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Nasarawa Assembly crisis to end soon–Gov. Sule as varsity don decry negative effect on governance

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By David Okpashi

The Nasarawa state governor, Abdullahi Sule has assured that the leadership face off at the State House of Assembly will soon be resolved for normal legislative activities, development of the state and to foster unity among the citizenry.

Gov. Sule said this when he received the Members of the 7th Nasarawa State House of Assembly led by the Speaker Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi on a Sallah Homage at Government House Lafia today.

Sule who congratulated the Speaker and members of the 7th Nasarawa State House of Assembly for the successful celebration of Eid El Kabir was quick to highlight that the leadership differences at the State Assembly will soon be over to pave the way for normal legislative proceedings.

According to the governor, *the people of the State were eager to see their representatives legislate on matters that affect the socio-economic development of their areas and the State at large rather than subjecting themselves to leadership crisis.

The Governor used the visit to inform the lawmakers about the breakthroughs being recorded in the investment front as seen in the one hundred million dollars investment by a lithium mining company in Onda area of Nasarawa Local Government Area.

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Similarly, a University Don and former Commissioner of Agriculture in Nasarawa state, Professor Otaki Alanana has called on the members elect of the state House of Assembly to amicably resolve the lingering leadership crisis in the house in the interest of peace, unity and the growth of the state.

Speaking exclusively with Vanguard in Abuja, Otaki said the appeal has become necessary in view of the governance that has been slowed down as a result of the crisis in the state Assembly.

It would be recalled that the assembly leadership crisis broke out June 6, 2023 after two Speakers, Hon. Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi and Hon. Daniel Ogah Ogazi, emerged during the election of a Speaker for the 7th assembly

The former Commissioner noted that continued failure by the members-elect to resolve their differences would not only lead to violence among supporters of the political groups, but slow down development, progress and unity of the state.

He urged security agencies to ensure adequate deployment of its personnel across the 13 Local Government Areas of the state to forestall any breakdown of law and order that could arise from the crises.

“The ongoing leadership crisis at the Nasarawa State House of Assembly is very unfortunate. The 24 members-elect had the opportunity to address issues before the day of the Speakership election, but did not take proactive steps to forestall the issue in the Assembly.

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“My appeal is that members should see themselves as representatives of the people as well remember that there is no other state we can call our own aside Nasarawa State, I, therefore urge you to put behind you your differences and settle the matter in the interest of our state.”

“Our security agencies should live above board at a time like this by deploy adequate operatives across the state to forestall breakdown of law that may arise as a result of the disagreements.”

He appealed to stakeholders especially the political gladiators to be at the forefront of peace, unity in spite of personal and collective interest, advising the external forces to play a mediatory role in the resolution of assembly matters.

“At a time like this, Citizens, residents and other stakeholders should set aside political interest and betterment of our dear state,” Otaki added.

While expressing gratitude to governor Abdullahi Sule for his state fastness in ensuring unity, development of the state in the face of the doubting challenges confronting the state, the don also seek the understanding of supporters of the various interest groups in the crisis by remaining calm for the peaceful resolution of the crisis.

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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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