Latest News In Nigeria Brought To You By MadNaija As At This Thursday Morning, 30 July 2020
1. Enugu Assembly passes revised 2020 budget of N146bn
The Enugu State House of Assembly on Wednesday passed the revised 2020 budget of over N146 billion.
The state governor, Emeka Ugwuanyi, had earlier this year signed the 2020 budget estimate of N169.6 billion.
The passage of the budget followed the clause by clause consideration of the appropriation bill during the plenary in Enugu.
In his submission, the Leader of the House, Mr. Ikechukwu Ezeugwu, said revising the budget had become necessary considering the negative impact of COVID-19 on the state and country at large.
Ezeugwu argued that the economic projections made in January had been ridiculed by the pandemic.
According to him, the only viable option left for the Enugu state government w
The House leader disclosed that the recurrent expenditure was increased from N68 billion to N69 billion while capital expenditure was reduced from N100 billion to N76.5 billion.
While hinting that the state government would be responsive to the realities of the time, he maintained that funds would be re-channeled from non-essential to essential items, especially in the health sector.
Also speaking on the matter, the member representing Ezeagu constituency, Mr. Chima Obieze, stressed the need for the state government to invest massively in health facilities across the state.
The Deputy Speaker of the House, Uche Ugwu, who presided over the plenary, applauded his colleagues for their contributions which led to the passage of the revised budget.
Ugwu charged the state government to ensure full implementation of the budget.
2. Boko Haram fighters reportedly attack Borno governor’s convoy in Baga
Gunmen suspected to be Boko Haram fighters on Wednesday reportedly attacked the convoy of Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, at Baga town.
However, details on the governor’s attack were still sketchy.
The attack comes three months after five persons including three policemen were killed in an attack on former governor Ali Modu Sheriff’s convoy along the Maiduguri-Damaturu Highway.
Baga, a town that is approximately 196 km from Maiduguri, has witnessed several Boko Haram attacks in recent years.
At least 185 people were killed and over 2000 homes destroyed during a clash between the Nigerian military and Boko Haram jihadists in 2013.
Perhaps, the biggest massacre in the history of the terror group came in January 2015 when the Boko Haram fighters attacked Baga, seized the town and the military base used by the multinational force.
About 2,000 people were massacred by the terrorists while several others escaped to the neighboring Chad Republic.
3. After vowing not to defect again, Ondo deputy governor set to join ZLP weeks after leaving APC for PDP
The embattled Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Agboola Ajayi, has concluded plans to dump the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP) to pursue his governorship ambition.
Ajayi had vowed not to leave the PDP after losing out in the governorship primary.
However, reports have emerged that he might be concluding plans to join the ZLP led by a former governor of the state, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, next week.
He is also expected to substitute the candidate of the party for the governorship election. The deadline for submission of names of candidates for the election was July 28.
The ZLP has positioned itself as the third major force behind the PDP and the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State.
If he eventually joins the ZLP, the party would be Ajayi’s third in less than two months.
He dumped the APC for the PDP last month after his relationship with Governor Rotimi Akeredolu deteriorated.
The deputy governor lost out in the PDP governorship race last week after he finished second behind eventual winner, Eyitayo Jegede, in the party’s primary held in Akure.
4. Fayose gloats, says I warned Nigerians abo
Chinese loans in 2016, now the truth is out
The former Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, on Wednesday reacted to the latest controversy generated by the loan agreement between Nigeria and China.
The House of Representatives said on Tuesday it had discovered clauses in the commercial loan agreement between Nigeria and the Export-Import Bank of China.
The Chairman of the House Committee on Treaties and Agreements, Ossai Nicholas, who disclosed this at the plenary, said the clauses conceded Nigeria’s sovereignty to China in the $400 million loans for the Nigeria National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure Backbone Phase II Project, signed in 2018.
The agreement was signed by the Ministry of Finance on behalf of Nigeria and the Export-Import Bank of China on September 5, 2018.
Ossai, who read out the controversial clause, said: “The Borrower hereby irrevocably waives any immunity on the grounds of sovereign or otherwise for itself or its property in connection with any arbitration proceeding under Article 8(5), thereof with the enforcement of any arbitral award pursuant thereto, except for the military assets and diplomatic assets.”
In a series of tweets on his Twitter handle – @ @GovAyoFayose – the ex-governor recalled that he warned Nigerians on the Chinese loans but was criticized by supporters of the government.
Fayose had in a letter dated April 12, 2016, and addressed to the Chinese authorities urged the Asian nation to reject loan requests from President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said all Nigerians, irrespective of their political and religious affiliations, were against any applications for new foreign loans.
He added that debt servicing at that time had gulped over 25 percent of the country’s annual budget.
On the latest development, the ex-governor wrote: “JUST reading that on the $400m loan Nigeria took from China, the APC govt of President Buhari signed an agreement that willed away the sovereignty of Nigeria. This is sad.
“The agreement irrevocably waived ‘any immunity on the grounds of sovereign or otherwise for itself or its property in connection with any arbitration proceeding under Article 8(5).’
“Nigerians should remember that in April 2016, I warned against these Chinese loans. I even wrote a letter to the Chinese government but those still clapping for this government then criticized me.
“Who is right and who is wrong now?”
5. Failed bank robbery: Three armed robbers killed in Oyo
Three armed robbers were on Wednesday were set ablaze by an angry mob in a failed bank robbery which occurred at First Bank, Okeho in Kajola Local Government Area of Oyo State.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, the robbers, who were led by a lady and armed with AK 47 riffles and dynamite, attempted to rob the bank in Okeho but were overpowered by police and local hunters.
It was gathered that the vigilante and local hunters with OPC who came to support the police wait for them in front of the bank, and they attack them as they were coming out of the bank. Unfortunately, a police officer was shot dead.
The Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Olugbenga Fadeyi, who confirmed the incident, disclosed that the incident happened at about 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
”At about 1658 hrs, there was a bank robbery in which daredevil armed bandits who came with white 18-seater bus invaded First bank Okeho in Kajola Local Government Area of Oyo State with intent to rob.
“The armed robbers who gained entrance into the bank used dynamites and AK-47 riffles shots to blow the bank security door.
“The robbery which was responded to by the Police Tactical teams and collaborative efforts of the Vigilante and hunters yielded results.
“Consequent upon this, three of the robbers who were arrested when the 18-seater bus had an accident and somersaulted, were thereafter set ablaze by the angry mob when they attempted to escape the scene of the accident.
”Immediately the Commissioner of Police, Nwachuckwu Enwonwu, got wind of the dastardly acts, he further directed that all the Police Tactical teams including the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), Mobile Police Force (PMF 72) and Police personnel from Okeho Area Command and nearby Divisions to be on the trail of other members of the fleeing robbers who escaped in different directions,” he said.
Fadeyi said that the Commissioner of Police condemned the dastardly act and assured the people of Oyo State of the police preparedness to protect lives and property before, during, and after the Sallah celebrations.
He urged the good people of the state to go about their lawful businesses without any fear of molestation or threat from any quarters, saying the police are on top of the situation.
6. Nigeria contributed $1.17bn to ECOWAS in 16 years
Nigeria has paid more than 1,177 billion dollars to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) as its Community Levy contribution in the last 16 years.
According to documents from a presentation by the ECOWAS Commission to Parliament at Plenary during its Virtual Second Extraordinary Session, Nigeria paid 853,310,564 UA (West Africa Unit of Account) for the period under review.
The West African Unit of Account (WAUA) is the authorized currency used in ECOWAS. The exchange rate for July obtained from ECOWAS shows that one Unit of Account equals 1.3799633 dollars.
Nigeria’s payment represents 40.42 percent of the total payment of 2,913,088,908 dollars payment made by all the 15 member states and is higher than payments made by 12 other countries put together except Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire.
Ghana paid about 508,577 million dollars, Côte d’Ivoire 347,262 million dollars, while Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo paid a total of 879,711 million dollars.
Ghana’s payment represents 17.45 percent of the total sum, Côte d’Ivoire 11.9 percent, while the cumulative payment by the other 12 countries represents 30.1 percent.
Within the period under review, Guinea Bissau paid the lowest amount of 6, 204 million dollars, representing 0.2 percent of total community levy proceeds in the 16 years under review.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Community levy was adopted in 1996 by the Authority of Heads of State as the major funding for ECOWAS after the initial contribution regime seemed ineffective.
However, the Community Levy Protocol took effect in 2003 when all member states started its application.
The protocol stipulates that the taxable base shall be all goods originating from third countries (non-ECOWAS countries) imported into the community.
Also in the presentation to Parliament, there were certain exemptions to the tax on imported goods. These included aids and grants to support development projects and goods imported under a financial agreement with foreign partners.
A further look into the community levy data showed that many countries were yet to pay the total sum from their community levy assessments.
Based on the assessment, if all countries had paid in full, the sub-regional body would have gotten more than 3,710 billion dollars as against the 2,913 billion dollars paid, leaving a deficit of 797,215 million dollars.
Based on this assessment, Nigeria had paid 64 percent of its payments, leaving an outstanding of 36 percent.