The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the sum of N965.9 million for the purchase of 49 operational vehicles to enhance the services of the Nigerian Correctional Service.
The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, stated this when he briefed State House correspondents at the end of the Council meeting presided over by President Muhammad Buhari by on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to him, the vehicles to be sourced locally will complement the ones already in use by the Correctional Service.
He said: “The Nigerian Correctional Service through the Ministry of Interior presented a memo to council and obtained approval to spend the sum of N965, 902, 524.58 to procure 49 operational and Green Maria vehicles.
“These 49 vehicles will complement the 513 operational and Green Maria vehicles already purchased between 2016 and 2020.
“This does not in any way mean that we have met the vehicle needs of the Nigerian Correctional Service.’’
The minister noted that since the advent of the Buhari administration, concerted effort and commitment had been made to ensure that the Correctional Service was provided with operational tools to meet its mandate of keeping the facilities safe.
He added that necessary logistic support meant to move inmates from the facilities to the over 5022 courts scattered all over Nigeria were also being provided by the government.
Commenting on the recent calls for his resignation as a result of the frequent attack on correctional facilities across the country, the minister dismissed the call, saying there was no need for such calls.
He said: “Our facility in Imo was attacked in April, Kabba was in September, Abulungu was in October and Jos was in November; just to capture the attacks. As painful as those attacks were, nobody will really want the end of justice to be so vulnerable.
“The custodial facilities are the final end of criminal justice system because such facilities are the ultimate end of the administration of justice.
“So, morally, the State owes itself the responsibility of safe custody that must not be violated.
“So, on that account alone, we must appreciate the enormity of any successful attack on our custodial facility and I so do.
“But I want us to put these things in the context of our security situation.
“In Jos, our men died, meaning that the best we could put there was there and when your best could not suffice, it means that it is no longer a question of inability to make preparation or failure for preparedness it is just that at that instance we could not just hold the defence as expected,” he said.
According to Aregbesola, the authorities concerned are upping their game, to ensure that such attacks do not happen again.
“We are upping our game and we will prevent any such opportunistic attack and even make it impossible.
“We are working with all arms of government particularly security to make our custodial facilities impregnable and we will not rest until that is achieved; that is the assurance I want to give Nigerians.
“As to whether it calls for my resignation, I still don’t see any need for that because it is not for lack of preparedness that the attacks were successful,” he stated.
Femi Adesina, special adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, who also spoke on the outcome of the meeting, said the council approved N145 million for the procurement of an office accommodation for the Federal Character Commission in Bayelsa State.
He also announced the approval of N136.2 million by the Council for the procurement of operational vehicles for the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA).
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, also disclosed that the Council ratified the Finance Bill 2021 for 2022 fiscal year.
She stated that already the bill had been transmitted to both Houses of the National Assembly by the president for their approval.
“Today, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning presented to Council for Council’s ratification the Finance Bill 2021 for the 2022 fiscal year.
“I’m sure you would have all noted that this bill has already been transmitted by the president to the National Assembly and both houses have already started working on the bill.
“So, this draft bill was prepared by the Fiscal Policy Committee and it focused on tax and reviewing some fiscal laws and also amending some, and these laws are about 11 in number,’’ she said.
SANWO-OLU URGES RESIDENTS TO STAY CALM OVER CASH SCARCITY
The Lagos State Government has observed the tension caused by the slow release of cash through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and within banking halls.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu today joined a delegation that met with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja to deliberate on measures to remove the hardship caused by the scarcity of the new currency.
In a statement signed by the Hon. Commissioner for information, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, Mr. Sanwo-Olu urges residents to remain calm as the government is doing everything possible to normalise the situation. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has promised to put measures in place to ensure residents have access to currency notes released to banks.
Buhari inaugurates new MOFI Board
President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) to grow its Assets Under Management from the current value of N18 trillion to at least N100 trillion in the next 10 years.
The president gave the charge at the launch of the new MOFI and inauguration of the Governing Council and Board of Directors of the body shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting.
The president also tasked the new board to “be the clearing house for the management of Federal Government’s investments and assets in line with global best practices with a view to ensuring that these investments are delivering superior risk-adjusted returns to the government.”
He also called on the new MOFI to work with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to create a consolidated national assets register with a view to converting them into cash-flow-generating entities.
This, he said, would support the government’s revenue drive.
Buhari urged members of the board to work with the government with a view to using government-owned investments and assets to support the government in delivering on its social and economic obligations to the citizenry.
He, therefore, directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed to commence the process of amending the MOFI Act and other legislations to further institutionalize this reform.
According to him, the amendments when carried out, would ensure that MOFI was restructured and repositioned to become a trusted custodian and manager of Federal Government’s investments and assets.
Buhari said the event was significant as the restructured MOFI would help identify “what we own” and how to get the best out of them.
According to the president, the MOFI Act of 1959, now Cap. 229, Laws of the Federation, 2004, explicitly empowers MOFI to enter into commercial transactions of any description on behalf of the Federal Government in its own name.
He said that MOFI was used as a Special Purpose Vehicle across different sectors to invest in commercial entities over the last 64 years, adding that MOFI was created even before Nigeria’s independence.
In her remarks, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning thanked Buhari for his support and approvals that had made the restructuring and repositioning of MOFI possible.
According to the minister, the council members and board will ensure that the new MOFI delivers on its mandates.
The governing council is chaired by the President, with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, as Vice Chair.
It’s members include: The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo and Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo.
Others are: Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Godwin Emefiele and three experts appointed by the President, namely: Prof. Muhammad Sagagi, Dr Ayo Teriba and Prof. Ken Ife.
The board members include: Former Finance Minister, Shamsudeen Usman as Chairman, Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Finance and Petroleum Resources and acting Accountant-General of the Federation.
Others are; Olawale Edun, Fatima Mede, Ike Chioke, Muhammad Nda, Alheri Nyako and an executive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are also members of the board
Members of the Executive Management Team are: Dr Armstrong Takang, Managing Director, Eric solo, Executive Director, Chief Portfolio Officer, Sani Yakubu Chief Investment Officer and Oluwakemi Owonubi, Chief Risk Officer.
Polls: NBC warns broadcasters against compromising national unity
The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has cautioned all broadcasters against compromising national unity while covering forthcoming general election.
The Director-General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Ilelah issued the warning in a statement, on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said: ”The National Broadcasting Commission wish to again, remind all broadcasters covering the forthcoming general elections to take note of the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, and other relevant regulations guiding the broadcast of elections in Nigeria.
”The commission has observed, with deep concerns, how ethics and ethos have been thrown to the winds by politicians using broadcast media platforms.
”This is against the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, which provides that in using materials for news and current affairs programmes, the broadcaster shall avoid hate speech, inflammatory, derogatory and divisive remarks or allusions.
”The commission notes that some station now glamorise these situations on their platforms. The NBC reiterates that such stations shall pay for their professional misdemeanor.”
Ilelah said for the avoidance of doubt, broadcasters were advised to note the sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code which provides that the broadcaster shall promote human dignity.
He added: “Therefore, hate speech is prohibited. Section 3.11.1 (a) states that all broadcasters should ensure that language or a scene likely to encourage or incite to crime, or lead to disorder, is not broadcast.
“Also, section 3.11.1 (b) advice broadcaster to ensure that no programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state.
“Similarly, section 5.4.1 (f) prohibit broadcasters from transmitting divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.”
Ilelah said that section 5.3.3 (g) urged broadcasters to ensure that a political broadcast was clearly identified as such, and not presented in a manner that would mislead the audience to believe that the programme was of any other type.
“Also, section 5.3.3 (j) enjoin broadcasters to ensure that the broadcast of a partisan political campaign, jingle, announcement and any form of partisan political party identification or symbol ends not later than 24 hours before polling day.
“The NBC ACT CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, also prescribes, in the Third Schedule 12(6) that “A Licensee shall be responsible for the content of the Station’s Broadcast.
”The commission enjoins all broadcasters to desist from using or allowing their platforms and facilities to be used by politicians, their supporters and or sympathisers, for the broadcast of contents that may lead to the breakdown of law and order,” Ilelah
He said that broadcasters were therefore expected to perform the role of peace agents by adhering to the principles of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality.
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