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Lateef Agboola: The Man Osun NUJ Secretary’s Cap Fit



“Whether the union will run a peaceful and smooth tenure, all depends on him. The union to face one crisis or the other will be to an extent determined by him. He is the middle man; he is the interface between the union and the members. He is likewise the interface between the union and the general public.”

The above quote from a colleague of mine recently gives credence to the role the secretary office plays in an organisation or union partucularly the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ). NUJ is a body without a Public Relations Officer hence the secretary bears the burden of that office and that of his primary office (secretary). He is the brainbox of the Union. This is why this office must be entrusted on someone with the ability and experience. Someone who has the charisma, professional skills, and the human relations and not on ‘who know man or long leg.’

As members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Osun State council warm up to elect members of executives that will pilot affairs of the Union for the next three years, Lateef Agboola is the man best fit for the secretary office. He is capable and reliable and likewise accountable.

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Lateef is no accidental journalist. He is a well trained and professional journalist. He is a graduate of mass communication and Masters degree holder of Communication Art. So, Lateef is no push aside or push over person in the field of journalism.

Lateef, popularly called CLAM, has all the experience needed to take Osun NUJ to a greater heights. He is not a new comer or toddler in running the affairs of any union. This journalist cum musician (Fuji music) is a well experienced person in the position he is currently vying for at the state level. He had served as secretary of his chapel two times and presently serving as vice chairman of the same chapel. If Leteef is not good and capable, members of his chapel wouldn’t have entrusted him that sensitive position for two times and now the vice chairman. Least I forget, Lateef is a staff of the state-owned broadcast outfit (Osun State Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC), Osogbo, a leading broadcasting firm in the state and Southwest at large.

Lateef Agboola for secretary, Osun NUJ

Giving Lateef Agboola the secretary office is putting a round peg in a round hole. Lateef Agboola is the right man; no one amongst his co-contestants can do it better than he does. Lateef can deliver. He has the human relations; he has the skills. 2010 was the year I had opportunity to work with this man as intern in the state-owned broadcast station, but after leaving the station for several years, Lateef and I relationship is still very cordial and intact. This tells how friendly this man is! This is the type of person Osun NUJ needs as secretary.

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NUJ secretary office is a sensitive one that must be occupied by someone like Leteef. Someone who is friendly and has a listening hear like Lateef Agboola. Someone who will be ready to welcome and listen to the least member when he or she has something to say. Someone who can speak for the least member when the need arises.

Interestingly, Lateef is not just a journalist or Fuji artiste, the Lateef I know is an activist. For the short period I worked alongside with him, I saw this in him. He will never allow you to be denied of what is due for you. As an intern back then, I can recall many instances where he exhibited this even in assignment but time will not permit me to list such instances. He makes sure what was given to full staff was given to us as intern. Lateef is a team player that everyone loves to work with back then. He will definitely speak for Osun NUJ members if given the opportunity.

Yoruba bo woni, bi awo’o ka’ju ilu, yiya ni o ya. Awo Lateef kaju ilu. Eje ki Lati se; Lati lo le se.

Agboola Lateef is the right man for the secretary position. He had handle this office at the chapel level, he performed excellently. Please entrust him the state council’s office. Lateef will not disappoint you. He is up to the task.

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Osun NUJ members, as you walk towards the polling boot, please put Lateef Agboola of OSBC at the back of your mind and cast your votes for him.

A vote for Lateef Agboola is a vote for accountability, transparency and equity.

Joseph Kanjo, a journalist, online publisher, wishing Osun NUJ members a peaceful election.



Alleged ₦81.2bn Tree Planting Scandal: House Committee Exonerates NAGGW




The House of Representatives Adhoc Committee set up to investigate the utilisation of Ecological Fund released to the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW), has absolved the Agency’s management of allegations of fraud allegations leveled against it.

The Honorable Ismaila Dabo-led Adhoc committee was set up in July, to investigate allegations of mismanagement of funds released to the agency from the Ecological Fund.

This followed a motion titled: “The Need to Investigate the Utilization of Ecological Funds Released to the Great Green Wall by the International Organizations from 2015 to Date; and All Federal Allocations to the National Agency for the Great Green Wall as well as all Contract Awarded to Various Contractors for the Project from 2019 to Date.” which was sponsored by Honourable Ali Lawan Shettima.

The House panel, in a report obtained by Vanguard, on Sunday, revealed that it reached the conclusion after considering oral evidence and reviewing documents made available to it by those who testified before the 15 member committee.

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At the inaugural sitting of the Adhoc Committee, the management team of the agency was invited to shed light on allegations that it spent ₦81.2 billion on the planting of 21 million trees across 11 frontline states.

The States listed were:  Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Yobe and Borno.

The House Committee equally queried the agency over discrepancies in some of its expenditures.

Director General/CEO of National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW), Dr. Yusuf Maina Bukar, in his presentation before the Committee in September,  denied the allegation while making clarifications on budgetary allocations to the agency.

He informed the committee that he assumed office in April 2022, and that berifiable records show that the sum of ₦53,425,423,874.34 was the amount released to the Agency from inception to July 2023,  as against the sum of N81.2 bn which the Agency was alleged to have spent.

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Bukar insisted the Agency has not acted outside its mandate in the implementation of its mandate.

According to him, not all of the ₦53,425,423,874.34 received were directly spent for tree planting activities as some uninformed persons would want Nigerians to believe.

He said, “The NAGGW cost of planting, from inception in 2015 to July 2023 is ₦5,145,735,470.15

“That the approximate sum of ₦7.2 billion balance in the Agency’s account are liabilities already committed to ongoing contracts that have already been awarded.

“All unutilized funds from capital appropriation are refunded to Federal Government TSA account at the end of the financial year where applicable.”

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The Honourable Dabo fifteen-man Committee in its report also faulted the claim that the agency received the sum of ₦81.2 bn noting that, “Evidence from the Hearing indicates that the NAGGW received a total sum of ₦53,425,423,874.34 (Fifty-three Billion, Four Hundred and Twenty-five Million, Four Hundred and Twenty-three Thousand, Eight Hundred- and Seventy-four-naira, Thirty-four Kobo) only from inception in 2015 to July, 2023.”

In the course of its investigations, the Committee also discovered that the Agency didn’t receive budgetary allocation for 2015; and that ecological funding was not released to the agency until 2019.

The House panel also discovered that, “the percentage of ecological funding going to the Agency was reduced from 15% provided for by the Act to just 5% with effect from January 2020 to date.”

The report acknowledged the paucity and untimely release of funds, inability to access foreign assistance and absence of a Governing Board as some of the factors hindering the performance of the agency.

The lawmakers equally expressed displeasure over the unilateral reduction in the statutory allocation to the agency by fiat, and urged government, as a matter of urgency revert the Ecological Fund releases to the agency back to 15 percent  as provided for by the NAGGW Act.

The report further read in part, “That the total sum of ₦20,168,363,662.18 (Twenty Billion, One Hundred and Sixty- Eight Million, Three Hundred and Sixty-Three Thousand, Six Hundred- And Sixty-Two-Naira, Eighteen Kobo) only being the shortfall of the reduction from Ecological Fund for January, 2020 to date, be immediately released to the Agency to fund its activities;”

Other recommendations contained in the report read : “Similarly, the Ecological fund office should calculate remit to the NAGGW the total sums due to the agency from the Ecological Fund from 2015 to 2018;

“Urge the National Agency for the Great Green Wall to as a matter of urgency include the frontline states of Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe States in the fourth phase of the a forestation projects which is to commence soon.

“There is urgent need for the agency to undertake recruitment of staff, especially for its offices at the front line states;

“Need for a greater collaboration and synergy between the NAGGW and the Federal Ministry of Environment;”

“Urge the Federal Government to constitute a Governing Board for the National Agency for the Great Green Wall;

“Need for extensive enlightenment of the general public on the sustainable use of the forest for preservation.”

Aside from submissions by the Federal Ministry of Environment, the Central Bank of Nigeria, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and the Ecological Project Office, the Committee also undertook on-the-spot assessment visit to projects sites in some of the frontline states, namely; Kano, Jigawa and Sokoto State.

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UNILORIN Extends POST-UTME Registration




The University of Ilorin, Unilorin, has approved an extension of POST-UTME registration by one week to cater for days of technical hitches.

This is contained in a statement issued in Ilorin on Sunday by Mr Mansur Alfanla, the Registrar of the university.

He announced that the new deadline for registration is Dec. 17, 2023.

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It would be recalled that the deadline of the POST-UTME registration was December 10, before the extension.

The registrar therefore advised intending candidates to register within the extended period as there would not be further extension.

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Disclose How Much Oil Nigeria Produces, Exports Daily, SERAP Tells NNPC




The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has urged Mele Kolo Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC, Limited to disclose how much oil Nigeria produces and exports daily within seven working days.

SERAP alleged that the NNPCL had failed to disclose the amounts of barrels of oil the country produces and exports according to information at its disposal.

The organization also asked Kyari “to disclose how much of the revenues generated from oil have been remitted to the public treasury since the removal of subsidy on petrol.”

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This was disclosed in a letter signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, noting there was a legitimate public interest in disclosing the information sought.

“Nigerians are entitled to the right to receive information without any interference or distortion, and the enjoyment of this right should be based on the principle of maximum disclosure, and a presumption that all information is accessible subject only to a narrow system of exceptions.”

“By Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2011, SERAP is entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information on the details of barrels of oil Nigeria produces and exports every day and the total amounts of revenues generated and remitted to the public treasury.”

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SERAP argued that the “Opacity in the amounts of barrels of oil the country produces and exports daily, the revenues generated and remitted to the public treasury would have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of the citizens and the public interest.”

The organization said it would consider appropriate legal actions to compel the NNPCL to comply with the requests in the public interest, if it did not get any response within seven days.

SERAP recalled that the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, had last week alleged that “the NNPCL is failing to remit enough foreign exchange into the treasury despite the removal of fuel subsidy.”

According to the organization the NNPCL has a legal responsibility to promote transparency and accountability in barrels of oil the country produces and exports every day.

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