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Oyo Govt Seeks U.S. Assistance to Tackle Insecurity 

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May Day: We’ll not delay action on new minimum wage – Makinde

Oyo State Government on Monday sought the assistance of the USA in tackling insecurity in Nigeria, particularly in the State.

The state Deputy Governor, Chief Adebayo Lawal, sought assistance on behalf of Gov Seyi Makinde while receiving the new United States Consul-General, Mr. Williams Stevens, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Executive Council Chamber of the Governor’s Office, Agodi in Ibadan.

Lawal, who observed that insecurity was becoming endemic in Nigeria, said Oyo state would welcome whatever technology was required to combat the menace.

“Initially, we thought we can localise this issue of security, but it has become a hydra-headed phenomenon.

“We must give it to you that if you choose to assist, you can be deliberate and we will encourage you to assist and partner with Oyo State Government in the area of security,” he said.

On efforts made so far to address the insecurity, Lawal said “we know security is key and we have really deployed greater percentage of resources into security development.

 “Since the inception of this administration, we have put in place an outfit called ‘Amotekun’ to complement the efforts of our conventional security outfits – Police, Department of State Security and others that are national in nature.

“Amotekun is domesticated, localised and goes into the nooks and cranny of our communities to ensure our environments are safe”.

The deputy governor further stated that the state government also wanted a partnership with the U.S. on the agriculture and health sectors.

He maintained that government would strengthen its partnership to deepen a mutually-beneficial relationship on business, entertainment, technology, and good governance, among others.

He stressed that the state government was looking forward to using the opportunities and mutually-beneficial partnerships with United States to better the lives of Oyo State residents and create an atmosphere where businesses could thrive.

Lawal used the opportunity of the visit to equally commend the United States for its efforts in fighting HIV.

According to him, Oyo State has been working hard “to reduce the prevalence of the virus.

“We need to really commend your efforts in the area of HIV, which to us, is one focal point and our Ministry of Health has been working assiduously to reduce the prevalence of the virus.”

Earlier, Mr. Stevens said his country was poised to improve economic relationships and bilateral trade and work together with Oyo State to combat crime.

Stevens also said US was partnering to prioritise agriculture, health, and security, among other initiatives.

He lauded the state government for doing well in the areas of healthcare delivery, noting that the state’s parameters on HIV prevalence are already ahead of some countries.

Stevens said the United States would partner with Oyo State and the Federal Government in combating transnational crimes and ensure the security of lives and property of residents.

Economy

Sanitary Pads: Reps Query Minister Over N65m Spent On New Year Party, Others

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 The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye has drawn the ire of the House of Representatives following the unguarded manner she allegedly spent monies which included expenditures of N45 million for a New Year party and, N20 million for sanitary pads.

The House of Representatives which has now queried the minister, also frowned on her other unrelated expenditure which includes N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the Minister, over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors despite the fund release in Abuja.

She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments.

The minister however denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined

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Economy

LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaningful

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LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaning

…NRC Boss, Engr. Okhiria is Pointman

The Town and the Gown will on Tuesday converge at the Lagos State University (LASU), in a mutual fusion of quality and sustainable ideas, as the Managing Director, Nigeria Railways Corporation speaks on where the eggheads necessarily need to intervene, for the overall benefit of the nation.

NRC Boosts Passenger- Safety With  Strong Armed Forces Collaboration 
Engr. Fidet-Okhiria

Prof. Bamidele Badejo who is now back in LASU, confirmed this to the Maritime First, highlighting that Engr. Freeborn Okhiria would meticulously dissect a critical issue, titled: ‘From Exclusive Clause To Concurrent List: Potency for sustainable rail infrastructure development in Nigeria and the Lagos State example.

Oluwaseun Osiyemi, the Lagos State Commissioner of Transport, will be in attendance; at an event which will flag off by noon prompt, Tuesday 16th, July 2024, at the Femi Gbajabiamila Conference Centre.

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Economy

Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

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Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

The House of Representatives has ordered probes into the N1.12 trillion anchor borrowers scheme, an initiative of the Federal Government’s interventions and agricultural funding through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Also included in the probe are the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the Bank of Industry (BoI) and other agencies.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Chike Okafor (APC-Imo) on the floor of the House in Abuja on Tuesday.

Presenting his motion, Okafor linked the growing food scarcity and malnutrition in Nigeria to the alleged mismanagement of agricultural funds intended for agricultural development in the country.

He said the Federal Government had expended N8 trillion in 8 years on various schemes and interventions in the last eight years with the view of making food available for millions of Nigerians.

He added that the alleged mismanagement, misapplication of funds and abuse of the programmes had left Nigeria with the twin challenges of food scarcity and malnutrition.

Okafor said that funds advanced to end users of the various Federal Government interventions had also been allegedly misused, misapplied and channelled to non-farming and non-agricultural purposes.

This, he said, was responsible for the current acute scarcity of food in the country.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Nutrition and Food Security as well as the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services; Agricultural Colleges and Institutions and Finance, to probe

The Committees were mandated to thoroughly investigate CBN’s alleged mismanagement of the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) for which ₦1.12 trillion was to be disbursed to 4.67 million farmers.

The farmers were said to be involved in either maize, rice or wheat farming through 563 anchors.

The committees are to look into NIRSAL’s disbursement of ₦215,066,980,274.52, to facilitate agriculture and agribusinesses.

The House gave the committees four weeks to report back to the House.

The house also mandated the committees to equally assess how the Bank of Industry (BOI) disbursed N3 billion to 22,120 smallholder farmers through the Agriculture Value Chain Financing (AVCF) Programme.

The committee is also to investigate the handling of the N5 billion loan facility to the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) for livestock farmers across the country.

This will include the management of the National Agricultural Development N1.6 billion Recovery Fund for the Ginger Blight Epidemics Central Taskforce (GBECT).

This is for the control of Blight disease in Ginger, among other interventions. 

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