Connect with us

News

Nigeria Goes No Where Without Functional System – Activist

Published

on

Without a system that works in place, Nigeria has missed it ahead of the 2023 Presidential election, Executive Director, Foundation for Good Governance and Social Change (FGGSC), Comrade Austin Osakue, has said.

Oaakue stated in Benin on Wednesday while speaking at a Colloquium to mark the 4th anniversary of Rural Development, Information and Legal Advocacy Centre (RUDILAC), and the 2022 International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI) organised in conjunction with the Edo State Ministry of Communication and Orientation.

Advertisement

He explained that all those jostling to be president may not bring the desired change in the absence of a functional system in place.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Edo Govt Imposes 24-hour Curfew In Obazagbon, Ogheghe Communities

“What is required is a system that works and unless a functional system is put in place, no individual can change Nigeria”, he stressed.

Advertisement

Osakue whose lecture was titled “Access to Information: A Building/Road Block For a Resilient Society”, said it is critical to deepen access to information in the country, pointing out that no society can survive for long concealing information.

He listed transparency and accountability as pillars of good governance, adding that Freedom of Information or access to information, is simply saying that citizens have a right to know what is happening within the governance system.

“Freedom of Information is at the heart of transparency and accountability. Instead of being a stumbling block, Freedom of Information is supposed to promote good governance”, Osakue said.

Advertisement

He canvassed collaboration as the way forward, saying individuals cannot do it alone and called on journalists, civil society groups, NGOs and Lawyers to close ranks to enable them make progress and achieve their common goals.

In his lecture “Toolbox for Access to Information Regime in Edo State”, Maxwell Kadiri, a Senior Strategic Litigation Officer,  Open Society Justice Initiative”, noted that political elite and leaders across board appear to be uncomfortable when access to information is being discussed.

He explained that access to information is not necessarily tied to legislation, citing India which started allowing its people access to information, flowing from its constitution and Democratic practice 20 years before a formal legislation on the subject was passed.

Advertisement

READ ALSO: Editors Demand Implementation Of FOI Act

“Governments across the country have obligation to allow citizens of access to information by virtue of the democracy we practise and the African and Peoples Charter of 1990”.

He stressed that government officials by the concept of democracy are only holding information in trust for the people, adding that the information is not their property.

Advertisement

Public officers don’t understand the provisions of the FOI in their failure to allow the citizens proactive access to information”, Kadiri further stated.

Advertisement

Advertisement
Comments

News

Ex-CAN President Onaiyekan, Cleric Bag Honorary Degrees

Published

on

By

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

‘’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.

Advertisement

Continue Reading

News

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

Published

on

By

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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

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.

 

Advertisement

Continue Reading

News

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

Published

on

By

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”.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

“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.

Advertisement

“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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

“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.

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

Continue Reading

Trending