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200 Rep members get cars worth N6 billion

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Despite the delay in the July Salaries of the  360 lawmakers, over 200 members of the House of Representatives have taken delivery of brand new exotic cars.

It was  learnt that the non-payment of their salaries and other benefits had left most of the members without enough funds in the last one week.

But, on Sunday, the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas, disclosed that over 200 members had been given Peugeot 508 series for “utility services.”

Namdas stated that by the plan of the House, all 360 lawmakers would have taken delivery of their cars by December 31.

Each of the vehicles cost N17m and will consume a total of N6.1bn to supply all 360 units.

Namdas spoke further, “Over 200 have been supplied out of 360 and we are still getting more.

“Every member will get a car by the end of this year. The issue is that the payment and supply of the vehicle is being done in instalments.

“The House and the company (Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited) agreed to this arrangement of paying and supplying in instalments.

“Naturally, not all the members can get their cars at the same time and we have explained to them why this cannot be possible.”

The PUNCH had reported exclusively on July 1 that contracts for the automobiles were awarded late 2015.

However, owing to delivery delays and insufficient budgetary releases to the House, the majority of lawmakers were unable to get their cars in close to two years.

About 223 of the 360 members were “freshers,” who first came to the National Assembly in 2015.

The new members are said to be most pained as they have had to fuel personal cars for work since June, 2015.

Findings indicated that the delayed supply had led to grumbling by the members, who sought explanations from the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara,  on why only 175 members could get their vehicles in two years.

At a meeting before proceeding on recess on July 27, lawmakers had reportedly put Dogara on the spot by demanding the sacking of the Chairman, Committee on House Services, Mr. Nasiru Baballe-Ila.

Baballe-Ila’s offence was that he “practically forced” the House to go for Peugeot 508 as against the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado or Camry, which the majority of lawmakers preferred.

Investigations showed that in the last few days, more supplies of the Peugeot 508 had been received, raising the number to “over 200.”

Asked to comment more on the issue, Namdas said part of the problem was funding challenges.

For example, he said some funding for the cars was included in the 2017 budget.

“You know that we have not started the implementation of the 2017 budget fully.

“You will appreciate the fact that payment for these cars will come from the budget. So, that issue too is there,” he added.

The PUNCH gathered that the supply of the 200 cars still did not address the problem of the non-payment of lawmakers, who are without their July salaries.

Lawmakers take a salaries of between N690,000 and N1.1m monthly, depending on how much deductions are made from a member’s pay to settle debts and other facilities.

In addition, they receive a quarterly allocation of between N27.9m and N33m.

But, a dip in flow of funds to the legislature in recent months and delays have led to cuts, affecting the pockets of the majority of members.

Investigations revealed that most of the members had stayed back in Abuja, one week after the National Assembly adjourned for six weeks.

They are said not to be in a hurry to visit their constituencies for now due to the cash crunch.

One Peoples Democratic Party member from Edo State, Mr. Johnson Agbonayinma, and a member of the All Progressives Congress from Kano State, Mr. Bashir Baballe, confirmed to The PUNCH that the lawmakers were owed salaries.

Agbonayinma stated, “I don’t know what else to say. We are suffering. Nigerians are suffering.

“The National Assembly is treated with levity; they don’t take our case seriously.

“The people in the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank, they tell you the same story every day.

“If there is no money, are those in the Executive not running their services? That is why I have been praying that President Muhammadu Buhari should get well fast and return home.

“So much is not going on well and we need a system that is not stagnated but working properly.”

Source: ( Punch Newspaper )

National News

Akeredolu: There’s A Serious Security Crisis In Ondo

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Akeredolu: There’s A Serious Security Crisis In Ondo

Governor Akeredolu

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has expressed that there is a serious security crisis in Ondo State.

He made this remark while lamenting the murder of a monarch in the state, Olufon of Ifon in Ose local government, Oba Isreal Adeusi, who was killed by suspected kidnappers.

In a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, Akeredolu described the incident as a sad one for the State.

Also Read: Unknown Gunmen Kill Ondo Traditional Ruler, Olufon Of Ifon

The governor described the act as a heinous crime that is too heavy and unbearable.

He said he has directed security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police, to fish out the perpetrators of the crime.

Akeredolu also vowed to do all he can to unravel those behind the act and make them face the full wrath of the law.

He advised that caution should be exercised from making public reference in statements or utterances in respect of the “great loss.”

 

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Nigeria’s Economy May Emerge From Recession In 2021 Q1, Says Emefiele

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 Nigeria’s Economy May Emerge From Recession In 2021 Q1, Says Emefiele

CBN Governor – Godwin Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has predicted that the nation’s economy may emerge from recession in the first quarter of 2021.

Recall that some days ago, Nigeria entered into recession for the second time since 2016.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, made the prediction on Friday during the 55th annual Bankers Dinner which held in Lagos.

He expressed that the expected economic growth was two per cent.

Also Read: Nigeria Will Exit Recession By First Quarter Of 2021 – Finance Minister

Emefiele said, “With the sustained implementation of our intervention measures, we do expect that the Nigerian economy could emerge from the recession by the first quarter of 2021.”

“We also expect that growth in 2021 would attain 2.0 per cent. However, downside risks remain, as restoration of full economic activities, particularly in service-related sectors, remains uncertain until a COVID vaccine is produced and made available to millions of people across the world.

“Second, with the significant rise in cases in advanced markets and the imposition of lockdowns in parts of Europe, concerns remain on the impact this could have on growth in advanced economies, commodity prices and the financial markets.”

He also called for measures to “insulate our economy from the impact of these shocks through our diversification efforts, while also working to ensure that we adhere to safety protocols in order to prevent a surge in COVID-19 related cases, as this could further cripple economic activities.

This prediction by the apex bank echoes the projection of the Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who stated that Nigeria would exit recession in the first quarter of 2021.

 

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Shehu Sani Reacts To Hisbah’s Call For Scrapping Of Black Friday

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Shehu Sani Reacts To Hisbah's Call For Scrapping Of Black Friday

Shehu Sani

Former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani has reacted to the call for the scrapping of the popular ‘Black Friday’sales by the Kano State Hisbah Board.

Recall that earlier on Friday, the board asked a radio station, demanding that it stops using the word “Black Friday” to refer to Friday.

Also Read: TECNO Stormed Computer Village with BBNaija’s OZO to Wrap up its Black Friday Sales Activities

The board explained that since Friday is regarded as a holy day in Islam, tagging it “Black Friday” is derogatory and a thus, should not be condoned.

Reacting to the statement, the former lawmaker from Kaduna described the threat by the Hisbah board as ‘nonsensical.”

He wrote:

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