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Governors set to sign W’Bank grant agreement

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The 36 state governors have resolved to sign the World Bank’s State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability programme’s subsidiary grant agreements.

The resolution by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum was contained in a communiqué signed by its chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi after the 21st teleconference meeting sequel to the adoption of the update report presented by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, on the SFTAS programme.

According to the NGF, each of the 36 state governments is expected to capture at least 50 per cent of the properties that have electricity connections in urban areas to unlock $2m performance grant under the World Bank-funded States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for results before June 30, 2021.

The governors during the meeting affirmed that the assessment of states’ amended budgets published at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has been completed while the verification exercise for the implementation of tax relief programmes in all states is underway.

The governor enjoined all state governments to immediately direct their commissioners for finance to sign the SFTAS Subsidiary Grant Agreements with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to give effect to the principles and objectives of the programme in their states.

Also, the governors during the review of various issues affecting the country, particularly on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fallout of the EndSARS protests, unanimously resolved to “engage with traditional, religious and civil society organisations to drive a common agenda and generate the required support for security personnel who play a vital role in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all Nigerians.”

Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, chairman of the NGF Sub-Committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, expressed concern about the current low testing numbers in the country, especially in the light of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases globally.

State governors were urged to increase their testing capacity in all local governments to help prevent the start of a second wave of the pandemic in the country flowing from imported cases from abroad.

Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, gave an update on steps taken by the governors of the 19 northern states to address the fallout of the EndSARS protests.

Acknowledging that security situation in the country remained a priority agenda for the forum, the governors resolved to “adapt at both the state and regional levels guidelines to be developed and issued by the NEC Sub-Committee on Engagement to reduce restiveness among young people as it is clear that these agitations are attributable to social and economic inequality in the country.”

They also commended the private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) for presenting the true situation of what transpired in the light of the unfortunate misperception that attended the distribution of palliatives at the state level resolving that the NGF chair should work with the CACOVID chairperson to address the media in addition to members speaking up in their local settings.

Similarly, the vice chairman of the forum and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, provided an update on the work of the National Economic Council Sub-Committee mandated to engage with youths, civil society organisations, religious, political and traditional leaders with the objective of framing a new security and stability architecture for the country.

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Vacate Kano now to allow peace, Arewa group tells Bayero

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Aminu Ado Bayero

Vacate Kano now to allow peace, Arewa group tells Bayero

The Arewa Social Contract Initiative on Sunday, May 26, asked the dethroned emir of Kano, Aminu Bayero, to vacate the ancient city quietly for peace to reign.

Bayero, who was dethroned alongside four other first-class emirs following the enactment of a new law, has returned to Kano and is occupying the Gidan Nasarawa palace, while Sanusi is in the main palace, a situation that is causing intense tension.

The national chairman of the Arewa Social Contract Initiative, Alh. Sani Mahmoud Darma, on Sunday, May 26, said the solution to the stalemate over the emirate tussle is for Bayero to vacate Kano.

Darma, who addressed a press conference in Kano, said all the Arewa executives from the 19 northern states had met, critically analyzed the situation, and decided that Bayero was the problem and should leave Kano.

He said: “It is very unfortunate that after his dethronement, Aminu Ado Bayero accepted the decision and packed all his belongings from the palace and left Kano state, then some people from the top brought him back and claimed his lost position.

“If he feels his dethronement was unlawfully done and he wants to reclaim it, he would have stayed somewhere and pursued it through the court. But coming back to Kano and attempting to occupy the palace is a sign that he wants to cause violence and chaos in Kano.”

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He reminded the dethroned emir to look back and recall history and accept that his sack was from God and should leave Kano immediately to avoid bloodshed.

Darma said: “This is unacceptable! It happened to Sanusi and he benefited. When Sanusi was dethroned and he (Bayero) was appointed he accepted everything in good faith and left Kano for Bayero to occupy the palace. Why is he back now that he is the victim? It shows he is still interested in the throne.

“He should congratulate Sanusi and vacate Kano immediately for peace to reign. If he is still interested in the position, he should go and stay in another state while he seeks justice from the court.”

He said the Arewa members are 100 percent strongly behind the new emir (Sanusi), because Governor Abba Yusuf, during his gubernatorial campaign, had promised the Kano people that he was going to bring back Sanusi.

The people were happy and they voted for him. What the governor has done is just a fulfillment of his promise and the people are happy about the governor’s decision because it is a long-awaited thing. So, we are (Arewa) also happy about Sanusi’s reinstatement, because he was victimised.

“What has happened is purely the decision of the State House of Assembly, the governor, the kingmakers, and the people of the state, after the old law was repealed. So, it is purely a state affair. We were even surprised when the issue of court order came about,” he said.

Vacate Kano now to allow peace, Arewa group tells Bayero

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President Tinubu arrives in Lagos for Lagos-Calabar highway flag-off

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President Tinubu arrives in Lagos for Lagos-Calabar highway flag-off

President Bola Tinubu has made a notable arrival in  Lagos to commence the flagging-off ceremony for the construction of the Lagos-Calabar highway. Welcomed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and other government dignitaries at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, President Tinubu’s presence marks a significant step forward in infrastructure development for the region.

The announcement of President Tinubu’s visit was preceded by statements from Olusegun Dada, Tinubu’s Special Assistant on Social Media, who had earlier indicated that the president would inaugurate several projects in commemoration of his first anniversary in office.

Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, had confirmed that Tinubu would initiate the construction of the Lagos-Calabar highway on May 26, emphasizing the administration’s commitment to enhancing transportation infrastructure across the nation.

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During a meeting with a delegation of Yoruba leaders of thought at the State House in  Abuja, President Tinubu reiterated his administration’s dedication to fostering tangible impacts on the lives of Nigerians. He expressed optimism about the country’s trajectory towards prosperity, highlighting the progress made during the past 12 months despite inherent challenges.

President Tinubu’s visit to  Lagos and the subsequent commencement of the Lagos-Calabar highway project underscore the administration’s commitment to accelerating socio-economic development and improving connectivity across regions.

President Tinubu arrives in Lagos for Lagos-Calabar highway flag-off

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FG drags 36 states to S’Court over local govt autonomy

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FG drags 36 states to S’Court over local govt autonomy

The federal government has sued the thirty-six governors before the Supreme Court to ensure the autonomy of the nation’s local governments.

In the suit, marked SC/CV/343/2024, was filed on May 20, by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) on behalf of the federal government.

The federal government is praying the Apex Court for an order prohibiting state governors from unilateral, arbitrary, and unlawful dissolution of democratically elected leaders for local governments.

It also prayed the Supreme Court for an order permitting the funds standing in the credits of local governments to be directly channelled to them from the federation account in line with the provisions of the Constitution as against the alleged unlawful joint accounts created by governors.

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It wanted an order stopping governors from constituting caretaker committees to run the affairs of local governments as against the constitutionally recognized and guaranteed democratic system.

Also, the federal government wants an order of injunction restraining the governors, their agents, and privies from receiving, spending or tampering with funds released from the Federation Account for the benefit of local governments when no democratically elected local government system is put in place in the states.

FG drags 36 states to S’Court over local govt autonomy

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