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NASS Sets November 28 Target to Pass Budget

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The National Assembly on Tuesday said it would pass the 2020 Appropriation Bill  on November 28, 2019.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr Benjamin Kalu, made this known when he addressed journalists after the budget presentation  by President Muhammadu Buhari. He stated that the lawmakers had the desire to reverse the budget calendar to January-December.

Kalu said, “We are committed to realising this switch from what it used to be to what it ought to be – January-December budget calendar. Luckily enough, the House has inaugurated all the standing committees. The House, in order, to achieve this objective of reversing the calendar will be suspending the plenary – not suspending the House – to enable us to go into our various committees to interact with the MDAs (ministries, departments and agencies. To achieve that, we have set up a road map.”

The House’ spokesman said while the appropriation bill was presented on Tuesday, the House would debate the general principles of the budget on Wednesday and Thursday, after which it would be passed for second reading and referred to the standing committees, also known as Sub-Committees on Appropriations.

Kalu also said the House would adjourn plenary on Thursday till October 30, 2019, to allow the committees to hold budget defence sessions with Federal Government ministries, departments and agencies.

He added that the leadership of the House would meet with the leaders of the standing committees at 7pm on Thursday to discuss the road map for timely passage of the budget.

The lawmakers also said the National Assembly would hold a public hearing on the budget between October 21 and 22, 2019.

Kalu said, “From Wednesday, the 30th of October to Tuesday, the 5th of November, 2019, we are going to have submission and defence of budget reports to the Committee on Appropriations. It is important to note here that the termination date for submission of budget and defence of the same budget will be on the 5th of November. After the 5th of November, we will not accept any submission or defence by any MDA.

“From Wednesday, the 6th of November to the 27th of November, 2019, we are going  to have the collation and harmonisation of reports by the Appropriations Committee. It is our expectation – and we are working towards that with this road map we have set – that on the 28th of November, 2019, we will have the presentation of the report by the Committees on Appropriations to the Senate and the House. What it means is that our expectation is that we want to be done with this exercise on the 28 th of November, 2019. We will be done with the budget.

“Our idea is that from the beginning of December 2019, the budget is ready. You are aware that if we are able to achieve this by the first week of December or the last week of November, we will be on time to make sure that from January 2020, we will kick-start with our new budget of 2020. It is a great achievement.”

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Mamman Daura’s Daughter’s Release of Clip at this Time is Mischievous, Didn’t Share Video Where She Abused the First Lady, Aisha Buhari – Presidency Source

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A source within the Presidency has debunked claims made by Fatima, daughter of Mamman Daura who is one of President Buhari’s closest allies on being attacked by First Lady, Aisha Buhari at the Aso Villa, The Nation reports.

Recall that in an interview with BBC, Fatima denied report of her father arranging a second wife for President Buhari. She also denied claims that her dad is allegedly the head of ”a cabal” which controls the Buhari presidency (Aisha Buhari had in the past alleged that some persons have taken control of her husband’s government).

Fatima also revealed that she recorded the viral video of Aisha Buhari screaming at some persons in the Villa in 2017. According to her, she recorded the video to prove that the First Lady was violent to her and her family members after President Buhari asked them to vacate an apartment they were given in the villa after he assumed office in 2015.

However The Nation reported that a Presidential source debunked the claim, alleging that Mamman Daura’s daughter failed to tell the full story on why they were asked to vacate the apartment.

According to the source, the apartment was needed for the then recuperating Yusuf after his Power Bike accident.

 

She said: “By now the airwaves are awash with Fatima, Mamman Daura’s daughter, consenting to the fact that she indeed shot and leaked the now infamous video clip which showed the wife of the president in a very angry mood.

“The incident happened over a year ago when the wife of the president, on the instructions of the president, asked the Dauras to vacate their living quarters inside the Villa for a sick Yusuf Buhari who was recuperating after an accident.

“For this reason, the quarters were needed and the Dauras were asked to move to another part of the Villa. Long before the accident, Yusuf’s mother had requested in writing for the Dauras to vacate the place because the building is officially designated for the biological children of any serving president.

“The IG of police, DG DSS, NSA and the vice president who was the acting president, were all notified of this request. Despite this, the Dauras deliberately refused to comply with the instructions of the security agencies. Mamman Daura’s daughter, Fatima, did not say this in her interview.

“What really was the intent for the video being released now if not for mischief? Fatima didn’t showcase her part in the drama where the door was locked against the first lady to deny her access to some areas of the Villa, neither did she acknowledge the abuse she first vented before the first lady reacted under the instruction of DG Lawal Daura, who was brought into government by Mamman Daura.”

Source: LIB

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Brazil/Nigeria Match: Why I Used Okoye Instead of Ezenwa – Rohr

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Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has explained that he decided to replace injured first choice goalkeeper, Francis Uzoho with Fortuna Düsseldorf’s Maduka Okoye during the Brazil versus Nigeria friendly match in Singapore because he felt the home-based Ikechukwu Ezenwa was match rusty.

Brazil forced Nigeria to a 1-1 draw in the friendly game played on Sunday.

Speaking after the match, Rohr noted that Ezenwa, who is number two in the pecking order of goalkeepers, has not tasted action since the conclusion of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, while Okoye was active for Fortuna Düsseldorf’s reserve team in the Regionalliga West.

“We decided to put in Maduka because Ezenwa didn’t play for months, not even in the CHAN Team,’’ Rohr said in an interview with the Super Eagles Media Team.

“He didn’t have any experience of competition in the last three months so we decided to play with Maduka because he was playing for his club.”

Rohr regretted that Uzoho had to leave the game because of injury, praying the goalkeeper would recover soon.

He added: “Francis had a great match, we regret so much his injury, he will have examinations tomorrow so we will see exactly.

“He is playing again in his club so he can come back with us to play. I hope he will not be out for a long time because we have two important matches to play, against Benin in Nigeria and Lesotho, so we have a lot of work to do.

“He is playing well in his club so he can come back with us. I hope he will not be out for a long time because we have two important matches to play. So, we have a lot of work to do.”

Uzoho, who was impressive in the game left the pitch in the 65th minute as a result of the injury.

The Omonia Nicosia goalkeeper is now a doubt for next month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Benin and Lesotho.

The German was impressed with the general performance of his players, saying, ‘they caused many problems for Brazil.’

Rohr lauded his team’s fighting spirit and solidarity for the duration, despite Brazil leveling in the second half through midfielder Casemiro.

The 66-year-old insisted the Eagles gave their more flamboyant opponents “problems” despite conceding possession to the South Americans.

“The team did very well, big solidarity, because Brazil wanted to win the game,” Rohr added.

“They scored very early in the second half and when they scored we had another 44 minutes to play, so, it was really not easy but with a lot of solidarity, fighting spirit and also counter attacks especially our wingers; they were very strong today, and we gave them problems.”

The Guardian

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Customs Places Indefinite Ban on Exports, Imports Through Land Borders

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The Nigeria Customs Service on Monday announced an indefinite ban on importation and exportation of goods through the land borders.

Comptroller-General, NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (retd), who stated this at a press conference in Abuja, also said Niger Republic had placed a ban on export of rice to Nigeria as a result of Nigeria’s border closure.

This came as the Nigeria Immigration Service said it had stopped 1,111 foreigners from entering Nigeria since August 20, 2019 when the country’s land borders were partially closed.

Ali said, “For now, all goods, whether illicit or non-illicit, are banned from going and coming into Nigeria. Let me add that for the avoidance of doubt, we have included all goods because all goods can equally come through our seaports.

“For that reason, we have deemed it necessary for now that importers of such goods should go through our controlled boarders where we have scanners to verify the goods and how healthy they are to our people.”

The closure of borders is being enforced by the NCS and NIS, in collaboration with the Nigerian armed forces and the Nigeria Police Force. It is being coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

Ali said the aim of the exercise was to better secure Nigeria’s borders, address trans-border security concerns and strengthen the economy.

The customs boss said it was disturbing that some neighbouring countries were circumventing the ECOWAS protocol on transit.

He said, “For clarity, the ECOWAS protocol on transit demands that when a transit container berths at a seaport, the receiving country is mandated to escort same without tampering with the seal to the border of the destination country.

“Unfortunately, experience has shown that our neighbours do not comply with this protocol. Rather, they break the seals of containers at their ports and trans-load goods destined for Nigeria.”

Ali said the closure of the borders had curbed the smuggling of foreign rice into Nigeria and addressed the diversion of petroleum products from Nigeria to neighbouring countries.

According to him, 10.2 million litres of petrol had been stopped from being diverted out of the country since the borders were closed, while producers of local food were making increased earnings.

On security, the customs boss stated that so far, 317 suspected smugglers and 146 illegal migrants had been arrested.

He said, “Also, some items seized are 21,071 pieces of 50kg bags of parboiled foreign rice; 190 vehicles; 891 drums filled with petrol; 2,665 jerry cans of vegetable oil; 66,000 litre-tanker of vegetable oil; 133 motorcycles; 70 jerry cans of petrol and 131 bags of NPK fertiliser used for making explosives. The estimated monetary value of the intercepted items is about N1.43bn.”

He explained that 95 per cent of illicit drugs and weapons used for acts of terrorism and kidnapping in Nigeria came through the porous borders.

He said following the closure of Nigeria’s borders, “Niger Republic has already circulated an order banning exportation of rice in any form to Nigeria.”

According to him, no date has been fixed to reopen the borders, adding that Nigeria will only end closure when its neighbours have fully complied with the Economic Community of West African States Protocol on Transit.

He said, “The government, through diplomatic channels, will continue to engage our neighbours to agree to comply with ECOWAS protocol on transit.

“Goods that are on the prohibition list in Nigeria, such as rice, used clothing, poultry products and vegetable oil should not be exported to the country.

The Punch

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