Imo Assembly PDP Lawmakers Petition Speaker Over Headship Of Committee
No fewer than six People’s Democratic Party (PDP) lawmakers in the Imo House of Assembly have petitioned the speaker, Hon. Chiji Collins, kicking against the headship of the Public Accounts Committee of the house.
In a petition jointly signed by all six PDP lawmakers and made available to newsmen in Owerri on Monday, the lawmakers alleged violation of one of the rules of the Imo House of Assembly.
It was jointly signed by Anyadike Nwosu, Minority leader (Ezinihitte), Frank Ugboma, Deputy Minority leader (Oguta)
and Solomon Anukam, Minority whip (Owerri municipal).
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Other signatories are Phillip Ejiogu, Deputy Minority whip (Owerri North ), Okey Onyekanma, former Deputy Speaker (Mbaitoli ), and Tochi Okereke, former Chief Whip (Ngor Okpala).
According to the memo, titled: ‘Headship/membership of the Public Accounts Committee of the Imo State House of Assembly’, the lawmakers argued that such committee is usually headed by a member of the minority party.
They said this is in accordance with the parliamentary convention in the country and in line with international best practices.
The PDP lawmakers said it is regrettable that the Imo Assembly was yet to comply with such parliamentary convention.
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They decried the situation where the public accounts committee is headed by a member of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Chiagozie Nwaneri, member representing Oru East.
The committee is, however, saddled with the task of probing N19.63b Local Government funds which the Gov. Uzodinma-led APC government has alleged was mismanaged by the former PDP administration of Chief Emeka Ihedioha.
The lawmakers, however, insisted that they were not against the Public Accounts Committee discharging it’s functions.
“It is worrisome that we did not comply essentially to our rules particularly Order XVIII Rule 113 (6) (A) (B) (C) and (D) which stipulates that reports to be considered must be laid before the House of Assembly.
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“In the ongoing investigation, we did not comply with our rules.
“I therefore urge you to use your good office as the Chief interpreter of our rules to do justice by appointing the Minority leader as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee and redirect for the compliance to our rules”, the memo read.
Ahmed Musa Equals Zidane’s Record, Surpasses Viera, Lampard
Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, has become the most capped Nigerian player after his appearance in the second leg of Nigeria’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Guinea-Bissau.
The Nigerian national team defeated the Djurtus of Guinea-Bissau 1-0 at the Estadio 24 de Setembro.
However, Musa, who made his Eagles debut in 2010, and was also part of the 2013 Nations Cup-winning side, earned 108 caps – setting a new record for Nigeria.
With his feat, he has equaled France’s midfielder Zinedine Zidane, German’s Jurgen Klinsmann, and England’s Tim Cahill’s 108 national caps.
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Also, the 30-year-old Super Eagles captain surpassed Patrick Vieira’s 107 international caps for France, and Frank Lampard’s 106 caps for the Three Lions of England.
Since his debut, the Nigerian forward has scored 16 goals for the national team. He is Nigeria’s highest scorer in the World Cup with four goals.
He also has 92 club goals and 65 assists.
NGO Trains Delta Community On Tools For Environmental Justice
The Connected Advocacy, a Benin-based NGO, on Monday trained the residents of Owa/Alidinma community in Agbor, Delta State, on strengthening local movement and demand spaces for environmental justice.
The training featured sessions on environmental monitoring, smart advocacy tools for environmental justice and how to build a non-violent environmental justice movement.
The Director of the NGO, Mr Israel Orekha, said the capacity building was aimed to enable local communities to advocate for and demand freedom from pollution, environmental degradation and exploitation.
READ ALSO: Pollution: Respect For Human, Environmental Rights Take Centre Stage As NGO Organises Capacity Building In Delta Community
Orekha said the training was due to the impact of oil exploration in the community, which include crises, environmental degradation, diversion of monetary benefits, intimidation from the traditional rulers and non-compliance with environmental multilateral agreements, among others.
“The imperative of smart advocacy tools for environmental justice are evidence-based collective efforts or strategies targeting decision-makers and polluters.
“The training focuses on influencing the actions, programmes and policies of the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and governments toward environmentally friendly interventions, fulfilling the agreement for the protection of the earth, people and planets.”
Taking the participants on environmental monitoring tools, Cadmus Atake-Enade, said the devices were effective for mitigating the danger of fossil-fuel extraction in the local communities.
He encouraged participants to monitor their environment through air, water and soil pollution, and biodiversity issues.
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Atake-Enade listed tools for monitoring the physical environment like pens, pencils, cameras and whistles, saying the need to document the findings or monitor the evidence cannot be over-emphasised.
The training concluded with the reconciliation of the Traditional Community Council and Host Community Network operating in the community.
Cash Scarcity: Ngige Moves To Avert NLC’s Nationwide Strike
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, Monday moved swiftly to avert the impending nationwide strike of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, billed to commence on Wednesday.
Recall that the NLC had on Wednesday last week directed all its branches across the country and the affiliate unions to embark on mobilisation of members for the proposed strike due to the scarcity of naira notes that has caused untold hardships to Nigerians.
It threatened to embark on the industrial action, if the cash crunch, fuel scarcity and electricity tariff increase were not addressed.
The NLC also advised its members to stockpile food stuffs, saying that it will occupy all branches of the Central Bank on Nigeria, CBN, nationwide and its headquarters from Wednesday.
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However, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Ngige in a bid to stop the NLC from paralysing economic activities at the nation’s apex bank, intervened in the dispute between labour and the CBN over the latter’s Naira Redesign Policy, which caused a cash crunch in the country.
In response to the strike threat, Ngige in a statement by Olajide Oshundun, Director Press in the ministry invited the leadership of the Congress and the CBN management to a meeting in his office on Monday, to resolve their differences.
The ten-man delegation of the NLC was led by the President, Comrade Joe Ajaero and the General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja while the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele was accompanied by two Deputy Governors, Kingsley Obiora (Economic Policy) and Ade Shonubi (Organised Private Sector).
READ ALSO: [JUST IN] Cash Scarcity: NLC, CBN Meet In Abuja
According to the statement, Ngige in his opening remarks, refuted the allegation of the NLC that his Ministry did nothing about the matter.
He said on receiving the letter from NLC, he forwarded same to the CBN Governor before travelling out of the country for an International Labour Organisation (ILO) Governing Board meeting and directed the Permanent Secretary and Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations Department to follow-up.
He maintained that his Ministry took the necessary step by sending the letter to CBN Governor who received the letter and assured that action would be taken.
On his part, the CBN Governor, Emefiele said when he received the letter from the Labour Ministry, he called the President of NLC to brief him on steps taken to alleviate the sufferings of the masses and equally made appointment and had a fruitful discussion with NLC president.
He said large volume of funds were made available to the deposit money banks and they were directed to open their branches on Saturdays and Sundays and that they complied under strict supervision by the CBN.
According to Emefiele, following the steps taken Nigerians have been enjoying their money.
Earlier, Comrade Ajaero said they only got a reply to their second letter to the ministry and subsequently, an invitation to the meeting.
He said they no longer envisage any problem, since CBN has started sending cash to the banks and Nigerians were now accessing their money, acknowledging that meetings has been taking place in the spirit of good dialogue.
He, however, urged the CBN to improve on their services, regretting the information gap created in the implementation of the Naira Redesign.
READ ALSO: NLC Protests: CBN To Flood Banks With Old Naira Notes
He said: “NLC could not have stopped CBN from taking good decisions and implementing them in the interest of the nation. If stakeholders were invited and briefed on the policy, when the people complain, NLC would explain everything to them. But in this case, the CBN did it alone.
Moreover, it is a wrong time for administering such a national policy.”
He assured that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of NLC will meet tomorrow Tuesday 28th of March, 2023 where members from states and Local Government Areas are expected to report on availability of money, after which a decision will be taken on the strike.
The Minister, however, assured all that whether the NLC is embarking on dispute of right or dispute of Interest, the dispute has been apprehended and can only result to more dialogue and not strike.
The Minister thanked all for honouring the invitation.
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