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Presidency replies Kukah: Your wicked intention shall not come to pass

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The Presidency on Monday responded to Rev Father Matthew Kukah’s latest criticism of the President Muhammadu Buhar’s administration as a failure on many fronts, saying the wicked intention of those who divided Nigeria with their mouths would not come to pass.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said this in a tweet.

The response came a day after the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Kukah’s critical comments on Buhari.

Adesina tweeted, “Those who divided Nigeria with their mouths, with evil, unguarded speaking, are the ones now accusing President Buhari. How sad! Their wicked intentions shall not come to pass.”

Kukah, in his Easter message titled, ‘To mend a broken nation: The Easter metaphor’, had alleged that every aspect of life in the country had been destroyed while corruption was enthroned under President Buhari.

The bishop, who also criticised the President over his government’s “inability to tackle insecurity and corruption”, claimed that Buhari had divided Nigerians on the basis of ethnicity, religion and region.

He had said, “The challenge of fixing this broken nation is enormous and, as I have said, requires joint efforts. With everything literally broken down, our country has become one big emergency national hospital with full occupancy.

“Our individual hearts are broken. Our family dreams are broken. Homes are broken. Churches, mosques and infrastructure are broken. Our educational system is broken. Our children’s lives and future are broken. Our politics is broken. Our economy is broken. Our energy system is broken. Our security system is broken. Our Roads and Rails are broken. Only corruption is alive and well.”

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Senate uncovers N200m fraud in Labour ministry payments

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The Senate through its Public Accounts Committee says it has discovered fraud in the payments of over N208 million for the Zonal Skills Acquisition organised by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.

The programme was organised in all the six zones of the federation in 2021 with N35 million for each zone apart from South East which had N32 million.

The money used for the programme was reportedly drawn from Service Wide Vote (SWV) which has become the subject of investigation by the Senate Public Accounts due to failure to subject the expenditure to the scrutiny of the auditor-general of the federation office before expenditure.

The Senate committee alleged forgery of signatures of participants in the programme.
The lawmakers, who received the lists of participants through the Senate Public Accounts Committee chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide, observed a few persons signed for the participants to collect their stipends in the six zones as the ministry allegedly failed to make available the phone numbers of participants in the programme.
Urhoghide wondered how the officials could pay millions of naira via cash for the programme instead of bank transfers.

The committee said the character of the signatures in participants’ list made it look the same and not a single person used his name as a signature.
The committee said the ministry would have used e-payment for the participants.

“The signatures can’t stand the forensic test if we subject them to the forensic test,” the committee declared.
Urhoghide said, ” The money ought to have been paid straight into the accounts, you see one person signing for many people. There is a clear violation of e-payment”
However, the ministry’s permanent secretary, Ms Kachollom Dajua, and other officials were said to have failed to give a convincing explanation to the committee as they argued that due process was followed in paying the participants.

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Breaking! Adeleke Makes First Appointments As Governor of Osun

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Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke

The newly sworn-in governor of Osun State,Senator Ademola Adeleke has named Mallam Olawale Rasheed as his Chief Press Secretary.

The governor also appointed Alhaji Kazim Olaleye and Teslim Igbalaye as Chief of Staff to the Governor and Secretary to the State Government respectively.

Details later….

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I reduced debt, left N14bn behind – Oyetola

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Former Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola

Former Governor of Osun State, Adegboyega Oyetola, has said his administration is leaving behind a total sum of N14 billion cash in the state’s coffers.

Oyetola also said between 2018 and time of his exit, his administration had paid a sum of N97 billion from the debt inherited, adding that the administration did not take any bank loan during his tenure as governor.

In a farewell message by Oyetola as contained in a statement made available by his Chief Press Secretary, Ismail Omipidan, on Sunday, he further disclosed that his administration put Osun’s economy on a better footing through many people-centred and masses-focused projects implemented to make life worthwhile for the people of the state.

According to him, Osun under his watch has been stable economically as manifested in the astronomical increase in the Gross Domestic Product of the state since he assumed office.

He affirmed that Osun was more stable economically than he met it in 2018, saying despite all the visible socio-economic challenges confronting the state with its attendant effects, he was able to take care of the fears and evil of fiscal indiscipline and lack of implementation, which hampered projects and services in the nation’s public service.

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The statement quoting Oyetola further read in part, “As I step aside today( Sunday) following the conclusion of the four-year tenure you freely gave me, I thank God and I thank you for your support, cooperation and prayers over the years.

“I recall how the journey began four years ago; how by your belief in me and your conviction in the plans and programmes of our party, you exercised your right to vote for me. As we end our first term, rest assured that Osun is more stable economically than we met it in 2018 and it remained the most peaceful state in the country under our leadership.

“For four years, we did not take any bank loan facility. But we benefitted from the N3 billion monthly intervention from the Federal Government to all the states for six months to cushion the effect of deductions of budget support facility and salary bailout accessed by the previous administration, just as we have paid N97 billion from the total debt we inherited in 2018.

“We are leaving behind cash of over N14 billion. In addition to the N14 billion cash, another N8 billion is being expected between December and January from our performance in SFTAS and the Internally Generated Revenue. Also, another $72 million will come to the state soon from RAMP 3, NG-CARES, Nigeria for Women Project and Ease of Doing Business. These are earned based on performance. And we have indeed performed to earn them.

“It was part of the same performance that earned us the award of Best Governor on Efficiency of Public Expenditure and TOP Performer on Domestic Revenue Mobilisation by the World Bank’s States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability, SFTAS, recently. We have gone this length to let you know that Osun under our leadership was sustainable. It was done through fiscal discipline and personal sacrifices.” Punch

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