The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has announced that the House will sue Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio for perjury over claims that 60% of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) contracts were awarded to members of the House.
The speaker announced this in a statement on Twitter that he has asked the Clerk of the house to begin legal proceedings and initiate a criminal complaint of perjury against the Minister and also a possible defamation suit.
“This morning, I asked the Clerk of House to engage the services of legal counsel, and instruct them to initiate a criminal complaint of perjury against the Minister. At the same time, we will instruct counsel to explore the possibility of a civil defamation suit,” he said.
Last Tuesday I issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs to substantiate his allegation that over 60% (sixty per cent) of contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) went to members of the @nassnigeria
— Femi Gbajabiamila (@femigbaja) July 23, 2020
While responding to questions during a public hearing of the investigative panel which was set up to probe the corruption allegations against Akpabio and members of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC last Monday, the minister claimed members of the national assembly were the greatest beneficiaries of the Commission’s projects.
“So it is important that people who have gone to court, people who genuinely did jobs should be paid for their jobs. For me, I am not against it because, of course, who are even the greatest beneficiaries? It is you people,” Akpabio had said.
Reacting to the allegations, the Speaker of the House of Reps, Gbajabiamila on Tuesday, gave Akpabio a 48 hours ultimatum to produce a list of House members who obtained NDDC contracts. He also ordered Akpabio to reveal the sum of contracts, locations and companies used to exercise the contracts, failure to comply which will be met with consequences.
The House is probing the Commission for the misappropriation of funds to the sum of N40 billion.
The speaker said he has held leadership positions in the House since his days as Minority Whip and that the House has lived up to its reputation, adding that the House will not let anyone assassinate its character and “deflect accountability” for misconducts allegations.
He said the House will resist any attempt to soil the reputation of the institution externally or internally and it’s ready to stand on its commitment.
Gov. Makinde presents N266 billion budget to Oyo State House of Assembly
Governor Seyi Makinde has presented a ₦266.64billion budget proposal to the Oyo State House of Assembly.
The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, presented the Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly. The total budgeted sum is ₦266.64billion, with education expected to receive N56.35billion – 21% of the budget and a rise from N12 billion budgeted in 2019.
This was disclosed by Governor Makinde in a social media post on Monday.
It was my honour to present the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly, today. This Budget of Continued Consolidation was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of our state. pic.twitter.com/6ys0XFOgh1
— Seyi Makinde (@seyiamakinde) November 23, 2020
According to NAN, Mr. Makinde disclosed on social media that the ‘Budget of Continued Consolidation’ was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of the state.
“The total budgeted sum is ₦266.64billion The Recurrent Expenditure is ₦136.26billion, while the Capital Expenditure is ₦130.38billion. We are again, aiming for at least 70% implementation of the budget,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria also disclosed that infrastructure spending in the budget would be N46.06billion – representing 17.27% of the total budget and an increase of N33.66 billion over that of last year.
Other sectors include Agriculture which represents 3.6% valued at N9.58billion and Healthcare taking 4.9% of the budget with an N13.29billion allocation.
The Governor disclosed that Oyo has reduced its infrastructure deficit and made improvements in the areas of healthcare, education, and others.
“We have been able to lower our infrastructural deficit, make improvements in healthcare delivery, improve the quality of education, and achieve milestones in our security systems,” he said.
He also added that the state had recorded a 26% increase in IGR at N25.6 billion and hopes to increase IGR to over N100 billion for the 2021 budget.
“As of September, we had recorded an IGR of N25.6 billion. And using the half-year figures, it represented a 26.4% increase in IGR year-on-year. Oyo State’s IGR is presently about 32% of actual aggregate revenue.
“We still have not achieved a total dependence on the state’s income outside of the federal allocation to fund the budget. Slowly, but surely, we are getting there.
“For the 2021 budget, our plan is to increase our annual IGR to N102.82billion. We hope to achieve this by widening the tax net to bring in more taxpayers into the system,” he added.
Restructuting: Plans must pass through legal process from the National Assembly – Tambuwal
Tambuwal has insisted that plans to restructure Nigeria and the Constitution must pass through due process from the National Assembly.
The Governor of Sokoto State and Former House of Reps Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, has said that any plan to restructure Nigeria and the Constitution must pass through legal due process from the National Assembly.
Tambuwal disclosed this at a plenary session of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit, titled: “Building partnerships for resilience” in Abuja on Monday.
Tambuwal warned that Nigeria must learn from mistakes 0f 2015 when the last attempt to amend Nigeria’s constitution was rejected after the first reading.
He added that any plan to restructure must be done after amending the constitution, which must pass through the assembly.
“As it were at the moment, whatever you are going to do about the constitution, has been prescribed by the constitution and how you are going to do it.
“The constitution has prescribed how a word in that constitution is going to be amended.
“Except of course we are saying we are going to jettison the National Assembly and the State Assemblies in getting it done, which is not possible,” he said.
“So you cannot go outside of the constitution to amend the constitution. We better come to terms with this realization and to come together and agree on how best we can work together to achieve what the nation desires,” he added.
What you should know
The agitations from the October protests in Nigeria have revived talks about restructuring in Nigeria. Earlier this month, the Governors of Ekiti and Kaduna State, Kayode Fayemi and Nasi El-Rufai argued that restructuring was a means to end Nigeria’s economic troubles.
“In essence, our desire to build a more perfect union should be anchored on the principle of devolution of powers – that is, re-allocation of powers and resources to the country’s federating units.
“The reasons for this are not far-fetched. First, long years of military rule have produced an over-concentration of powers and resources at the centre to the detriment of the states. Two, the 1999 Constitution, as has been argued by several observers, was hurriedly put together by the departing military authority and was not a product of sufficient inclusiveness.
“All points considered, the fiscal burden of maintaining a largely inefficient and over-bloated bureaucracy is a metaphor for shooting oneself on the foot,” Fayemi said.
Nigeria to exit recession by first quarter of 2021
The Minister of Finance has said that Nigeria will exit the economic recession by the first quarter of 2021.
The Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, on Monday, November 23, 2020, said the country will exit recession by the first quarter of 2021 as the Nigerian government is working towards reversing the declining economic trend in the country.
According to Channels Television, this disclosure was made by Mrs. Zainab Ahmed while speaking on the latest GDP figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) about the current recession in the country at the ongoing 26th Nigerian Economic Summit, organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.
The Finance Minister said the COVID-19-induced recession followed the pattern across the world, where many countries had entered an economic recession.
Ahmed said, “Nigeria is not alone in this, but I will say that Nigeria has outperformed all of these economies in terms of the record of a negative growth.”
The country’s economy posted a second consecutive negative growth, contracting by 3.62% in the third quarter. This negative growth is much better than the 6.01% that was earlier forecasted by the NBS.
Also at the Economic Summit, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, emphasized that the government is committed to working in synergy with the private sector to foster equitable growth and underpin national development.
The 26th Nigerian Economic Summit focuses on building resilient partnerships for Nigeria’s households, businesses, and the general economy.
What you should know
It can be recalled that on Saturday, NBS announced that the country had entered its second recession in 5 years in the third quarter of this year, as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell for the second consecutive quarter.
According to figures released by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS), cumulative Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first nine months of 2020, therefore, stood at -2.48%, just as it recorded a -6.10% in the second quarter.