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NIPR Inducts 327 New Members


As President Insists on 1st January Compliance Deadline

The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has inducted 327 into its membership, a figure quoted to be one of the highest in Institute’s recent history.

The inductees comprise 250 regular with Mass Communication and Journalism backgrounds, while 77 joined the induction after days of intensive training referred to as master class.

Addressing the new members of the Institute in a Hybrid event in Abuja on Friday, President of NIPR, Dr. Ike Neliaku noted that the profession of Public Relations is fast taking centre stage in nation-building, urging new members to contribute in helping to reshape the country’s reputation.

He said that the Institute is determined to build a sustainable and globally competitive reputation for Nigeria, noting that the recent establishment of Nigeria Reputation Management Group (NRMG) headed by Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Wale Adeniyi was one of the measures towards improving reputation of the nation.

“The reality is that when reputation is in tatters, a nation can only be in shambles. I must make it clear that it is only the public relations that is fully equipped with the appropriate body of knowledge to properly manage the reputation of Nigeria. However, we recognise the need to work in partnership with government and private sectors to reshape the reputation of Nigeria” he said.

He said that the Institute is collaborating with the government to pursue the REBIRTH Nigeria programme, an acronym for reinvent, essence, beauty, integrity, resourcefulness, tradition and heritage and called on all patriotic Nigerians to join forces with the Institute to carry out the assignment he described as important.

On those masquerading as public relations practitioners under any guise, without licensing, Neliaku said that the grace time is running out, as the Institute’s deadline for compliance and enforcement remains 1st January, 2024.

He said that effective January, enforcement and compliance committee headed by Gen. Chris Olukolade (Rtd) will launch a clampdowm on quarks that are dragging the Institute to a state of disrepute.

Emmanuel Amuneke may replace Peseiro as Super Eagles manager after AFCON 2023, new report claims


Former youth team coach, Emmanuel Amuneke is in line to replace Jose Peseiro as Super Eagles head coach, according to a new report.


Peseiro has come under intense criticism following the Super Eagles’ disappointing start to the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers where the three-time African champions picked just two points from their opening two games against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

Peseiro was appointed Super Eagles head coach on May 15, 2022. In 14 games under his tutelage, the Super Eagles have won six, drawn three and lost five.

Now a new report says that Peseiro will only keep his job if the Super Eagles win the title at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

“The reason Peseiro is still keeping his job is because the NF is cash-strapped at the moment. The Federation is not happy with the performance of the Super Eagles under him,” a source reportedly told Complete Sports Nigeria.


“He would lead the Super Eagles to the AFCON in January next year but the only way he can keep the job is by winning the title.

”Even if the Super Eagles make it to the semi-final or the final, he will still have to go.

“The general consensus among the NFF executive members is to appoint a local coach in the event Peseiro fail to meet the set target.

“The number one choice at the moment is Emmanuel Amuneke because of his antecedents with the Golden Eaglets and Tanzania national team.”

Gov Akeredolu Releases N1bn For Retired Teachers, LG Workers In Ondo


Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has flagged off the payment of N1bn as a gratuity to teachers and local government workers who retired in 2011.

Akeredolu, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Union Matters and Special Duties, Mr. Dare Aragbaiye, said the N1bn was sourced from the October allocation from the federation account.

He said the payment of N1bn marked a gradual defrayment of the backlog of gratuity arrears for retirees of Local Government and Primary school teachers.

According to him, “another tranche would soon be paid within the first quarter of next year.

Some pensioners who retired in 2012 were paid, while those the government termed distressed benefitted from the N1bn payment.

The governor said that his administration has fully paid all outstanding salaries and pensions, including the allowances of all retirees left by the previous administration.

“We want to make sure pensioners in the state do not suffer anymore. We are making efforts to rid our communities of miscreants and criminals, as well as those who engage in cult-related activities in our dear state.

“The State Government is continually committing enormous resources to strengthening the Amotekun Corps in terms of equipment and human resources.

“This is in addition to the provision of funds and other logistical support to other sister security agencies operating in Ondo State. Our government cannot tolerate a situation where our citizens cannot conduct their daily businesses in a safe environment.”

The Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon Takuro Amidu, said the payment of the gratuity was initiated by Governor Akeredolu by ensuring that some money was saved every month.

Amidu said that Governor Akeredolu was poised to take care of senior citizens.

Some of the pensioners said it was suicidal for them to survive 12 years without collecting their gratuities.

Many of them said that they would use a chunk of the money to pay accumulated debts.

One of them, Chief Ojo Samuel, said it was difficult for him to cope with life situations after he retired and his gratuity was not paid.

“We thank God we are alive to collect and enjoy our benefit.”

The chairman of pensioners in Ondo State, Johnson Osunyemi, said the payment of N1bn was a reassurance that the governor would do more for them.

Osunyemi said pensioners have not witnessed such a good gesture in the state.

[READ] Industrial Court Begins Christmas/New Year Vacation 19th December


The Hon. President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Benedict Kanyip, PhD, OFR has declared Tuesday 19th December 2023 to Friday 5th January 2024 as Christmas and New Year vacation.

Justice Kanyip made the declaration pursuant to Order 58 Rule 4(1) (c) of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (Civil Procedure) Rules 2017.

According to the notice signed by the Hon. President, Justice Kanyip stated that there will be no Court sitting during the period of the vacation and further that the Normal Court sitting shall resume Monday 8th January 2024.

“In exercise of the powers conferred on me under order 58 Rule 4 (1) (c) of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (Civil Procedure) Rules, 2017, and all other powers enabling me in that respect, I. Hon. Justice B. B. Kanyip, Ph.D, FNIALS, President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, hereby declare that the Court shall proceed on end of the year and new year vacation from Tuesday 19th of December 2023 to Friday 5th of January 2024.” the statement reads in part.

NDDC Flags Off Construction of 18-Km Owaza-Uzuaku Road in Abia


The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has flagged off the re-construction of the 18-kilometre Owaza-Uzuaku-144 Battalion-Afam Junction Road in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State.

Speaking during the flag-off ceremony in Owaza, the NDDC Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, assured
the people of the Commission’s determination to bring development and hope to Niger Deltans in line with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

Ogbuku who was represented by the Abia State Representative on the NDDC Governing Board, Chief Eruba Dimgba, said that the Commission, as an interventionist agency, was committed to fast-tracking development in the Niger Delta region.

In a statement by Director, Corporate Affairs, Pius Ughakpoteni noted that the NDDC Chief Executive Officer, maintained that the road would have a major impact on the lives of the people and rejuvenate the communities that had suffered many years of neglect, in spite of being in the oil-producing belt of the state.

He urged the benefitting communities to support and cooperate with the contractor to ensure that the project was completed on schedule.

Ogbuku thanked the communities in Ukwa West council area for appreciating the efforts of the NDDC, promising that the Commission would continue to execute projects that would enhance the living conditions in Niger Delta communities.

He observed that the 18-kilometre road set for re-construction had been in deplorable condition for many years, impacting negatively on the socio-economic activities of the area.

In his remarks, the traditional ruler of Etiti Onha Owaza, Eze Obioma Nworgu, thanked the NDDC for the emergency re-construction of the road which he said was “a death-trap for commuters and a feasting ground for criminals.”

He said: “I commend the NDDC for this intervention and many other projects executed in Abia State. I am appealing that our children should be carried along in the NDDC’s scholarship programme, empowerments and employments.”

He also appealed to the Commission to include his community in the on-going installation of electricity facilities, especially solar-powered lights, in Niger Delta communities.

Giving a brief on the project, the Head Project Monitoring and Supervision in the NDDC Abia State office, Engr. Kingsley Azu, said that the 18-kilometre road, with concrete drains, would traverse many communities, including Owaza, Okohia, Uzuaku, Umuelechi and Ezendioma.

The President of National Youth Council of Ukwa West LGA, Mr. Alwell Nwagbara, assured the NDDC that the youths would protect the project and ensure that conducive environment was provided for the contractor to operate optimally.

The Chief Executive of the company handling the project, Dr. Matt Offeh, said that the road was very important for the oil-producing communities in Abia State. He commended the NDDC for spreading development across the Niger Delta region.


FG Pays ₦‎585 Million Fines, Begins Nationwide Prisoners’ Release


The Federal Government, on Thursday, said it had raised N585m towards the settlement of fines for inmates in a bid to decongest correctional centres across the country.

The Minister of Interior, Dr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, represented by an Assistant Director in the ministry, Dr Anayo Romanus-Nzekwe, disclosed this on Thursday in Kano, during the release of 150 inmates, whose fines were settled by the Federal Government.

The PUNCH reports that the interior minister had repeatedly lamented that no fewer than 4,000 inmates were languishing in detention over their inability to pay fines.

Tunji-Ojo had promised that the Federal Government would clear the fines, estimated at about N500m, and free the inmates.

On Thursday, 150 inmates were freed from the Maximum Security Custodial Centre, Janguza in Kano State.

The minister, speaking through Romanus-Nzekwe, said the 150 inmates were among the 4,068 nationwide that the government intended to free in line with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

“The Federal Government wants to decongest custodial centres and make them humane for proper reformation and rehabilitation of offenders to take place.

“The released inmates were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment with the option of fine and compensation and could not afford to pay their fines and are languishing in custody.

“The sum of N13.4m was spent in Kano State out of the N585m raised by philanthropic individuals, groups and corporate bodies, as part of their corporate social responsibility, for this purpose nationwide.”

He explained that all inmates in the custodial centres who have fines and compensation not exceeding N1m were qualified to benefit from the gesture.

“We have given the inmates requisite training aimed at impacting their lives functionally and equipping them with the knowledge and skills for their self-reliance upon discharge,” he added.

Each of the freed inmates was given N10,000 to enable them to return to their various homes and villages.

The minister commended the Controller-General of Corrections and the staff of the Nigerian Correctional Service for providing the needed platform and mechanisms towards the safe and humane custody of inmates.

He called on the public, and communities to receive the returning inmates with open arms and refrain from stigmatising them as it could drive them back to committing crimes, which would further endanger society.

He urged the inmates to see the initiative as a second chance to make things right again.

“Stay off crimes and join hands with our father, President Bola Tinubu, to make Nigeria a great nation.

“Abide by the instructions and training you have received while in custody and be good ambassadors in your communities,” he said.

In his remarks, the Controller General of Corrections, Mr Halliru Nababa, commended the minister for securing the release of 150 inmates.

The CG, who was represented by the Controller of Corrections, Kano State Command, Suleiman Inuwa, said the gesture made a significant impact on the lives of numerous inmates across the country.

Meanwhile, the Chief Judge of Gombe State, Justice Halima Mohammed, also on Thursday pardoned and freed 185 inmates in five custodial facilities across the state.

The CJ said the release of the inmates followed the recommendation of the Criminal Justice Reform Committee.

Speaking on Thursday after three days of working visit to custodial facilities in the state, Justice Mohammed, said, “A total of 141 inmates were released from the Gombe Minimum Custodial Centre.

At the Billiri Custodial Centre, 10 inmates were released, 20 were released on bail, and 11 others were released because they were found to be of good behaviour. Making a total of 41 inmates to be released from Billiri Custodial Centre. At the end of the exercise, across five custodial centres in the state, a total of 182 inmates were released through the Criminal Justice Reform Committee.”

She, urged the ex-inmates to be of good character, in order to benefit from the good gesture of the criminal justice reform committee, calling those awaiting trial to be patient and be of good behaviour while waiting for their sentencing by the courts.

“Criminal Justice Reform Committee commends the Gombe State Government for supporting the committee’s exercise, which is geared towards decongesting the custodial centres,” the CJ said.

The Comptroller of the Gombe State Command of NCoS, Lawan Gusau, lauded the Chief Judge and the Criminal Justice Reform Committee.

“We are grateful for this exercise, and it is the first time a total of 182 inmates are being released because of the compassion and service delivery of Justice Halima Mohammed,” he said.

FAAN Bans ‘Ghana Must Go’ Sacks At Airports


The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), has prohibited the use of travel sacks, ‘Ghana Must Go’ by passengers at all the nation’s airports.

According to a circular by FAAN, titled, ‘Re: Prohibition of Usage Of Ghana Must Go’, signed by Manager, Airport Services, Henok Gizachew, dated November 24, the ban is particularly for passengers travelling through the country’s international airports.

Gizachew, stated that the sack was banned by the authority because it has cost the airlines huge loss and also damaged the airports conveyor belt system.

He noted that passengers who wish to use Ghana Must Go to travel must have the same well package in carton or hardcover of rectangular size.

LEADERSHIP reports that the use of the sack-like bag has been attributed to the breakdown of many of the country’s airports’ conveyor belt systems and one that has put enormous costs on the shoulders of the airport authority.

The popular Ghana Must Go sack which comes in different sizes is very popular among many Nigerian travellers because of its light weight and capacity to carry more loads.

New Wage Begins April, FG Votes ₦‎24 Trillion For Salaries –


The Federal Government on Thursday said a new minimum wage regime would come into effect on April 1, 2024.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Idris Mohammed, who disclosed this in an interview with The PUNCH in Abuja, said the current N30,000 minimum wage would expire at the end of March 2024.

Mohammed said this on Thursday as an analysis of the 2024 –2026 Fiscal Framework budgets by our correspondents indicated that the Federal Government would spend N24.66tn on salaries in 2024, 2025, and 2026.

Following the removal of the fuel subsidy by President Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023, the Federal Government agreed to pay N35,000 to each of its workers to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.

But the organised Labour insisted that the N35,000 wage award was a temporary measure, adding that the minimum wage should be reviewed in 2024.

The Federal Government’s team and the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council on October 18, 2019, agreed on the implementation of the N30,00 minimum wage after months of negotiations.

However, Labour unions on Thursday confirmed that they had started a negotiation process with the Federal Government, adding that based on the country’s labour law, the minimum wage should be reviewed every five years.

The Nigeria Labour Congress National President, Joe Ajaero, recently said, “It is open knowledge that the review of the national minimum wage is a matter of the law which is expected to happen in 2024.”

On his part, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed, told The PUNCH that the improved take-home pay was meant to replace the temporary palliative measure put in place by the government to ameliorate the hardship caused by the fuel subsidy removal.

New wage regime

He said, “Certainly, there is a new wage regime that will come in on April 1, 2024. That is why these palliatives were targeted so they would cushion economic hardship before then. In our negotiation with Labour, we said that the wage issue was not something one could just fix. A committee that will also involve Labour itself will work on it.

“The committee is being constituted and we are talking to Labour about it. And by the time this current wage regime expires by the end of March, we will expect that a new wage will begin by April. It is in this wage regime that we will now have a proper salary structure for workers across the length and breadth of Nigeria. We expect that the private sector and state governors will also do the same.”

A top official of the NLC, in an interview with The PUNCH, said the organised Labour had initiated talks with the government

He said, “By April 1, 2024, the current minimum wage will expire. We have all agreed to set up a national wage negotiation committee, and that the committee should comprise all parties.’’

Also, the Head of Information of the NLC, Benson Upah, in an interview with The PUNCH said, “The new minimum wage is to come into effect next year.”

N24.66tn for salaries

As the organised Labour demands a new minimum wage, an analysis of the 2024 –2026 Fiscal Framework shows that the Federal Government intends to spend 29.18 per cent of its total budgets for 2024, 2025, and 2026 on salaries, overheads, and pensions.

The total amount budgeted for these three items amounts to N24.66tn; 29.18 per cent of the N84.50tn budgeted for the three years.

With anticipated salary increases from 2024 amid worsening economic conditions, personnel costs, and the two others are expected to jump by 8.51 per cent from the amount (N7.36tn) budget in 2023 to N7.99tn in 2024.

It is then expected to rise by 2.41 per cent to N8.18tn in 2025, and then by 3.77 per cent to N8.49tn in 2026. The amount pales when compared to the N23.37tn (27.65 per cent of its total budget) the government intends to spend on capital expenditure in the period under review.

This signifies the continuation of a culture of high overheads at the expense of high fiscal deficits. As of the end of September 2023, the Federal Government had devoted 29.76 per cent (N3.78tn) of its total spending (N12.7tn) on salaries.

The amount spent on salaries is 157.14 per cent more than the N1.47tn that has been spent on capital allocations for the year.

The government said, “The actual spending was N12.7tn. Of this amount, N5.79tn was for debt service, and N3.78tn for personnel costs, including pensions.

“Only about N1.47tn (25 per cent of the pro-rata budget) has been released for MDAs’ capital expenditure as of September 2023.”

The Federal Government has about N1.5 million workers and it will review minimum wage by 2024. There are concerns that the government is operating a bloated civil service with many agencies with overlapping functions. This has led to calls for agency mergers and scrapping, where they might apply.

With salaries weighing heavily on its spending, the government, in its 2024 – 2026 fiscal framework, said, “The budget deficit is projected to be N9.18tn in 2024, i.e., N4.6tn down from N11.60tn budgeted in 2023.

“The proposed deficit represents about 50 per cent of total Federal Government’s revenues and 3.88 per cent of the estimated GDP (Gross Domestic Product ). The high projected level of fiscal deficit in 2024 is partly attributable to the proposed salary review of Federal workers across board, increased pension obligations, and higher debt service cost.

“At 3.88 per cent, the projected level of deficit is higher than the three per cent threshold stipulated in the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), 2007, but significantly lower than the 2023 level of 6.11 per cent; FRA 2007, however, allows the government to exceed the 3 per cent threshold if justified by threats to national security.”

The fiscal deficit for the three years under review is expected to total N30.89tn. In June 2023, the World Bank disclosed that the Federal Government’s spending on personnel costs and debt servicing exceeded total revenues in 2022.

According to the Washington-based bank, this was the first time the Federal Government’s personnel costs and debt servicing surpassed its total revenue. It noted that the government is spending a lot on these costs, leaving little room for capital expenditure.

It declared, “Overall, the rigidity of expenditure has increased, squeezing fiscal space for the discretionary spending needed to meet development objectives.

Personnel costs and interest payments comprise a growing share of total general government expenditures (59 per cent in 2022) and for the first time in 2022 exceeded total government revenues (102 percent).”

Rising personnel cost is leaving little room for investments in infrastructure and in his budget presentation speech, President Bola Tinubu disclosed that the government would leverage the private sector to plug its capital expenditure spending holes.

He said, “In view of the limited resources available through the federal budget, we are also exploring Public Private Partnership arrangements to finance critical infrastructure.

“We, therefore, invite the private sector to partner with us to ensure that our fiscal, trade, and monetary policies, as well as our developmental programmes and projects, succeed in unlocking the latent potential of our people and other natural endowments, in line with our national aspirations.”

Recently, the Minister of Budget and National Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, declared that the government was only managing to pay salaries considering its dwindling revenue sources.

Enoh unveils six-point sports development agenda
The minister represented by the Director (International Cooperation), Dr Sampson Ebimaro at an event said, “Government faces enormous challenge especially now, the government is facing revenue deficit. There’s no money anywhere in the country, the government is just managing to pay salaries.

“The growth rate is very slow, and the population growth is fast pacing and increasing. unemployment is surging amid high inflation. These are issues which non-governmental organisations must take on board in helping the government to cover the space government could not cover.”

Over-bloated salaries

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives, on Thursday, condemned what it described as an over-bloated personnel cost in the 2024 budget.

The House therefore urged the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission to summon ministries, departments, and agencies over the alleged over-bloated cost.

A member of the House, Sada Soli, drew the attention of his colleagues to what he described as the ‘over-bloated personnel cost’ of ministries, departments, and agencies in the budget cycles.

At the debate on the general principles of the 2024 budget on the floor of the House on Thursday, Soli, a member of the House of Representatives from Katsina State, described the budget as ‘unique’ in a number of ways.

Most importantly, he called on the House to take a close look at the excessive personnel cost of MDAs, saying, “Let the committees’ chairmen look at the issue of personnel cost because they are over-bloated.

“I know that the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission used to summon agencies to come for audits on their personnel cost because it is over-bloated. This is very important and we need to look at it.”

He also spoke about the states and the Federal Government collaboration saying, “For the first time, I am hearing in the budget speech that the President is mentioning collaboration with subnationals.”

He added that such collaboration would encourage states to make adjustments to their budget peculiarities.

He further stressed that the National Assembly should pay attention to the procurement process, describing it as “too cumbersome” even as he urged the Federal Government to “clean up” the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System.

The House commenced the debate on the N27.5tn 2024 budget on Thursday, preparatory to passage for second reading.

Leading the debate on the general principles of the budget, House Leader, Julius Ihonvbere, commended the President for putting together what he called a holistic budget that was meant to cater for Nigerians of all walks of life.

He said, “In considering the budget of any nation or organisation, you must first consider a few principles. The first is what you have or what are you going to earn. The second is what are you going to spend?

“The third is how your budget did in the previous years. The fourth is what is the difference in this particular budget that you are presenting? And finally, there is the global, domestic, and sub-national context in which your budget is supposed to function.

“The budget drew our attention to the Renewed Hope Agenda so that we have a holistic understanding of where the President was coming from and where he intended to take Nigeria. The budget focused on fiscal challenges in the economy, and the need to tackle insecurity and expand the economic space.

“Special attention was given to education, which particularly made me very happy. The budget tends to look at strategic areas into which the budget will deploy resources.”

Speaking on the security mileage of the 2024 proposed budget, the House Leader said, “I cannot go to my constituency because of the dreaded Auchi-Benin expressway. There is no other way to get there (his village) because of security issues.

“And I am sure, we have moved motion upon motion on insecurity. And I believe that when security is properly tackled in this country, among other things, there will be an increase in the production of goods and services.

“Many businesses today close by 6pm because they are afraid that they will be raided. Many farmers do not go to their farms because of bandits, kidnappers, and assassins.

“Transporters have reduced their fleets to safe areas, similarly, because of insecurity. Even parents have withdrawn their kids from certain schools and are paying double the fees in certain areas that they consider to be safe. The focus of this budget on security as a prime area is a very positive move, for which we must give support.”

That said, Ihonvbere called on his colleagues to give the budget proposal an accelerated consideration.

On his part, a member representing Dambowa/Gwoza/Chibok Federal Constituency, Borno State on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, Ahmadu Jaha, argued that the 2024 budget proposal was a demonstration of President Tinubu’s readiness to address the infrastructural challenges the nation had been battling for decades.

“By providing a substantial amount of money or a reasonable figure for capital projects shows that the government is serious about embarking on a series of developmental projects.

“As we are all aware, of all evils, unemployment is the worst because an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. By diversifying the economy, there is definitely going to be a development of our population which by extension will give our people a sense of belonging,” he added.

In his contribution, The House Committee Chairman on the Navy, Yusuf Gagdi, called on his colleagues to queue behind the President to realise the goal of his administration.

He said, “The President is ready for business. Our own is to provide robust oversight engagement. We must do this to ensure that we support Tinubu to deliver the dividends of good governance, otherwise, the expectation of Nigerians will not be satisfied.”

Gagdi who represents Kanke/Pankshin/Kanam Federal Constituency, Plateau State commended Tinubu’s prioritisation of capital projects, adding that for no reason should the country borrow to fund recurrent expenditure.

An opposition lawmaker, Isah Ali championed a different cause when he was given the floor to make his contribution. Ali, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party representing Balanga/Biliri Federal Constituency, Gombe State, argued that until the lives of Nigerians are touched positively by the budget, the allocations to sundry sectors make no real sense.

“I want to see a budget where Nigerians will have a sense of belonging. We, as lawmakers, must diligently scrutinise the budget because this is what is important. It is one thing to have a good budget, it is another thing to have it implemented. Let us ensure that at the end of the day, we will have at least 70-80 per cent implementation of the budget,” he advised.

In the upper legislative chamber, the Senate President, Godswill Akpabio, stated that the appropriation bill would be passed for a second reading on Friday.

The debate on general principles of the budget was led by the leader of the Senate, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele ( APC Ekiti Central ).

He said. “The budget is still high on recurrent expenditure at 40% of the budget especially with a deficit of N9.8 trillion that has to be financed from borrowing.

“ The alternative which would be suicidal would be to cut expenditure and shrink the economy as it could lead to massive job loss.”

In his remarks after the debate, Akpabio said, “The budget will be passed for second reading on Friday this week after contributions from other Senators who have indicated interest to do so .”

Senators, Reps Consider Tinubu’s ₦‎27.5 Trillion Budget Without Details


In a bid to speedily approve the N27.5 trillion budget for the 2024 fiscal year before the end of the year, the Senate yesterday commenced the consideration of the proposals without having the full details.

President Bola Tinubu had on Wednesday presented the estimates to the joint session of the National Assembly, during which he asked the lawmakers to pass the document in 30 days.

The budget passed its first reading in both chambers of parliament when President Tinubu presented it.

A day after the president’s presentation, the Red Chamber began the debate on the general principles of the proposals without getting the breakdown of the estimates, including allocations to different sectors.

Our correspondent observed that the senators before the debate commenced, were only distributed copies of the budget speech and the lead debate presented by the Senate Leader, Michael Opeyemi Bamidele.

This was a deviation from previous budget considerations in the parliament, where the lawmakers were given the breakdown of the budget estimates and convened in plenary to debate its general principles after studying the document.

Senator Kawu Sumaila (Kano) urged his colleagues to suspend the consideration of the budget pending when they were provided with the details.

He said, “We are representing interests here. Where are the budget details? We need to have the bill. We don’t have any idea about the sectoral allocations and what our constituents will be getting. It is very strange in the parliament.”

Also, Senator Mohammed Ogoshi Onawo (Nasarawa) said lawmakers’ contributions to the budget would be limited because there were no details of the proposals except what the president presented on Wednesday.

Senator Binos Dauda Yaroe (Adamawa) also cautioned against rushing the budget consideration, saying the two supplementary budgets earlier passed by the parliament were not scrutinised due to inadequate time.

He noted that “The development led to a series of injustices. We need fairness and equity in the allocation of projects.”

Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau, faulted the submissions of his colleagues, saying that the Senate had all it needed to proceed with the budget consideration.

He said, “During the second reading, it is only the merits and demerits of a bill that are debated, not the details.

“By virtue of our Rule 79, we have all it takes to conduct the second reading of the bill.”

Bamidele, while leading the debate, made presentations that were largely based on Tinubu’s budget speech.

He said he believed that all the proposals in the budget were laudable and would enhance the lives of citizens.

Similarly, the House of Representatives on Thursday began consideration of the 2024 appropriation bill presented by President Tinubu on Wednesday.

The consideration and debate on the general principles of the bill followed the earlier presentation of the appropriation bill before the House.

The Majority Leader of the House, Julius Ihonvbere moved for the second reading of the bill and it was seconded by Kingsley Chinda.

In leading the debate Ihonvbere stated that the budget proposal was a reality for looking into critical issues such as the availability of resources, options of funds, the performance of previous budgets, and the percentage of appropriations of available funds for all critical areas.

Ayisat Gbajabiamila Congratulates Hon. Regina Akume on Birthday


A stalwart of All Progressives Congress (APC) and the founder Ayisat Gbajabiamila Foundation, Hon. Dr. Ayisat Gbajabiamila has congratulated the member representing Gboko/Tarka federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Her Execellency Regina Akume on her birthday.

She described Akume, wife of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation as a rare breed of human who has shown uncommon kindness to her fellow humans, using the privilege of her various strategic offices.

In a congratulatory message on Friday, Dr. Gbajabiamila a renowned medical professional noted that as former First Lady of Benue, Akume made use of her good office to drive the welfare and inclusion of women in the political space, adding that she raised the living standards of many families through economic empowerment.

“I join associates and friends in celebrating a woman of outstanding honour, beauty and heart of gold, Her Execellency, Regina Akume as she marks her birthday today.

“She no doubt personifies philanthropy in its real meaning, dignity and hard work, which put together signposts her as a role model to many.

“As she marks birthday today, I cannot but pray God Almighty to continue colouring her life with every beautiful things of life, and continue using her as a vessel to change people’s story.

“As the matron of our foundation, she has shown unalloyed support towards actualization of our core mandate. On behalf of the board of management and staff of our great foundation, I wish her a fulfilling birthday”, she stated.