Updated: South-South leaders meet FG delegation, insist on restructuring for peace, development – Newstrends
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Updated: South-South leaders meet FG delegation, insist on restructuring for peace, development

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… want NNPC subsidiaries’ head offices relocated to N’Delta

South-South governors and other leaders from the geopolitical zone met in Port Harcourt on Tueday with a presidential delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.

To guarantee peace, security and stability in the region and by extension the country, the leaders demanded true federalism through restructuring.

They also requested the relocation of the headquarters of all subsidiaries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to the region.

They also demanded the immediate privatisation of the nation’s refineries to make them functional and boost the economy of the region.

The leaders stated that the country was not at peace with itself and that things were not really working.

Chairman of the South-South Governors Forum and Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, presented the position of the zone during its stakeholders’ meeting with the presidential delegation.

The meeting, earlier slated to hold on November 17, was cancelled at the last minute on the excuse that the FG’s delegation had to attend an emergency meeting of the National Security Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja on the same day.

Okowa told the presidential delegation that the region was committed to restructuring the country to guarantee “true federalism” and devolution of powers to the states to create and manage their own police and security architecture under a federal structure.

They requested the immediate implementation of the consent judgment entered in the Supreme Court Suit No: SC/964/2016 to enable the South-south gets its share of $55 billion shortfall of collection on deep offshore and inland basin production sharing contracts.

“True federalism’ guided by the principle of derivation, revenue sharing and control of resources by each state of the federation as it was the case in the first republic is what we want,” Okowa said.

According to him, the geopolitical zone desires a federation where its constituent units are constitutionally empowered to create their own structures like local government areas, manage their elections and control their judiciary.

He said, “We are all aware of the huge endowment of this country. As such, it is imperative to stress that with a little bit of efforts, imagination, hard work, sacrifice and leadership, every state of the federation as of today, has the ability and capability to contribute to the national purse. This should be encouraged rather than the whole country depending substantially on a region of the country.

“What is worse and even more painful in this ugly situation is the deliberate lack of understanding, empathy and the uncompromising attitudes of some Nigerians, who have refused to understand the challenges of the South-South region of the country, especially, the degradation of the environment and our waters. As a result, most of the demands of the region have remained unattended to while the resources of the region have been used continually to develop other parts of the country.”

The governors called for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the region’s major seaports in Port Harcourt, Calabar and Warri to enhance the economic development of the region.

They demanded that the two refineries in Port Harcourt and Warri should be privatised.

The Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, urged the leaders of the region to avail themselves of the ongoing review of the 1999 Constitution by the National Assembly since most of the issues contained in their demands are constitutional matters.

Gambari said the meeting was in response to the President’s mandate that the presidential delegation comprising all the ministers from the region to visit and consult the representatives of the people regarding the recent #EndSARS protest.

He lauded the governors for their quick response and actions in addressing the #EndSARS crisis.

Those who attended the meeting were Governors Nyesom Wike (Rivers), Ben Ayade (Cross River), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Douye Diri (Bayelsa) and Godwin Obaseki (Edo).

Others were Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio; Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva; Minister of State for Power, Mr. Goddy Jeddy- Agba; Minister of State for Niger Delta, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN); Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, and Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

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Tinubu appoints new heads for PenCom, ICRC, NPC, 6 others 

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Tinubu appoints new heads for PenCom, ICRC, NPC, 6 others 

President Bola Tinubu has appointed new heads for the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Other agencies with new heads are the National Agency for the Great Green Wall, NAGGW, the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NHSA, among others.

According to separate statements released by the presidential spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the appointments take immediate effect.

Tinubu appointed Ms Omolola Bridget Oloworaran as the new Director-General of the National Pension Commission, (PenCom).

Ms. Oloworaran is a finance and banking expert with many years of experience and the appointment is subject to the confirmation of the Nigerian Senate.

The statement added that the “President anticipates a goal-oriented leadership to drive efficiency and superlative performance in the National Pension Commission as the prime regulator of the Nigerian Pension Industry.”

President Tinubu also appointed Mr. Jobson Ewalefoh as the new Director-General of the ICRC.

Ewalefoh is a professional with years of experience in government and development organizations, in addition to expertise in public-private partnerships, public policy reform and development.

The appointment is also subject to the confirmation of the Senate and the President expects absolute dedication and probity in the management of the ICRC and in pursuit of its strategic objective of accelerating investment in national infrastructure through the innovative mobilization of private-sector funding.

For NALDA, President Tinubu appointed Mr. Cornelius Oluwasegun Adebayo as the new Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer.

Adebayo is an engineer and also a community and social development expert and the President expects the new Chief Executive Officer of NALDA to deploy his competence and experience in supporting and driving the growth and sustainability of Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

The statement also stated that President Tinubu appointed Dr. Mainasara Umar Kogo as the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Dr. Kogo is a seasoned lawyer and analyst in the fields of law, security, economy, politics, and international diplomacy.

“The President anticipates professionalism, integrity, and fidelity to the nation in the discharge of the functions of the Office of the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), it added.

Other appointments made include, Mr. Saleh Abubakar as the new Director-General of the National Agency for the Great Green Wall, NAGGW and Mr. Umar Ibrahim Mohammed as the new Director-General of the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency, NHSA.

The statement said, “Mr. Abubakar is a highly experienced public administrator with decades of experience across several sectors.

“The President expects diligence and dedication in driving the agency’s mandate of empowering communities to combat land degradation, enhance food security, and build resilience to climate change through sustainable interventions and education.”

For the new DG of NHSA, the statement said, ” Mr. Mohammed is an architect, and also, a construction technology and environment professional.

“The President expects improved outcomes in the agency’s objective of operating and maintaining hydrological stations nationwide, as well as carrying out groundwater exploration and monitoring using various scientific techniques to provide hydrological and hydrogeological data needed for planning, design, execution and management of water resources and allied projects.”

President Tinubu has also approved the appointment of Mrs. Mojisolaoluwa Kehinde Alli-Macaulay as the Executive Director (Operations) of the Fund.

Mrs. Alli-Macaulay is a former lawmaker and former Chairperson of the Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Women Affairs, Poverty Alleviation, and Job Creation.

The President in a statement issued by his spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, “anticipates a comprehensive re-positioning of the NSITF for enhanced social protection and qualitative service delivery to the Nigerian people

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El-Rufai sues Kaduna lawmaker, Channels TV over N423bn debt probe

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Former Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai

El-Rufai sues Kaduna lawmaker, Channels TV over N423bn debt probe

Former governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, has initiated legal action against Henry Marah, a member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, and Channels TV over alleged defamatory comments made during an interview about the probe of a N423 billion loan.

In a writ of summons filed before an FCT High Court dated July 11, 2024, El-Rufai, represented by his counsel A.U. Mustapha (SAN), contends that the June 5 “Politics Today” interview on Channels TV titled “Investigation of El-Rufai Administration” was “malicious, unwarranted, without justification, defamatory, and greatly injurious to the reputation of the claimant.”

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El-Rufai is seeking N3 billion in damages, jointly and severally, from Marah and Channels TV for the injury, embarrassment, and distress caused by the alleged defamatory publication, which he claims resulted in a loss of reputation and goodwill.

The interview discussed the ongoing probe into El-Rufai’s alleged borrowing of N423 billion during his tenure as governor from 2015 to 2023. During the interview, Marah accused El-Rufai of borrowing funds without due process and failing to account for the money.

Previously, El-Rufai filed a N1 billion suit against the Kaduna State House of Assembly, arguing that he was denied a fair hearing by the Ad-Hoc Committee on Investigation of Loans, Financial Transactions, Contractual Liabilities, and Other Related Matters. This committee was established on April 16, 2024, to investigate financial activities during El-Rufai’s administration from May 29, 2015, to May 29, 2023.

No date has been set for the hearing of the case.

El-Rufai sues Kaduna lawmaker, Channels TV over N423bn debt probe

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Supreme Court judgement on LG autonomy takes effect immediately – AGF

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Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN

Supreme Court judgement on LG autonomy takes effect immediately – AGF

The attorney general of the federation and minister of justice, Lateef Fagbemi, has said the Supreme Court judgement affirming the autonomy of the local government areas will take effect immediately.

Mr Fagbemi, who stated this while briefing state house correspondents after meeting President Bola Tinubu, urged the governors to comply with the judgement.

While expressing his joy, Mr Fagbemi noted that the judgement has emancipated the local government council.

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He said, “Naturally, one will be happy, should be happy, Nigerians are happy about it.

“I call it local government emancipation judgement because it has really emancipated the local government from the shackles of the past and I hope that local government officials will look at it as an opportunity to develop their various local governments.”

On how to ensure compliance to the part of the judgement that requires state governments to conduct elections for government areas, the AGF said: “The ball is in the court of the governors, let us see what they will come out with, but the judgement is clear as to what they should do, the judgement is clear as to what consequences will be attached to failure or refusal to follow the judgement of the Supreme Court, which takes immediate effect.”.

Supreme Court judgement on LG autonomy takes effect immediately – AGF

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