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ECONOMY & POLITICS

President Buhari approves N10 billion for National Census

N10 billion has been approved by President Buhari to the NPC for the continuation of the Enumeration Area Demarcation.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the disbursement of N10 billion to the National Population Commission (NPC), for the continuation of the Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) in the remaining 546 Local Government Area (LGA) of the country.

This disclosure was made by the Acting Chairman of NPC, Dr. Eyitayo Oyetunji, during a press briefing on the release of the funds for the outstanding LGAs, and the update on the Enumeration Area Demarcation at the NPC headquarters in Abuja on Monday.

He also stated that the president approved an additional N45 billion, which is to be included in the 2021 Budget for completion of the exercise, as part of the preparations for the next census.

Oyetunde, who recalled that the commission has been implementing the exercise in phases due to paucity of funds, said the 10th Phase of the exercise which is expected to start on October 5th and end on October 29th, 2020. He also said training and fieldwork will be conducted in 33 LGAs spread across 25 States and the FCT.

The NPC boss said, “As you may be aware a total of 228 LGAs were successfully demarcated across the 36 States and FCT in the previous 9 phases. Hitherto, the Commission had been implementing the EAD in phases due to limitations in the availability and allocation of funds.’’

“I am however pleased to announce, that His Excellency, Mr President has reaffirmed his commitment towards the successful completion of the EAD and indeed towards the conduct of the next census by approving the release of the total sum of ten billion naira for the continuation of the EAD in the remaining 546 LGA of the country.’’

“The President has graciously followed this up by a further approval of an additional N45 billion to be included in the 2021 Budget for the completion of the exercise as part of preparations for the next census. No doubt, this milestone development, under-scores the President’s understanding of the role of data, especially demographic data as the bedrock for informed development planning and allocation of resources. facilities and services.’’

He pointed out that the President has by this action shown his desire to invest in the population, especially the teeming youthful population and also lead the country to harness the demographic dividend.

Going further, Oyetunde, reiterated the commission’s preparedness and unwavering commitment to working towards the successful conclusion of the EAD, the conduct of the next census, so as to provide accurate, reliable and up-to-date demographic data for national planning and development.

ECONOMY & POLITICS

BREAKING: Buhari in crucial meeting with Obasanjo, other former heads of state

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President Muhammadu Buhari is currently presiding over a National Security Council meeting with some former heads of state and some security chiefs.

Although the agenda of the meeting is not made public, issues bothering on the current security situation in the country are believed to top the agenda. This follows the outbreak of violence across the country during the protest against police brutality and extra-judicial killings, which has led to the loss of lives and destruction of public assets and private properties.

According to media reports, the meeting which is coordinated from the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, has in virtual attendance General Yakubu Gowon (rtd.), former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd.), former President Goodluck Jonathan and former head of interim national government, Chief Ernest Shonekan.

Others who are physically present at the council chambers are Vice President Yemi Osinbajo;  National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd.); Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olanisakin; Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu; Director-General, Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi; and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai, among others are attending with the President.

This meeting is coming a day after President Buhari’s national broadcast on the security situation in the country calling for an end to the #EndSARS protests as their voices have been loudly heard.

Details later…

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ECONOMY & POLITICS

Senatorial, State House of Assembly bye-elections postponed – INEC

Senatorial and State House of Assembly bye-elections slated to hold on October 31 in 11 states have been postponed by INEC.

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The 6 Senatorial and 9 State House of Assembly bye-elections slated to hold on October 31 in 11 states of the Federation has been postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The vacancies were as a result of death and resignation of previous members.

According to the statement issued by its National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye Esq., INEC said the decision was taken after meeting with the 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Thursday.

Though the commission did not categorically state the reason for the postponement, feelers are that it may not be unconnected with the raging #EndSARS protests across the nation.

Details shortly…

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ECONOMY & POLITICS

PDP Govs Declare New Police Act Unconstitutional

Kick against deductions for Police Trust Fund

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has called for a repeal of sections of the Police Act recently accented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, insisting that they breached the Nigerian Constitition.

This was contained in a communique issued yesterday after a Zoom meeting held by the PDP governors.

The communique was signed by the Chairman of the forum, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, who is also the governor of Sokoto State. The governors among other things, urged the president and the National Assembly to repeal Section 4(1) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2019 which “purportedly authorises the President to deduct 0.5 per cent of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefit of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund.”

According to the governors, the said deduction is patently unconstitutional.

The communiqué read in part, “The meeting noted the signing of the New Nigeria Police Act, 2020 by Mr. President, Commander in Chief.

“While acknowledging the many important innovations in the new law, the Forum emphasised the need to make the Nigeria Police Council, which has Mr. President as Chairman and 36 state Governors as members, fully operational and the clearing house on all issues bordering on the organisation and administration of the Nigeria Police Force as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.

“The Forum further observed the discrepancies in S.12(2) and S.12(4) of the Act on the appropriate authority with responsibility to deploy Police Commissioners to the respective States. Whereas S.12(2) gives the responsibility to the Police Service Commission, S. 12(4) gives either the Police Service Commission or Inspector-General of Police the same responsibility.

“This is even more regrettable as the Constitution gives this responsibility to the Police Service Commission (S. 215) (1)(b). We advise that the constitutional provision be upheld.

“Furthermore, the Forum canvassed for appropriate consultations with the Governors of various States on the deployment of Police Commissioners to the States since the Police is a common institution that executes the laws of both the Federal and State governments.

“The Forum implored Mr. President and the National Assembly to repeal Section 4(1) of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (Establishment) Act, 2019 which purports to authorise the President to deduct 0.5 per cent of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account for the benefit of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund, as it is patently unconstitutional.

“The beneficiaries of the Federation Account are the Federal, States and Local Governments only. More creative funding options should be explored.”

The PDP governors also expressed concerns over the controversy surrounding the Water Resources Bill, 2020.

“Towards this end, the governors called for greater consultations just as they referred the document to the body of Attorney Generals of PDP controlled states to study and advise accordingly,” it added.

Governors who attended the zoom meeting include: Tambuwal (Sokoto), Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), Mr. Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), Senator Bala Muhammad (Bauchi); and Senator Douye Diri (Bayelsa).

Others are: Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Mr. Dave Umahi (Ebonyi); Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Mr. Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Mr. Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Mr. Bello Muhammad Matawalle (Zamfara).

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