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Nasarawa Assembly crisis: APC meeting: without Ogazi, members invitation to anarchy, attempts to worsen crisis in Nasarawa — Concerned stakeholders



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By David Okpashi

CONCERN APC stakeholders in Nasarawa state have faulted the party’s caucus meeting held in the state without the inclusion of the Speaker Daniel Ogah Ogazi 13 members describing the move as an invitation to anarchy as well fuelling more crisis in the assembly.

The concerned stakeholders in a statement signed by Alhaji Yusuf Ibrahim and made available to Journalists in Lafia, raised concerns over non inclusion of other APC members led by Speaker Daniel Ogah Ogazi if the meeting was called to resolve the crisis in the state house of assembly,

“All APC stakeholders would have been invited to the meeting if the party concerned were not not inviting anarchy or fuelling more crisis in the state house of assembly and by extension Nasarawa state “.

“We the concerned APC in view of the unwavering commitment in strengthening the core values and ideals of our great party, faulted the meeting and therefore called for all inclusive meeting to resolve the unending crisis in the state house of Assembly”, the statement added.

“While we welcome this planned Caucus Meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nasarawa State in good faith, in the interest of the Progress and Unity of our party in the state, we wish to raise a matter of urgent public concern arising from the exclusion of some key members of the party from the state caucus meeting”, the statement declared.

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The statement alleged that, the State Working Committee of the APC in a written invitation to the scheduled State APC Caucus Meeting, extended invitation to the Former Speaker Balarabe led minority faction to the state caucus meeting of the party and consciously excluded the Speaker Ogazi led majority faction of the Assembly and its principal officers from the caucus meeting.

“The State working committee also deliberately excluded most critical stakeholders of the party who have expressed their opinions to upholding Democracy and rule of law in the State. This undemocratic and divisive posture of the John Mamman led Executive Committee is capable of throwing not just the party into more crisis, but the entire State”.

“A party whose interference in the recently conducted inauguration and subsequent election of Leadership of the 7th Assembly that produced needless crisis in the state, should be seen mediating and working towards resolving the two warring factions of the Assembly and not showing outright disdain for a particular faction, especially now that the Assembly Speakership crisis has been subjected to litigation, due to lack of leadership by the party and awaiting determination of the court”.

“Excluding Rt. Hon. Daniel Ogah Ogazi, a two term former Deputy Majority Leader of the Assembly and the elected Speaker of the majority members of the Assembly from the State Caucus Meeting shows clearly, lack of readiness of our party to put an end to this Assembly Leadership crisis.

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“As true progressives who desire oneness and unity of our party in the state, we consider this development unhealthy for the party and an aberration to the existing court order, a move capable of deepening the lingering crisis in the State Assembly over its leadership”, the statement declared.

“The least we expected from the John W. Mamma led executive of our party in the state is this present and glaring segregation and exclusion of some of the key APC members in critical party engagements and activities such as the state caucus meeting.

The concern members of the rulling All Progressive Congress APC, enjoined his Excellency, Engr. Abdullahi A. Sule, Executive Governor of Nasarawa State and the National Chairman of APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu to as a matter of urgency and in their wisdom, wade into this matter with a view to finding lasting solution to the Assembly leadership crisis to save the entire State from being grounded as a result of lack of leadership in the Assembly.

“The Governor at this point must resist the temptation of allowing himself to continue to be misled by the John Mamman led APC Executive Committee, who are clearly seen in broad day light hobnobbing with opposition parties, especially the SDP in the State to continue to cause more division within the ranks of our Party.

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In a swift reaction in a telephone conversation, APC spokesman, Chief Douglas Otaru said the party cannot invite rebels to the party’s caucus meeting because the were no longer their members.

” We can’t invite Ogazi to the caucus meeting because we don’t recognize him and his group.

He said, the caucus meeting was a meeting of a special organ of the party where decent members are invited to take critical decisions.

Ogazi and his rebel group as they now appear are a fugitive gang that cannot be accorded such privilege to be part of a meeting of such magnitude.

Sadly, he is treasionably going about and arrogating to himself the powers of the speaker despite being in court.

“I think there is need for decorum on his part”.

“The party will invite him at the appropriate time but for now, he should allow the organs of the party to decide next line of action. Windows of repentance are still opened for him, Obedience is better than sacrifice!

Business and Economy

Nigerian Minister laments low investment in Infrastructure



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By Iyojo Ameh

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Atiku Bagudu on Friday said the country has not invested enough in infrastructural development.

According to him, several problems been encountered recently by Nigerian are as direct results of under- investment in several multi- dimension infrastructure.

The minister spoke at the National Assembly during an interactive session with the Senate committee on Appropriation under the chairmanship of Senator Olamilekan Adeola.

The minister was invited to provide insight into the N6.2 trillion supplementary appropriation approval for the 2024 budget by the National Assembly as requested by President Bola Tinubu.

Bagudu commended President Tinubu for the political will yo confront the infrastructure deficit by seeking the N3.2 trillion to fund the projects which include the Lagos – Calabar coastal highway, the Sokoto – Badagry highway and the Trans- Sahara highway.

He commended the President for his confidence that the projects when completed will increase economic activities and shore up the nation’s revenue base.

He added that the projects will encourage massive transformation apart from strengthening economic realities.

The minister while trying to douse the agitation of members of the committee on the fate of other deplorable roads and uncompleted roads projects in their various constituents said the federal government has not abandoned any of the ongoing projects.

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Bagudu categorically stated that the government is not giving priority attention to the innovative projects at the expense of other road projects.

He assured that the Federal Executive Council will continue to consider and give financial approval to other roads as funds are available.

The minister though did not give a detailed statement of the supplementary approval, gave a sectoral overview of both the N3.2 trillion of the Renewed Hope Infrastructure Projects and the N3 trillion increase in the recurrent component of the budget.

Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee, Senator Adeola the government has full capacity to finance the 2024 budget.

He , however implore the minister to make available to the committee a full detail and breakdown of the N6.2 trillion approval as soon as possible.

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Business and Economy

Economy : CBN announces indices on growth and stability …As Senate interfaces with the CBN Gov



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By Iyojo Ameh

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Friday in Abuja , rolled out indices , signaling improved growth and stability of the Nation’s economy.

This is as the apex bank through its Governor , Olayemi Cardoso , assured Nigerians of better days ahead .

Rolling out the growth and economic stability indices during statutory engagement with the Senate Committee on Banking , Insurance and other Financial Institutions , the CBN Governor said : ” The
spread between official and BDC rates has narrowed significantly from N162.62 in January to N47.22 in June 2024, indicating successful price discovery, increased market efficiency, and reduced arbitrage opportunities.

“The stock of external reserves increased to US$36.89 billion as of July 16, 2024, compared with US$33.22 billion at end-December 2023, driven largely by receipts from crude oil related taxes and third-party receipts.

” In Q1 2024, we maintained a current account surplus and saw improvements in our trade balance.

“Our external reserves level as at end-June 2024 can finance over 11 months of import of goods and services, or 14 months of goods only. This is significantly higher than the prescribed international benchmark of 3.0 months, indicating a strong buffer against external shocks.

“The banking sector remains robust and diverse, comprising twenty-six commercial banks, six merchant banks, and four non-interest banks. Key indicators such as capital adequacy, liquidity, and non-performing loan ratios all showed impressive improvements, underscoring the sector’s growing stability and resilience.

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“The equity market has shown impressive performance, with the All-Share Index rising by 33.81 per cent and market capitalization expanding by 38.33 per cent from December 2023 to June 2024, reflecting growing investors’ confidence.

“While we are encouraged by these positive trends, the CBN remains vigilant and committed to implementing policies that support sustainable growth in our financial markets, while maintaining overall economic stability”

He added by assuring the committee members , that required measures and strategies , have been mapped out to confront emerging challenges .

“To combat inflation, we have implemented a comprehensive set of monetary policy measures. These include raising the policy rate by 750 basis points to 26.25 percent, increasing Cash Reserve Ratios, normalizing Open Market Operations as our primary liquidity management tool, and adopting Inflation Targeting as our new monetary policy framework.

“In the area of banking supervision, the CBN has taken decisive actions to ensure the safety, soundness, and resilience of the banking industry.

” Key measures include intervention in three banks, revocation of Heritage Bank’s license, increasing minimum capital requirements, and enhancing AML/CFT supervision.

” We also introduced new frameworks for Cash Reserve Requirements and cybersecurity and prohibited the use of foreign currency collaterals for local currency loans.

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“We are in the process of reviewing the Bank’s micro and macroprudential guidelines to reinforce the resilience of financial institutions in Nigeria to withstand tightened conditions, thus creating a secure and attractive investment climate.

“We have signaled our plans to re-capitalize deposit money banks in Nigeria to improve capital inadequacy and their capacity to grow the economy.

“Our ultimate goal is to create a more stable, resilient, and efficient financial system that can better serve the Nigerian economy, while adhering to international best practices”, he said .

Earlier in his opening remarks , the Chairman of the Committee, Senator Adetokunbo Abiru said the overall purpose of the interaction , ” is to update the commiittee on efforts, activities, objectives and plans of the Bank with respect to monetary policy”

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General News

I’m not a power manipulator —senator Bamidele



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The Senator leader senator Opeyemi Bamidele has dispelled the campaign of calumny against him in some social media not the Citypost and office of the Leader of the Senate,

Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele in a statement from his media directorate says some individuals, either misconstrued the statutory role of the Majority Leader in a democracy or willfully distorted established legislative rules that charged the Majority Leader with the duty of leading the business of the Parliament, including government bills.

The statement reads in parts:

“Senator Bamidele is never a power manipulator, enemy of the people and an obstacle to national peace, as some reactionaries or agents of regressive forces have been peddling in the social media. As a political actor who enjoys vast public trust, he will never or can never act against the core and strategic interests of Nigeria and Nigerians at any level”

“Under Rule 23, the Senate Standing Orders, 2023 (as amended) specifically provides for the Office of the Leader of the Senate, who shall be a Senator duly nominated from the political party with the highest number of seats in the Senate. This is the global best practice, which is not peculiar to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, but also to all democracies worldwide”

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“The rule further establishes that the Leader of the Senate shall (a) lead all government bills; (b) lead the business of the Senate; (c) manage the legislative schedule of the Senate; (d) liaise with Committee Chairmen and other functionaries of the Senate and (e) perform such duties as the President may assign to him.

Consistent with the Senate Standing Orders, 2023 (as amended), therefore, Senator Bamidele is under obligation to lead all government bills, a role he has been playing creditably. By implication, he is responsible for sponsoring and promoting government bills originating from the Executive Arm or its ministries, departments and agencies”

“In this light, Senator Bamidele has been able to manage the floor debate on government bills successfully; build consensus across political divides; mobilise support for government bills within the Senate and lead negotiations to gain broader support. Since his assumption of office on July 4, 2023, Senator Bamidele has equally deployed strategies in navigating the complex legislative procedures to advance government bills and coordinated closely with the Executive Arm to ensure that government bills reflect the administration’s policies and priorities”

“Like other principal officers of the Senate, the role of the Leader of the Senate is provided for in the Senate Standing Orders, 2023 (as amended). In Nigeria, particularly, this role has been pivotal in advancing the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR through the National Assembly. And he has played the role well through a combination of strategic planning, negotiation and leadership skills”

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