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Monday Missiles: How did governors quaff N6.21trn in 4 years?

The federal and state governments shared a total of N 6. 21 trillion from the Excess Crude Account in the last four years. According to a report by the Federal Ministry of Finance, yesterday, the Federal Government’s share from the ECA during the period was N3.29 trillion while the 36 states received a total of N2.92 trillion. The figures showed that they received N966.6 billion in 2011, N816.3 billion in 2012, N859.4 billion in 2013 and N282.8 in 2014. A statement by Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said: “The low figeure for 2014 reflects the steep decline in revenues due to the impact of the crash in global oil prices which began in the middle of the year.” Each state’s allocation is as follows: Akwa Ibom (N265 billion), Rivers (N230.4 billion), Delta (N216.7 billion), Bayelsa (N176.3 billion), Kano (N106.5 billion) and Lagos (N82.9 billion) respectively got the highest amounts from the ECA. Others are: Kwara (N52.8 billion), Enugu (N51.6 billion), Gombe (N47.7 billion), Nassarawa (N46.9 billion), Ekiti (N46.8 billion) and Ebonyi (N44.3 billion) received the least amounts in that order. Yet about 19 of these states having been owing workers’ salaries for many months?

President-elect Muhammadu Buhari met with Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain in his office at No 10 Downing Street, London, Saturday where both leaders discussed the challenges facing Nigeria. A statement issued by Downing Street spokesperson said: “The leaders discussed security in the region and the fight against terrorism, particularly the threat posed by Boko Haram. They discussed the need for a regional approach and agreed to continue working together to build the capacity of the Nigerian army, with the UK continuing to provide military training and intelligence support.” Buhari and Cameron were also said to have discussed the issue of tackling corruption, with both agreeing that this was a priority to ensure Nigeria’s prosperity and success. Britain has promised to support Nigeria’s much needed reforms.Buhari left Nigeria for London last Friday on a trip his media team described as a “private visit”. He is expected back in Nigeria this week ahead of Friday’s inauguration ceremony. Those who want Buhari to hit the ground running on May 29, must accept that he needs to attend talks like this rather than attend ceremonial events back home, sometimes. But it would also be nice to know if he truly saw and talked to Petroleum Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke on board his British Airways flight to London as reports said.

Authorities of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency,NDLEA and embattled senator-elect, Prince Buruji Kashamu, have traded words over the latter’s plan to arrest and arraign the politician before the Federal High Court in Lagos, today. While the NDLEA has berated Kashamu for pointing accusing fingers at former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP, Chief Olabode George, over his trouble with the agency, Kashamu on his part, wondered why the agency should act as spokesman for the two. The NDLEA, in a statement by its Head, Public Affairs, Ofoyeju Mitchell, disclosed that preparation to drag Kashamu to the Federal High Court today had been intensified, explaining that its action was sequel to a formal request received from the embassy of the United States of America for Kashamu’s extradition, over alleged heroin smuggled into the country 20 years ago. According to official report, Kashamu has been on the wanted list of both the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, of the Department of Homeland Security, DHS.” Kashamu has said he’d rather die than be extradited to the US.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo fired a fresh salvo the way of President Goodluck Jonathan, on Sunday, when he looked back at the last eight years and returned with a verdict: The country had been poorly managed under Jonathan. Obasanjo said this when the Iyalode of Yoruba land, Chief Alaba Lawson, led a delegation of South-West women leaders on a visit to his Hilltop residence in Abeokuta. The 78-year-old leader said owing to the mismanagement of the country in the last eight years, the incoming administration of the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, should be prepared to face the daunting challenges that lay ahead. He said, “The country had been poorly managed in the last eight years and it would take some time for Buhari’s government to correct the anomalies. But I want to tell him not to be frightened.” Calling on Nigerians to exercise patience with the incoming administration, Obasanjo said the damage that had been done to the country in the last eight years could not be corrected overnight. But some people are calling Jonathan a hero who deserves encomiums; what do you think?

Against the background of the pervasive fuel crisis, strike calls, mounting government debts, power outages and other problems, the All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday, accused President Goodluck Jonathan of deliberately sabotaging the incoming APC-led government. President Jonathan, on his part, counted peace and stability as positive isues he would hand over even as he confessed that the incoming government would need prayers to overcome the problems it would inherit. President Jonathan spoke at the presidential inauguration church service in Abuja, which was also attended by the Vice President-elect, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. The APC in a statement issued in Abuja, yesterday, by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, appealed to Nigerians not to lose hope despite the daunting challenges they are currently facing, saying help is on the way.

All Progressives Congress, APC, has won in the 22 local government areas that were contested for in the local government elections held on Saturday in Rivers State. The election was marred by low turnout of voters because of the controversy that trailed the date of the election. Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which had gone to court to challenge the council polls, boycotted same, as it had insisted that the time was wrong and the process not transparent.
Similarly, the faction of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, led by Mr. Adah Williams, had last Thursday, called on workers in the state not to participate in the elections. But on Friday, the NLC faction led by Mrs. Beatrice countered the earlier announcement by Williams, urging workers to be part of the elections.
On the day of the polls, heavy rainfall worsened the situation, as the rain which started around 5:25 a.m., prevented Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission, RSIEC, officials from distributing electoral materials early to the polling units. Voters turned out after the rain which stopped at 12noon.
Amidst the controversies and threats, the election was violence free. Voters came out to cast their votes for the candidates of their choice without intimidation. PDP swept the guber polls by more votes than the number of registered voters, only for APC to sweep the grassroots polls across the state. Something does not add up there.

Have a pleasant Monday, May 25, 2015 and enjoy our other news and views of today – HAMILTONSTYLE.


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