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2024 budget: Reject Wike’s proposal – SERAP tells Akpabio

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the Senate President, Mr. Godswill Akpabio, to reject the proposal by the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, to allocate N15 billion for constructing a residence for Vice President Kashim Shettima. SERAP also urges Akpabio to exercise the Senate’s oversight role and reject the N2.8 billion allocated for FCTA publicity and other potentially wasteful spending in the 2023 supplementary budget and the 2024 budget proposed by President Bola Tinubu.

In a letter dated December 2, 2023, signed by SERAP’s deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization contends that spending N15 billion on the vice president’s residence violates the Nigerian Constitution and international anti-corruption and human rights obligations.

SERAP emphasizes the Senate’s constitutional duty to ensure that Wike’s proposed expenditure aligns with constitutional provisions and public officials’ adherence to the rule of law. The organization urges the Senate to fulfill its oversight function, particularly in addressing the country’s debt crisis, by rejecting unnecessary spending catering to the personal comfort of public officials.

Expressing concern about the potential approval of the N15 billion expenditure amid the Federal Government’s plans to allocate a significant portion of the 2024 budget to debt service costs and borrowing, SERAP warns of potential legal action if the Senate fails to exercise its constitutional oversight responsibilities.

SERAP also calls on the Senate to refer allegations of corruption in the previous N7 billion allocated for the vice president’s residence construction to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). The organization emphasizes the Senate’s role in compelling compliance with the constitution and international obligations, asserting that the National Assembly must prevent the executive from using the national budget for unnecessary personal comfort of officials.

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In conclusion, SERAP insists that cutting the N15 billion allocation for the vice president’s residence from the FCTA budget would align with the constitutional oath of office, promoting efficient and lawful spending of public funds. The organization highlights Wike’s plan to spend N15 billion despite the recent allocation of N2.5 billion for the vice president’s residence renovation in the supplementary budget already passed by the National Assembly and signed by President Tinubu. The House of Representatives reportedly approved the N15 billion plan, alongside another N3 billion for the vice president’s residence renovation in Lagos State, as well as N2.8 billion for FCTA publicity.

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Gov Yusuf reappoints Sanusi as Emir of Kano, orders ex-monarchs 48 hours to vacate seats

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Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf has approved the reappointment of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II as Emir of Kano under the new laws.

The governor has given former emirs 48 hours to vacate their palaces and hand over Emirate Council properties to the Commissioner of Local Government, who also serves as State Deputy Governor.

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State has signed the Kano Emirates Bill 2024 into law, repealing the 2019 Emirate Councils Law that altered the state’s over 1000-year history.

By signing the bill, the governor declared that the 2019 law has been repealed and is now history.

The signing was attended by the Speaker of the State Assembly, Ismaila Falgore, Deputy Governor Aminu Abdussalam, Secretary to the State Government Abdullahi Baffa Bichi and others.

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The State Assembly has fulfilled one of its constitutional roles by signing the bill into law.

CREDIT: DAILY POST

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Europa League: Lookman nominated for Player of the Week

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Ademola Lookman has been nominated for the UEFA Europa League Player of the Week. The Nigerian international delivered an outstanding performance, scoring a hat-trick in Atalanta’s 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday night.

His teammates, Davide Zappacosta and Ederson, have also been nominated for the award.

Additionally, Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapie is in the running for the accolade.

Lookman previously won the Player of the Week award during Atalanta’s semi-final victory against Olympic Marseille, where he recorded a goal and an assist in the second leg of the match.

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National Council on Sports: Tinubu lauds Mbah over safe environment, support

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Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu, praised Enugu State Governor, Dr. Peter Mbah, for creating a safe and conducive environment for the country’s sports stakeholders to gather for a national sports council meeting. Tinubu commended Mbah’s commitment to promoting sports, highlighting his administration’s satisfaction with these efforts.

Governor Mbah announced that his administration has partnered with the private sector to develop a state-of-the-art sports park aimed at enhancing sports development and talent discovery in the state.

During the inaugural National Council on Sports (NCS) meeting held in Enugu on Wednesday, President Tinubu, represented by the Minister of Special Duties, Hon. Zaphaniah Jisalo, emphasized the significant role sports play in a nation’s development. He noted that sports are not only a form of entertainment and recreation but also a business that warrants substantial investment.

Speaking on the theme “Sports for National Unity and Socio-Economic Growth,” President Tinubu urged Nigerians to view sports as a means to foster unity, promote health, and drive economic growth. He highlighted the opportunities sports provide for young people to develop character, discipline, and leadership skills, and called for innovative approaches to enhance sporting potential, inclusivity, and equal opportunities for all Nigerians, regardless of gender, age, or physical ability.

Governor Peter Mbah emphasized that sports serve as a powerful unifying tool, transcending tribe, language, and creed. He highlighted Enugu’s rich sporting heritage, including the achievements of Rangers International Football Club, and urged stakeholders to invest in the sports industry through effective partnerships.

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Mbah stressed the significant economic impact of sports globally and encouraged both public and private sector investment in the industry. He noted that his administration’s partnership with private investors to build a state-of-the-art sports park would provide a platform for youth talent discovery and sports enthusiasm. The facilities at the sports park will include training areas, athlete housing, and a physical therapy and sports medicine center.

Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, remarked that Enugu was chosen to host the inaugural National Council on Sports due to its strategic importance in the nation’s sporting landscape. He emphasized the need for investment in sports infrastructure, talent development, and grassroots programs to nurture athletic talent, stimulate local economies, create jobs, and promote healthier lifestyles among Nigerians.

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