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We’ll reorganise security apparatus, revamp economy – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari may eventually bow to pressure as he has hinted of plans by his administration to restructure the nation’s security apparatus to tackle worsening insecurity.

He gave the indication in his New Year’s speech even as he promised to rejuvenate the economy this year and expressed the hope that the country would continue “to weather all stormy waters and emerge stronger and better where others have fallen and disintegrated.”

According to him, there will be a “re-energising and reorganising” of the security apparatus and personnel.

In the face security challenges, there have been numerous calls by influential groups and individuals including the National Assembly for the President to tinker with the security architecture in the quest to put an end to banditry, kidnappings and insurgency.

Buhari said, “The year 2021 will indeed be a year where we will work to reinforce the hopes of fellow Nigerians in the vision of a united and progressive Nigeria.

“Some of the key priority areas we would direct our attention and strengths to include: re-energising and reorganising the security apparatus and personnel of the armed forces and the police with a view to enhance their capacity to engage, push back and dismantle the operations of both internal and external extremist and criminal groups waging war against our communities in some parts of the country.”

The President recalled the abduction of the over 300 boys of the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara inhis home state of  Katsina and praised the “professionalism” of the armed forces in rescuing them.

“We recognise that we rapidly have to move to a more proactive and preemptive posture to ensure that these sorts of traumatic incidents do not become a norm.

“Our administration is fully aware of the responsibility we have to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians, and we will not relent in learning and adapting to changing threats to our national security and civic wellbeing,” the President said.

He also said 2020 came with a lot of challenges, ranging from security and economic issues to “understandable protests that were mainly led by our youths”.

The protests, he said, “served notice to the demand for police reforms and accountability”.

Buhari said, “This government heard; this government listened and this government is committed to fulfilling the five demands of our youths, fully understanding that we all wish well for Nigeria.”

He reaffirmed his commitment to Nigerians, especially the youth, who he said need “collective encouragement and support”.

“In securing this nation we need to secure the future of our youth…In this regard, we will partner with the legislature to develop an enabling environment to turn their passions into ideas that can be supported, groomed and scaled across regions.

“This will create vast opportunities in fintech, agriculture, business process startups and in the entertainment industry,” he said.

On the anti-graft war, he said the executive would work with the legislature to enact laws that would strengthen the fight.

“On the part of the executive, we would ensure the diligent and timely prosecution of corruption cases, while appealing to the judiciary to ensure that corruption cases are dispensed with expeditiously,” President Buhari said.

He spoke of the need to keep the country safe from a resurgent cycle of COVID-19 as his administration finalises plans “to procure and efficiently and effectively distribute the COVID-19 vaccines”.

“I urge you all fellow citizens to observe strict COVID-19 prevention protocols,” the President added.

He also spoke on the plans to rejuvenate the economy, saying, already it was being diversified and infrastructure being rebuilt, adding that his administration was putting reforms in place in the power sector to significantly expand generation and distribution.

He said, “Our focus is on revamping the economy through the national economic diversification agenda that supports the primary goal of national food self-sufficiency.

“This has helped reduce the growing food-related inflationary figures and have in considerable measure positively impacted our food security status during the long months of the pandemic lockdown.

“As an administration, we are currently undertaking a series of special interventions designed to boost job creation and support the entrepreneurial drive of our youths.

“With the recent opening of our borders, we expect that the pent-up demand of legitimate cross-border and international trade will boost the fortunes of the many small businesses and agricultural enterprises that depend on Nigeria’s trade and commerce.

“The message to our West African neighbours is that Nigeria is once again fully open for those willing to conduct business in a fair and equitable way.”

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Adeleke Sacks Over 10,000 Workers Newly Recruited by Oyetola

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Osun State Former Governor, Gboyega Oyetola and Governor of Osun, Ademola Adeleke

New Governor of Osun, Ademola Adeleke, has nullified the recruitment of over 10,000 workers most of them teachers who benefitted from employments shortly before the end of the tenure of former Governor, Gboyega Oyetola.

This was part of the Six Executive Orders issued and signed by the Governor on Monday. Adeleke was sworn into office on Sunday as the sixth elected governor of the state. His late elder brother, Isiaka Adeleke was the first elected governor.

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In the Order 3, which bordered on employment, the order stated,

“All employments in the service of Osun State Government made in any capacity into any capacity in all the Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Commissions , Boards and Parastatals after July 17th, 2022 be and are hereby nullified.”
Information available to the NPO Reports showed that more than 10,000 people would be affected with the decision.

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BREAKING: Adeleke suspends OSIEC chairman, members

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Osun State Governor, Ademola Adeleke

The Osun State Governor, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has ordered the immediate suspension of the Chairman of the Osun State Independent Electoral Commission, Mr. Segun Oladitan.

A statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Tesleem Igbalaye, on Monday, also suspended six members of the Commission with immediate effect.

The suspension was said to have been based on several petitions bothering on financial impropriety, dereliction of duty, absenteeism and abuse of office against the said Chairman and members of the Commission.

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The statement further read in part, “The Executive Governor of Osun State, Senator Adeleke, has directed the immediate suspension of the Chairman of OSIEC, Segun Oladitan, and the following members of the Commission;

I. Mr. Yusuf Oyeniran
II. Alhaja Suibat Adubi
III. Prince Yinka Ajiboye
IV. Mrs. Abosede Omibeku
V. Mr. Dosu Gidigbi
VI. Mr. Wahab Adewoyin

“This suspension is sequel to several petitions bothering on financial impropriety, dereliction of duty, absenteeism and abuse of office against the said Chairman and members of the Commission.

“Pending the outcome of investigation into the allegations against the suspended chairman and members of the Commission, the Secretary to the Commission shall hold forth in running the affairs of the Commission.”

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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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