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Buhari Not Responsible For Security Lapses In Nigeria, Says Omo-Agege

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Amid public concerns over endless insecurity in the country, Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege has absolved President Muhammadu Buhari of responsibility for the menace.

Omo-Agege presided Tuesday plenary in the absence of the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan where he said the President’s request for adequate funding of security agencies was wholeheartedly approved by the parliament.

While ruling out Buhari’s culpability, he opined that there might have been intelligence failure by the Office of the National Security Adviser to the President.

Omo-Agege’s assertion was on the backdrop of a motion sponsored by Senator Istifanus Gyang representing Plateau North Senatorial District on the attack on Jos Medium Security Custodial Centre last Sunday,

The motion was greeted with mixed feelings and lamentations from Senators over incessant attacks to the helplessness of security agents across the country.

Reacting to the incident, the Senate leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi called for an investigation of frequent attacks on Correctional Centres across the country.

He said: “The Minister of Interior and Controller General of Correctional Service including the Solicitor General of the Federation should carry out a thorough investigation of our Correctional Centres nationwide with a view to pointing out challenges of those centres in order to prevent further occurrence.

But Omo-Agege continued, saying he was of the view that the Office of the NSA should be properly funded to keep it at the forefront of gathering intelligence which should be passed to security agents for action.

He said: “Thank you very much. Before we proceed to observe a minute silence and having listened to all the comments and as Senator Rochas Okorocha rightly pointed out the security breach and the question becomes why are we having these challenges?

“Everything Mr President has requested from the National Assembly by way of funding have all been obliged. So the fault is not that of President Muhammadu Buhari, clearly.

“But whom much is given, much is expected and having given all these requisite funding to the security agents and we are still having these challenges, then we need to sleep over it.

“In the interim, it is clear that we are having intelligence security gaps and to say notwithstanding the request of Mr President which has been obliged by the National Assembly as regards funding of security agencies, I am thinking that the DSS and especially the Office of NSA which has the responsibility of gathering intelligence, I don’t think they have gotten funding required for this fight.

According to the DSP, the Office of NSA is underfunded, while he further advocated that a request be made before the 2022 budget is finally tabled for legislative debate.

“They are the ones in charge of intelligence gathering and I am only taking a position that the Office of the NSA is underfunded. He is supposed to be the one coordinating the intelligence and providing such intelligence to other agencies to be able to give us the requisite protection.

“But if the Office of the NSA is not properly funded, I think that we will all be in trouble. This is something we appeal to Mr President, even here in the National Assembly to look into the funding of the Office of NSA and possibly the DSS before the budget is finally tabled for consideration”, he noted.

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BREAKING: APC Convention To Hold February 26, Says Buni

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker Committee Chairman Mai Mala Buni has announced February 26 as the date for the APC convention.

Buni, who is also the governor of Yobe State, said this on Tuesday at the national progressive women conference 2022 holding at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Abuja.

He said the party is counting on the support of women to hold a successful convention.


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Lagos Transporters To Pay ₦800 Daily Levy, Excluding RTEAN, NURTW Dues

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…Effective From February 1

Lagos State government, on Tuesday, introduced a daily ₦800 consolidated informal transport levy for transporters in the state.

The levy is outside the union dues collected by the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).

Lagos State finance commissioner, Dr Rabiu Olowo, who revealed this at the agreement-signing ceremony by Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), local councils and transport unions, said that the consolidated levy collection will start February 1.

He stated that the harmonized levy became expedient to ensure that the transport sector in the state is organised and fits into a 21st-century economy.

Olowo added that the consolidated levy takes into consideration all the elements in a sane society.

According to him, the levy takes care of dues previously accrued to local councils across the state, as well as revenue for Lagos Waste Management Authority (LASWA) and Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Lagos State Inland Revenue Service (LIRS) among other MDAs.

He said that the state government expects that once a transporter pays the ₦800 at a point, he or she is expected not to pay at any other park or bus stop throughout the day.

He also said that the government expects that union members will not collect levies from transporters as they are not expected to pay at every bus stop or park.

Olowo said the consolidated levy would reduce the multiplicity of levies collection as many residents and transporters have complained about the huge levies unions often collected.

The commissioner also made an allusion to a report about the ₦150bn that transport unions collect in Lagos under the disguise of collecting dues, saying the new development will eliminate multiple taxes.

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House Of Reps To Reintroduce Electoral Act Amendment Bill Wednesday

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The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, has disclosed that the Electoral Act Amendment Bill, which was rejected by President Muhammadu Buhari, will be reintroduced Wednesday for a rework by the lawmakers.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in December rejected the Bill, citing issues with direct primary provisions.

Gbajabiamila, in his welcome address at the resumption of plenary Tuesday while chiding the appalling argument that lack of proper membership registration of the political parties was among the reasons why the Bill should be rejected, however stated that a credible electoral law is what the people want and that is what they will get.

He also assured Nigerians that the lawmakers will prioritize action to pass the constitutional amendment bill.

Thereafter, the lawmakers went into a close door session.


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