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Senate Moves to Commence Alteration of the 1999 Constitution to Allow for the Creation and Establishment of State Police

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The Senate has resolved to alter the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to allow for the creation and establishment of State Police into the Nigerian Policing System as part of effort to curtail security challenges across the country after a motion was moved on the matter.
Presenting a motion highlighting various attacks on communities in several States across the country at the plenary session of Tuesday, 3 July 2018, Sen. Jonah Jang (PDP: Plateau) spoke profusely to lawmakers about the recent killings of indigenes of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area in Plateau State. Although he commended the efforts of the Senate President, Sen. Bukola Saraki (APC: Kwara) and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara (APC: Bauchi) on visiting the State following the attacks, Sen. Jang called on the National Assembly to implement measures that will curtail these killings such as the introduction of State policing.
The Senate expressing overwhelming support to the submissions of Sen. Jang, by condemning the mass killings and displacement of citizens for their host communities and urged the Executives to overhaul the security infrastructure of the country and develop an effective action plan that deals with terror attacks. The Senate further reaffirmed its commitment to pass of all proposed legislations on Police Reforms in the National Assembly.
The Ad-hoc Committee on Constitution Review has been mandated to present a Constitution amendment Bill proposing State Policing within 2 weeks.

Parliament

Buhari appoints new aide on National Assembly liaison

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Following the resignation of Mr. Kawu Sumaila as the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Mr. Ibrahim El-Yakub as his replacement.
Sumaila, appointed in August 2015, resigned to contest for membership of the House of Representatives to represent Sumaila/Takai Federal Constituency of Kano State under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

He represented the same constituency from 2011 to 2015.
His successor, Mr. El-Yakub, an APC stalwart from Kano State, was a member of the House of Representatives between 2003 and 2007 representing Kano Municipal Federal Constituency.
The appointment was disclosed by Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, who said the appointment takes immediate effect.

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Legislator assures of speedy passage of 2019 budget

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The member representing Arewa/Dandi Federal Constituency, Alhaji Hussaini Kangiwa, says the National Assembly would ensure speedy passage of the 2019 budget.
Kangiwa told newsmen on Wednesday in Birnin Kebbi that the lawmakers would avoid the mistakes that delayed the passage of the 2018 budget.
According to him, the passage will be in contrast to that of 2018 that was passed amid controversies and disharmony between the executive and the legislature.
“I think Nigerians should not have to worry this time around as we have all learned our lessons from what happened in 2018.
“I can assure you that the impasse that trailed the 2018 budget in the National Assembly before its passage will be avoided in 2019,” the APC member, said.
Kangiwa assured President Muhammadu Buhari that APC lawmakers in the National Assembly were solidly behind him in spite of what happened during the presentation of the budget.
“What happened during the budget presentation was unfortunate; it was orchestrated and carried out by the opposition but we the APC lawmakers were able to check them.
“We are solidly behind our President because we are in support of his anti-corruption crusade,” he said.
Kangiwa also lauded Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi for transforming the state to being a major contributor to Nigeria’s economic growth through agriculture.
“Governor Bagudu left no one in doubt about the ability of APC to deliver on its campaign promises.
“His rice revolution has triggered massive rice production which has drastically reduced rice import to barest minimum,” he said.

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National Assembly’s leadership wants adequate security for its striking workers

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The leadership of the National Assembly has directed the Police and the Department of State Services, DSS to ensure adequate security within its vicinity to enable members and staff to come in and perform their legitimate duties without any hindrance.
The directive was handed over after a meeting of the joint leadership of the two chambers with the management and representatives of the security agencies in Abuja.
A statement signed by the Clerk of the National Assembly, CNA, Alhaji Sani Omolori said ”the meeting was called at the instance of political leadership to listen to the management on the efforts being made to address the grievances of the striking staff.”
Attending to striking issues
It said the meeting had resolved to attend to almost all the issues raised by the striking workers of the National Assembly.
The statement maintained that “the CNA and the management of the National Assembly have agreed and committed to address all the grievances of the workers and to ensure their happiness.”
It further stated that the issues raised by the workers have been well attended to and that it was necessary for the business of the National Assembly to continue without any disturbance including normal plenary sittings of both chambers to prepare the ground for the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, to present the budget proposal to the joint sitting of the Senate and the House of Representatives.1
Activities at the National Assembly were paralysed on Monday following the commencement of a four-day warning strike by staff of the Assembly Under the aegis of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, PASAN.
The workers are protesting unpaid allowances, promotion and other condition of service.
Two weeks ago, the union had picketed the leadership of the National Assembly, denied them access to the two Chambers, over the issue.
The Management of the National Assembly had blamed the non release of budget as the cause but was making efforts to resolve the matter with the union.

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Senate President reveals nominees for National Assembly Commission

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President of the Nigerian Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki has approved the names of 12 nominees into the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC).
The nominees are, Senator Joy Emordi (Anambra) who is being proposed as the Chairman, Nuhu Musa (Jigawa), Hon. Bilyaminu Yusuf Shinkafi (Kebbi), Barr. Femi Agge (Edo), Uthman Olakunle Taofeek (Lagos), Prince Adenekan Olateru-Olagbegi (Ondo) and Amb. Abdulazeez Sheikh Usman (Kwara).
Others are Awalu Aliyu Ohindese (Kogi), Henry Odey Adagba (Ebonyi), Dr. Rufus Omeire (Imo), Hon. Bilyamini Bunbot (Bauchi), and Ahmed Ashemi (Borno).
In line with the provisions of Sections 3 and 4 of the National Assembly Commission Act, 2000, the names of the nominees will be presented to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointment.

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Senate passes Bill establishing South-East Development Commission

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Nigerian senate has passed a bill to establish the south east development commission (SEDC).
The Bill was passed on Wednesday after consideration of the report of the Committee on establishment and public service led by the chairman, Senator Emmanuel Paulker.
Speaking shortly after the Lawmakers passed the Bill, Leader of the south eastern senator’s caucus, Senator Eyinnaya Abaribe expressed appreciation with the senate for passing the bill and urged President Buhari to graciously give his assent to the Bill.
According to Senator Abaribe, the passage of the bill, and expected establishment of the commission, will put to rest the long agitation of the people of the south Eastern part of the country on issues relating to civil war among others.
Flanked by other Senators from the south east region, with majority wearing their traditional Igbo red cap, Senator Abaribe expressed hope that the House of Representatives will concur with the senate decision and pass the Bill.

Deposit Insurance
Also on Wednesday, the Senate in plenary confirmed the appointment of the Chairman, and six other Board members of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC).
Wednesday’s confirmation of the nominees was sequel to Senate consideration of the report of its committee on Banking, Insurance, and other financial institutions, which screened and recommended the nominees for confirmation.
Chairman of the NDIC Board according to the Senate’s confirmation, is Mrs. Ronke Sokefun from Ogun state. Alhaji Garba Buba is from Bauchi state, and representing the North East region, Alhaji Garba Bello hails from Sokoto state, and representing North West region, while the South East region is represented by Brigadier General Josef Okoloagu, who hails from Enugu state.
Other members are, Mr. Adewale Adeleke from Ondo state, representing the South West region, Mustapha Mudashiru who hails from Kwara state is representing the North Central region, while Mr. Festus Keyamo is representing South South region, and he hails from Delta state.

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House kicks against privatization of Afam Power Plant

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The Nigerian House of Representatives has directed the National Council on Privatization NPC and the Bureau of Public Enterprises BPE to suspend the sale of Afam Power Plant on a fast track transaction basis and allow for repair of the asset to enhance its value.
This was contained in a motion adopted on the need to investigate the planned privatization of the power plant.
Sponsor of the motion Mr. Ayodele Oladimeji from Ekiti, State maintained that the Sapele Power and Ugheli Power companies were also privatized in 2013 in the same manner but there were no results to justify the action.
He said: “The Sapele Power Plc and the Ughelli Power Plc were Privatized by the BPE in 2013 in the same manner as the planned privatization of Afam Power Plc and both are now in dire financial constraints along with other Generating Companies (GENCOS), resulting in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention with N701 billion Payment Assurance Guarantee due to expire in December, 2018.
Aware that the Generating Companies (GENCOS) are still faced with problems of lack of gas and weak infrastructure which cannot take all the generated energy and also serious liquidity crisis.”
Deputy Speaker Mr. Lasun Yusuff described the power sector as a critical aspect of the economy that ought not to be controlled by the private entities.
“The privatization process in Nigeria is awkward and skewed towards personal, not national interest. He queried the practice of selling off assets that are in critical sectors such as power, mines and steel, educational or technological development. He also pointed out that most assets privatized have not met up to the aims for which they were privatized,” Lasun stressed.
Mr. Mohammed Monguno from Borno State stated that it would be a waste to sell it as is being proposed.
While decrying the fact that the assets previously sold off are not functioning optimally, he called for reinvestment by Government into the sector to boost power supply to Nigerians.
Other lawmakers who contributed during a debate also insisted that the Afam power plant should not be sold without due process not to talk of outright sale as scrap.

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President Buhari communicates decision on Electoral Bill to NASS – (FULL LETTER)

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Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has taken a decision on the Electoral Bill 2018 and communicated his decision to the National Assembly.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, stated this on Friday while briefing State House correspondents.
“President Muhammadu Buhari has taken a decision on the Electoral Bill 2018 in accordance with his powers under the 1999 Constitution and he has communicated that decision to the Senate and the House of Representatives in accordance with the law.”
Enang said: “The decision contained in the communication can only be revealed by the person to whom the communication is addressed.
“But the Electoral Bill has left the President because he has taken his decision and has remitted back.”
Enang also said that President Buhari has accented to the National Open University Amendment Act which allows the NOUN to operate as all other universities, having the same powers and the same administrative structure, eliminating possible discrimination as some want to have on its products and programmes.
He said the Act also allows the National Open University of Nigeria to establish study centres.

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Senate President Saraki to President Buhari: “Sign the #ElectoralBill Now”

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Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to heed the advice of the anti-democratic elements who have now populated the political space and putting pressure on him not to give assent to the 2018 Electoral Bill.
Saraki in a statement in Ilorin today (Wednesday) signed by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Yusuph Olaniyonu, urged the President to rise above petty politics and act without further delay in the best interest of the country and its democracy by signing the Electoral Bill into law.
Saraki noted that he had been inundated with telephone calls and discussions by members of the National Assembly who expressed concern about the delay in the signing into law of the Electoral Bill as the one month period provided by the law for the President to sign a bill presented to him by the National Assembly is about to expire in the next few days.
He added that many of the legislators who contacted him were particularly disturbed that certain individuals who are said to be chairmen of political parties had approached the Federal High Court to stop the President from assenting to the bill.
He noted that the jaded tactic employed in the 90s to scuttle the return to democracy when groups like the Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) went to court to frustrate the announcement of the results of the June 12, 1993 elections is now being adopted by some masked groups and individuals to stop the signing into law of the Electoral Bill.
He urged President Buhari to dissociate himself from these ugly antics and sign the bill which he said has comprehensively addressed issues that usually clog the process of free, fair, credible and peaceful elections.
“ It is the prerogative of the President to either sign a Bill into law or refuse it assent. He is free to exercise this prerogative the way he likes in this case. What I found surprising is a situation where some people now want to adopt a wrong tactic of abusing the court process to stall the matter. That will be unacceptable and I am sure our judiciary will rely on the lessons from the past and not allow itself to be used.
“We do not want the President to allow the setting of a bad precedent in which somebody will go to court in future to stop the passage of an appropriation bill or any essential law which will be important to the development of the country.
“My position remains that the President, his aides, the entire country and the international community are aware that all the concerns raised by the President on the past three occasions he withheld assent to the bill have been addressed by the legislature. We bent backwards on each occasion to accommodate the wishes of the President. We started work on this law since 2016 to prevent a situation where it would become part of the election controversies.
“Every sincere commentator, observer and analyst knows that what we have done with that bill is to raise the level of transparency, credibility and acceptability of our electoral process. We made sure that the law if assented to and honestly applied by INEC and all those concerned will give us an election that will be better than what we had in 2015.
“The President should know that the survival of democracy, its development and the future of Nigeria are far more important than the ambition of any individual or party. I am using this opportunity to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to put a stop to this uncertainty in the political process by signing without delay the 2018 Electoral Bill so as to allow INEC and the concerned parties know how to prepare for a credible process”, Saraki stated.

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National Assembly Commends NNPC on Fuel Availability Plans at Yuletide

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The Nigerian National Assembly has commended the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation on the strategies deployed so far to make petroleum products available to Nigerians throughout the end of year festivities and beyond.
Chairman of the House of Representatives’ Committee on Petroleum (Downstream), Hon. Joseph Akinlaja, gave the commendation during an oversight visit to NNPC Towers yesterday.
The lawmaker expressed confidence that the elaborate measures put in place by the corporation to avert fuel supply shortage would be successful this year going by the painstaking efforts that went into the planning and execution of the zero-fuel scarcity strategy.
“We are impressed by the presentation and we are sure there will be no war room here again because of products scarcity, you have done very well and I’m happy that Nigerians are going to travel effortlessly at this period of the year”, Hon. Akinlaja enthused.
On the threat by major, independent petroleum products marketers to ground the sector due to unpaid subsidy arrears, the Committee Chairman appealed to the Federal Government to do everything within its powers to pay up the arrears to forestall any crisis.
Speaking further on the need to support NNPC to sustain petroleum products supply, Hon. Akinlaja said the corporation was overburdened and “because of that, when it runs into hiccups, somebody will say their operations are opaque. Let’s avoid fuel scarcity by supporting NNPC”.
The Committee also expressed satisfaction with the improvement on the integrity of the pipelines and urged NNPC to expedite action on the remaining ones, especially those linking the Ore Depot from Benin City and to the Ibadan Depot.

In his presentation to the Committee, Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, reassured Nigerians of the corporation’s preparedness to ensure zero-scarcity of petroleum products during the upcoming festive season and beyond.
The GMD who was represented by NNPC Chief Operating Officer, Downstream, Mr. Henry Ikem Obih, lauded the Committee for its support during the last fuel supply hiccups that occurred in the country from November 2017 to the early part of this year.
He disclosed that adequate measures have been deployed to avert any form of supply challenge, stressing that even if NNPC were to stop importing fuel as from today, there was enough stock of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in the country to last for 45 days.
On his part, Managing Director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company Limited (PPMC), Mr. Umar Ajiya, disclosed that the company has returned to profitability with a trading surplus of N32bn between January and November 2018.
The other downstream subsidiaries that made presentations were NNPC Retail Limited, Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company (NPSC) and NNPC Shipping.
One of the downstream subsidiaries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Petroleum Products Marketing Company limited (PPMC) has returned to profitability and has recorded N32bn profit between January to November, 2018.
The PPMC boss also stated that as part of the zero-scarcity strategy, the company has over 170 million litres of PMS in stock at some NNPC Depots across the country following their successful rehabilitation along with connecting pipelines to forestall dependence on private sector depots.


NDU UGHAMADU
Group General Manager,
Group Public Affairs Division,
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,
NNPC Towers,
Abuja.
5th December, 2018.

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Resolve staff issues before Friday – Saraki, Dogara direct NASS Mgt

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President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, have directed the National Assembly Management Committee headed by the Clerk, Alhaji Sani Omolori, to resolve all issues raised by protesting members of staff and report back by Friday.
The duo gave the directive at a meeting attended by the National Assembly’s Management and members of staff under the umbrella of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN), following another protest at the NASS complex.
In a statement issued by Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to Saraki, Yusuph Olaniyonu, the presiding officers of both chambers of the National Assembly stressed that it was important for the workers to be well motivated.

Saraki and Dogara directed that the demands of the staff be properly addressed in order to create a conducive atmosphere for the legislature to perform its duties.
The Senate President and Speaker noted that the demands of the workers are part of the responsibilities of the National Assembly’s Management and that the grievances of the workers should not be allowed to linger.
“The leadership of the National Assembly made it clear to the staff that the issues raised by them were previously unknown to the legislators and that even if they were known to the Senate President and the Speaker, the leadership could do little to address them because they fall under the purview of the NASS’s Management.
“They added that the constitution of the National Assembly Service Commission which the workers demanded will be made before Friday.
“The workers demanded for the implementation of the CONLESS system in the payment of their salaries and allowances, approval of new condition of service for the workers, among other issues.
“However, Dr. Saraki and Rt. Hon. Dogara, as well as their colleagues also reassured the workers that they will personally supervise how the management will eventually resolve the issues and ensure that the workers are not shortchanged”, Olaniyonu stated.


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