Dickson declines assent to life pension for Bayelsa lawmakers

[FILES] Governor Seriake DicksonLaw will deepen poverty, says group as HURIWA seeks EFCC’s probe 
Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson has declined signing the bill seeking life pension for former lawmakers as proposed and passed by the state House of Assembly last week.

The bill has caused ripples and attracted condemnation from Bayelsa people, as well as civil society groups, who were planning a showdown with lawmakers.

Commissioner for Information, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, yesterday quoted Dickson as saying that he conveyed the decision to decline assent to the Bill in a letter to Speaker of the House of Assembly.

The Guardian learnt that the governor held consultations with members of the House at his Toru-Orua country home, where he explained his reason for declining assent.

Iworiso-Markson also disclosed that Dickson said the bill was inconsistent with Section 124 of the Nigerian Constitution as amended.

Governor Dickson said that he was of the view that the Assembly lacked the powers to expand the categories of public servants who should be entitled to pensions.

He stressed that he had to withhold assent to the bill because the state, which has a lot of challenges in spite of its low internally generated revenue (IGR) base and unstable earnings from the oil economy was the only state to come up with such a bill.

Some concerned groups in Bayelsa State under the aegis of Embasara Foundation, has advised Governor Dickson to decline assent to the pension bill

The groups, comprising eight civil society groups in the state, said at a media briefing at the NUJ Press Centre in Yenagoa that they will protest against the bill if Dickson signs it into law.

Chairman, media committee of Embasara Foundation, Dr. Ayakeme Whisky, disclosed that members of the House passed the bill last week without conducting a public hearing to get the people’s input or acceptance as it is usually done.

Also, the Niger Delta Civil Society Coalition (NDCSC) has described the proposed Pension Law as a setback to sustainable development and an illegal attempt to encourage wastage, engender conflicts and deepen extreme poverty in the state.
Its Chairman, Anyakwee Nsirimovu, said the group described the House of Assembly’s action as an abdication of its responsibility of protecting the citizens, by delivering sustainable political goods and deliberately engaging in a measure that could worsen the people’s well being.

Meanwhile, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has condemned the newly introduced pension scheme for political office holders, describing the law as retrogressive.

As such, the group said it is planning to petition the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), urging the anti-graft agency to step in and stop political office holders from plundering the state’s resources.

In a statement issued in Abuja by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA said it was unthinkable that the Bayelsa State government should even contemplate the law in the first place.


Buhari orders ministers to give account of stewardship

L-R; President Muhammadu Buhari presiding over one of the FEC meetings. Orders miinisters to present their scorecards.

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked for a comprehensive “status reports on policies, programmes and projects” from ministers on their ministries, departments and agencies.

Buhari gave the order today as the countdown begins for the end of his first term on 28 May. The following day, he will be sworn in to begin a new tenure of four years.

According to a statement by Garba Shehu, the ministers have up till 24 April, to submit their reports to the Presidential Audit Committee in the office of the Vice President.

A circular to this effect issued by Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, also requested members of the Federal Executive Council to “ensure that all outstanding memoranda they intend to present to the Federal Executive Council are submitted to the Cabinet Affairs Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, not later than Tuesday, 30th April, 2019.”

The circular also informed members that the “9th and 10th meetings of the Council have been rescheduled for Thursday, 25th April and Thursday, 2nd May, 2019 respectively” in view of the Easter break and May Day celebrations


Canada says it didn’t beg Buhari for 1 million Nigerian immigrants

The Canadian High Commission in Nigeria has dismissed a report that its Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, begged President Muhammadu Buhari for at least one million Nigerian immigrants.

Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau [AFP]

Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau [AFP]

CBTV had reported that the Canadian PM had written to Buhari to allow at least one million Nigerians move to Canada under a new Employment and Migration Programme designed for immigrants.

However, the Canadian embassy took to its official Twitter account (@CanHCNigeria) on Tuesday, April 16, to dismiss the story as false.

“If you’ve seen this link on your social media timeline, don’t fall for it. This story is not true,” the commission posted with a screenshot of the story.

The commission further praised the important contributions of Nigerians in Canada, disclosing that over 4,200 Nigerians were approved for permanent residency in 2017.

“If you see a story online about moving to Canada that seems too good to be true – shine your eyes well-well o!!!” it added.

Canada struggles with illegal Nigerian immigrants

Canada is a major attraction for a lot of Nigerians hoping to escape Nigeria’s dire economic conditions with many heading to the North American country in the past two years.

Despite its acclaimed openness to Nigerians, the Canadian government is currently battling the scourge of illegal Nigerian immigrants who have flooded across its borders from the United States.

Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau, has faced constant criticisms from Conservatives about his government's handling of immigration [AFP]

Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau, has faced constant criticisms from Conservatives about his government’s handling of immigration [AFP]

Between June 2017 and May 2018, Canadian authorities intercepted more than 7,600 Nigerian asylum seekers, with 81% of them having valid U.S. non-immigrant visas in their possession.

The trend of illegal border-crossers from Nigeria worried the Canadian government so much that two officials were sent to Lagos in 2018 to work directly with their counterparts in the U.S. visa office to collaborate on how to lower the number of migrants who eventually end up making asylum claims in Canada.

More recently, the Canadian government adopted a new stringent policy to deal with asylum seekers who illegally cross into the country from the U.S.


House of Reps rejects forensic audit bill

House of Representatives

The House of Representatives on Tuesday, rejected the Bill for an Act to establish the Chartered Institute of Forensic and investigative auditors of Nigeria for effective regulation and registration of members.

The bill also determines the knowledge and skills that a practitioner requires to attain in order to qualify to practice as a Forensic and Investigative Auditors.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Uzoma Nkem-Abonta (PDP-Abia) and two other lawmakers.

The bill which passed first reading was rejected by the House for the conflicting role of the Chartered Institute of Forensic and Investigative Auditors of Nigeria with a similar professional body such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, (ICAN).

The bill also had a conflicting role with the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, (ANAN).

Contributing to the debate on the bill, the Deputy Speaker, Mr Lasun Yussuff stated that since the word audit was being contested, it could for clarity purposes be coined to read forensic investigators or experts.

He explained that the Bill could look like an exclusive accounting bill, but with his advice, it would be more encompassing for other fields.

Nkem-Abonta said that the word audit, was encompassing and could be used as investigation and the bill should not be watered down just because accountants don’t feel comfortable with it.

He also noted that the bill, as it was, was not an exclusively accounting one, but all-encompassing.

Also in his contribution, Rep. Simon Arabo (PDP-Kaduna), said that if the word auditor, was the only contention, and could be expunged to accommodate the content

Rep. Kayode Oladele (APC-Ogun), contributing said that since it had been ascertained by the Three-man Committee set up by the Speaker that other countries had the proposed body, the Bill needed to be Passed.

Rep. Oladimeji Ayodele (PDP-Ekiti), said that if the proposed Bill was for the establishment of an association, it would be okay, but the fact that the proposed Institute seeks to be chartered, then it was contradictory to laid down Law.

Rep. Shehu Garba (APC-Kaduna), said that auditing was one responsibility strictly reserved for accountants and passing the proposed bill as it was would be creating confusion of Agency roles in the minds of Nigerians.

Also, Rep. Babangida Ibrahim (APC-Katsina), on his part, said that an auditor was a professional.

“So the word audit should be expunged. The way it is being applied in the proposed bill or the bill should not be Passed.”

Nkem Abonta in exercising his right of reply said that the term audit in the bill was just to investigate and did not seek to take anything away from the accounting profession.

The bill was put to a voice vote by the Speaker, Mr Yakubu Dogara and lawmakers unanimously declined passing it through second reading.


BREAKING: First Female Signature Hits The Naira Note As She Becomes Director

Nigeria’s 59-year history has just got an additional colour as Priscilla Ekwere Eleje, becomes the first woman to have her signature impended in the Naira note, thus, just above the director of currency space of the one thousand naira note is her signature.

Michael’s blog gathered that, Eleje who has been acting director of currency and operations at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has been confirmed, substantive director of the apex bank.

She is the first female director of currency in the history of the bank, and her signature has been appended on the naira, thus breaking another glass ceiling.

Ladi Kwali, Nigeria’s foremost potter, is the only woman on the naira, taking a spot at the back of the N20 note.

As apparent, every naira note in the country’s history — save the N20 note — has had the face, name, and signature of a man, up until now.

Insiders at CBN told news men that the Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the bank, has been working to ensure more women come to the table at the bank.

Michael’s blog also gathered that she was confirmed on August 30, 2018, and currencies printed afterwards would carry her signature.

Sarah Alade has been the closest woman to this feat, rising to become the deputy governor of the CBN after as she was appointed the head, fiscal analysis division of the CBN at the turn of the millenium.

Alade, who — though in acting capacity — became the very first female governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), retired on March 22, 2017, after leading at the bank in various capacities.

Aishah Ahmed was appointed to replace Alade in 2018.

What do you think?


5-Day-old Baby Dies Due To Lack Of Bed Space In Abuja General Hospitals

Outrage as 5-day-old baby dies due to lack of bed space in Abuja general hospitals

– A Twitter user has taken to the platform to reveal how a man lost his newborn baby in Abuja

– According to the post, the baby developed some complications five days after it was born

– The father revealed that although the baby was taken to the hospital, the child died due to lack of hospital bed to be admitted on

The healthcare system in Nigeria continues to deteriorate at an alarming rate. Every year, millions of people and infants die due to avoidable circumstances and this story is no different.

A man identified as Aniefok Etim on Twitter, recently took to the platform to reveal how a couple lost their five-day-old who developed some complications simply because there were no beds available for the child to be admitted on in the two hospitals they went to.

He wrote:“I just met dz man who came to buy delivery items 4 his wife n new born last week. He jst told me dat d 5day old baby developed complications n he visted two Gen hospitals in Abuja but guess what “THERE WAS NO BED” 2 admit d baby. Now d innocent baby is deadWeldone Nigeria”


Woman Cries For Help After Husband Took ‘Overdose’ of M*nhood Enlargement Charm (Photo)

A woman complained that her husband was a two minute man in bed. The man who didn’t take it lightly enlarged his m*nhood with a charm to satisfy his partner.

But now his m*nhood is said to be three times bigger than before and that doesn’t  work for his wife who had to cry out .

The couple, from Mahwelereng in Mokopane, Limpopo, South Africa, has been married for 11 years. The wife said that  before the recent development the m*nhood had suffered er*ctile dysfunction.

“His m*nhood wasn’t working very well. But lately I don’t even sleep with him because he is hurting me. I even told his mum I want to go back home.”

The husband said he went to a native doctor secretly to get charm to grow his m*nhood. “She was always complaining that I didn’t satisfy her s*xually and I thought going to a native doctor to get charm would help save my marriage. “But now I just want my m*nhood reduced to its normal size.”

The man’s mum said she was shocked. “I didn’t give birth to my son with such a big thing. I want that native doctor to reduce it to its normal size. My son will not lose his family because of this.”

James Chuma, a native doctor originally from Sudan but based in Mokopane, said his client took an overdose of the m*nhood charm he gave him.

“This man didn’t follow my instructions. He kept drinking that charm even when his m*nhood was growing big.” “But I will help him reduce it to a normal size. It was for him to chose the right size, not me,” said Chuma.


Please save us from Osun Police, others – Motorists

Acting Inspector General of Police Muhammadu Adamu

By Isa Isawade

Motorists, especially commercial transport workers, in Osun State, South-West of Nigeria are agonising over constant extortion by men of the Osun State Police Command, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO) across the State of Osun on daily basis.

Michael’s blog witnessed some untoward scenes on Wednesday 10 April 2019 at the numerous check points created on the roads from Gbogan to Osogbo and from Osogbo to Ile-Ife by personnel of the aforementioned agencies, where hard working civilians were being harassed and exploited with impunity.

Between the very short distance of Osogbo and Ile-Ife, there were nine check points where illegal tolls ranging from N50 to N200 were paid by motorists at gun point.

Non-cooperative drivers who had to be forced to park their vehicles and alight before yielding were made to pay between N500 and N1,000 to secure their release.

The Police men charged either N50 or N100 depending on the operators of each check point, while the FRSC and VIO men were charging N200 per vehicle at their own check points.

The FRSC had two check points along the roads- one in front of the filling station at Owode-Ede, and the other at the RCC Express.

The VIO also had two check points- one at Eleyin bus-stop after Owode while the other was on the RCC Express.

The Nigeria Police had the highest number with four check points created within the distance. One in front of Sekona Grammar School, the second one was in front of the police station at Edun Abon, the third one at Moro ‘foreign lane’, while the fourth one was on the RCC Express.

To the dismay of passengers and onlookers, the officers threatened to delay for hours or shoot any non-cooperative driver.

Things got worse for the motorists when another team of policemen from the mobile unit, drafted to Moro, Yakoyo in respect of a murder incident which was said to have occurred in the area few days before, also established an impromptu check point in order to quickly rake into their deep pockets some naira notes.

As the disgraceful act continued with reckless abandon, the frustrated passengers grumbled and asked themselves whether Nigeria could be regarded as a country or a mere jungle.

The hapless drivers, while speaking with Michael’s blog complained bitterly that ” We work from morning till night, and at the end we were always left with nothing because after buying fuel and delivering to owners, what should have been our gain had been forced out of our hands by these officers. And this happens here every day.”

They also accused their union’s Executives of failing to fight for them.

Therefore, they appealed to the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu and President Muhammadu Buhari to save them from what they called vicious extortionists on the roads of Osun.


Breaking News: Commotion As Fuel Tanker Explodes On A Bridge In Gombe (Photos)

Scene of the incident

According to a Punch Metro report, a fuel tanker has been burning for over 30 minutes at Bomala bridge in the bye-pass axis of Gombe state after exploding.

As of the time of filing this report, the men of the fire service had just appeared and gone back for reinforcement.

See more photos below:


Ex-CNN host Soni Methu dies at 34 after collapsing in Kenya

Soni Methu, a Kenyan journalist and former host of CNN’s Inside Africa died on Thursday after experiencing severe stomach pains.

According to her younger sister Faith, the 34-year-old journalist was at a hotel in Diani, Kwale county, Kenya when she grabbed her stomach and collapsed at 6 p.m. before experiencing what she described as a seizure.

“Her feet were cold and lips were dark,” a family member told the Kenyan publication The Star in regards to Soni’s medical emergency.

She was rushed to the hospital but was immediately pronounced dead.

As CNN reported, an autopsy will be completed to determine Soni’s cause of death.

Soni was known for her role as the former host of the show Inside Africa on CNN International from 2014-2015. CNN made the following statement after learning the news.

“We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of our friend and former colleague Soni Methu,” they said. “Our heartfelt condolences to her family and friends, from all at CNN.”

Following her time at CNN, she left for a new role as a reporter for CGTN, the Chinese-owned news network, where she was an employee at the time of her death.