, said leaders of the party have resolved to stop the tactics of rigging of the ruling party, lamenting that though the PDP did win past elections in the area, the APC successfully rigged them.

She urged the people present at the event to “go out like missionaries and preach the gospel of PDP as the only party that can deliver dividence of democracy to the people.”

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A cross section of PDP supporters during the Edo North PDP Leaders Tour at Fugar on Sunday

She said, ” You can see there is hardship in the land. People are not happy because they are frustrated by the hardship brought by this government. We want you to therefore go out as missionaries and tell the people that the PDP is the only party that can rescue them.”

Chairman of the Edo North PDP Leaders Tour, High Chief Raymond addressing PDP supporters during the Edo North PDP Leaders Tour at Agenebode on Sunday

Chairman of the Tour, High Chief Raymond, on behalf of leadership of the party urged the party to allocate the deputy gobernosrhip position to the Senatorial District, stressing that this will inspire the people in the area to vote massively for the party.

He noted that the PDP has no division but has resolved to work together as one with a view to winning the forthcoming election.

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Ex-CAN President Onaiyekan, Cleric Bag Honorary Degrees

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A former national president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Cardinal John Onaiyekan and the Archbishop of Abuja catholic diocese, Ignatius Kaigama, will be honored with honorary doctorate degrees by an Abuja-based Catholic institution, Veritas University, on Saturday, December 3, 2022.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Rev. Fr. Professor Hyacinth Ichoku, made this known in a briefing with selected journalists in Abuja.

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Speaking on Thursday ahead of the convocation ceremony of the university, the don also noted that four countries had indicated interest to send their students to Nigeria to study pontifical degrees in the theology of philosophy.

The development follows approval by the Congregation for Catholic Education in the Vertical City Rome, Italy, to Veritas University Abuja to establish Pontifical Faculty.

The countries are Burkina Faso, Mali, Ivory Coast and India.

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Professor Ichoku said only two countries including Nigeria and Nairobi run the pontifical degree which necessitated the influx of foreign students to Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Fielder Bags University Degree

“For the first time, the university will be honoring prominent Nigerians such as the former CAN president, cardinal John Onaiyekan and the archbishop of Abuja diocese, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama.

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‘’Veritas University has been granted the faculty to run Pontification degrees in theology and philosophy by the Congregation of Catholic Education in the Vertical City, Rome. That is in addition to National Universities Commission-approved programmes in theology and philosophy. As a Catholic University to be granted the power of the faculty to run these programmes is the height of our development and in Africa; there are just two granted such faculty, which are, the Catholic University of East Africa, Nairobi and Veritas University in Abuja. It is an exceptional privilege for us,’’ Professor Ichoku stated.

Professor Ichoku said the university would be awarding first-class degrees to 28 students who had distinguished themselves in character and learning.

He noted that the minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola would be delivering the convocation lecture.

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NACCIMA, Nigeria’s Road To Prosperity – SDP Presidential Candidate, Adebayo

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The presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Prince Adewole Adebayo, has said that the road to prosperity in Nigeria is through The Nigeria Association of Chambers and Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

Adebayo who spoke at the 4th quarterly meeting of NACCIMA in Enugu assured that the SDP, if elected into power, would not be a lawbreaker government but a law abiding.

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He added that one of the difficulties facing the industry is that government does not respect contracts.

READ ALSO: Be Apolitical, Prayerful, SDP Presidential Candidate, Adebayo, Urges Clerics

He posited that times have changed because in the past before government presents the country’s budget, captains of industries are always consulted, and the government doesn’t take decisions without considering the effects.

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Adebayo driving his point and acknowledging the importance of NACCIMA said ‘In the past when you see presidential candidate, governorship candidate, senatorial candidate, you in NACCIMA will say he’s my boy, he use to work for me, he’s a good boy.

He added that Nigeria must return to such lifestyle, because the road to prosperity in Nigeria is through NACCIMA.

 

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True Federalism: Expert Wants NULGE Join CSOs, Others For Constitutional Amendment

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Professor Festus Imuetinyan, federal Commissioner, Federal Character Commission, Abuja has called on the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to join hands with other unions and civil society organizations working for the amendment of the nation’s constitution to make the constitution truly federal.

Imuetinyan made the call on Wednesday in Benin City at the Edo State chapter of NULGE 2022 week celebration with the theme,”Sustaining an autonomous local government as a catalyst for national development: The role of NULGE”.

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The university don opined that local governments will only become catalyst for national development when they are put in firm control over local affairs as well as encourage the emergency of local solutions to local problems.

He advocated that the local government matters must be removed from the national constitution and placed within the purview of the states to save them from the challenge of forced uniformity in the face of endemic diversity of local problems.

He added that NULGE, as the major trade union in the local government system in Nigeria, has a duty to ensure that the present unified local government system which is unwieldy is jettisoned.

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“Unfortunately, many local government staff are beneficiaries of the present system and do not see any urgent need for changes.

READ ALSO: Governors’ Domineering Treatment Of Local Govt Councils Unfair – Buhari

“Your members are the ones that are made sole administrators when elected council heads are illegally sacked by state governments. Many enjoy posting to areas that they are not conversant with the custom and tradition of the people whose problems they are called upon to solve.

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“Others are promoted in the face of inadequate utilization of available resources to manage waste and protect public utilities within their jurisdictions.

“It is often alleged that many of your members extort money from members of the public and that they enrich themselves at the expense of the development of the communities”, he said.

He further opined that the present local government system is not patterned to achieve any developmental goal rather than a smooth vehicle for the transfer of centrally collected funds to the pockets of States’ political elites.

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Imuetinyan emphasized that the 1999 Constitution makes it possible for state governments to cripple Local Government Councils financially by routing the amount of money standing to the credit of Local governments in the Federation Account (FA) through a joint State Local Government Account rather than directly to local councils.

He asserted that the arrangement adversely affects the fiscal autonomy and viability of most local governments.

According to him, some state governors make inexplicable deductions or unduly delay the release of funds from the joint accounts to local government chief executives.

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“Local government chairmen are bullied by state governors to surrender much of their statutory allocations under duress. When they fail; they find other ways to replace them with caretaker committees of selected loyalists.

“Expenditure and project discretion had become a thing of the past. Most states expect their Local governments to seek and obtain permission to embark on projects. Local government projects are inspected periodically by officials of state governments.

“More financial load has been placed on Local governments’ share of the Federation Account. For example, funds for primary school teachers’ salaries and pension charges are now charged centrally to the Local governments.

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READ ALSO: Why Passport Applicants Face Challenges – Aregbesola

“The central deductions at source of these charges and several other unfunded mandates in environmental and social spending by the State Governments tend to leave many Local Governments with little funds.

“And unfortunately, many Local governments especially those in the rural areas have limited access to productive tax bases”, he added.

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