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Reps disown trending draft bill seeking return to regional govt

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The House of Representatives has disowned a trending draft ‘bill’ for discussion, seeking a return to the regional system of government.

Titled, “A Bill for an Act to substitute the annexure to Decree 24 of 1999 with a new governance model for the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the draft seeks among others, a new extant laws to be cited as “The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria New Governance Model for Nigeria Act 2024.”

The document, which has been trending on social media, is said to have been drafted by one Dr Akin Fapohunda, who is neither a lawmaker in the Senate or the House of Representatives; an indication that the said draft legislation is a private bill.

Dismissing the draft bill in a telephone conversation with our correspondent, House spokesman,  Akin Rotimi, said, “The Committees on Rules and Business and Constitution Review have confirmed that there is no such bill before them.”

Similarly, the Chairman, House Committee on Rules and Business, Francis Waive, told PUNCH Online that the said bill is not before the committee.

He said, “There are two routes to making presentations for constitutional amendments. One is by members proposing an amendment bill during the plenary. The second is by memoranda from individuals and groups to the Constitution Review Committee

“Please, note that memoranda submitted should eventually come by way of bills sponsored by a member of the committee.
On this specific memo (draft bill) under reference, I doubt if it has come before the Rules and Business Committee for listing. I speak as chairman of the committee.”

Meanwhile, the man behind the bill spoke with our correspondent exclusively on the matter on Friday.

Fapohunda told our correspondent that he retired from the public service as a director in the Presidency.

“I have a PhD. in Agricultural Science, but I am into Information and Communication Technology. I have been involved in constitution drafting for years,” he said.

Fapohunda gave a reason for coming up with the draft bill, saying, “The President, this week returned us to the old national anthem. At independence, Nigeria embraced a regional system of government. So, I felt we could also revisit the past and return to regionalism.

‘I have done a preliminary draft for Nigerians to ponder over. Next week, I will be seeing my representative in the House of Representatives. We hope that senators and House members can embrace this modest proposal for a change.

“If this is acceptable, we can then sit down and do a proper drafting of the bill.”

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Double taxation: Ogun govt. moves to harmonise taxes, levies

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Ogun Government says it is working round the clock to ensure harmonisation of taxes and levies to reduce incidence of double taxation that may affect the revenue base of businesses in the state.

Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adebola Sofela, said this during a visit to the Managing Director of Nestle Nigeria, Mr Wassim Elhusseini, on Friday.

Sofela said that his visit was occasioned by the need to boost the existing relationship between the state government and its various stakeholders and to further collaborate and share ideas on areas of common interest.

He expressed the Gov. Dapo Abiodun-led administration’s commitment to capacity building at all levels.

As a practical demonstration of this, the commissioner said that that technical schools across the state were being upgraded to ensure companies that did not have any gap in power to fill the technical needs.

Sofela, who was accompanied by top management staff members of the ministry, stated that the present administration had improved land administration system to enable investors get title documents without delay in order to leverage for financing.

He said that government had been creating new industrial clusters to take care of the new influx of investors and prepare for the future.

The commissioner appealed to the various companies across the three senatorial districts to consider the qualified residents of the state for employment, as part of efforts to promote their relationship with host communities.

“We are working to ensure harmonisation of taxes and levies to reduce the incidence of double taxation.

“The governor is particularly interested in creating an enabling environment for business to thrive, considering government’s huge investments in security and infrastructure,” he said.

In his remarks, the Managing Director of the firm, said that 80 per cent of his company’s investments were domiciled in Ogun.

According to Elhusseini, the state government is in the right direction with its business-friendly policies.

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Reps committee to probes appointments of NASRDA, RMRDC DGs

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The House of Representatives on Friday unveiled plans to investigate the appointments of Director General of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Prof. Martins Ike-Muonso.

The committee will also investigate the appointment of the Director-General of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) Dr Mathew Adepoju.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Chairman of the committee, Rep. Olaide .

The committee chairman said that a six-member panel headed by Rep. Abiodun Akinlade had been inaugurated to carry out the probe.

He said both DGs were recently appointed by the Minister of Innovation Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnanji.

“The panel is to look at the procedure of the appointments qualification and the compliance with the relevant laws and regulations that established both agencies.

“The panel is to invite the Minister of Innovation Science and Technology, the Secretary to the Federal Government, Head of Service and both DGs amongst others.

“The panel has two weeks to within which to submit its report,” he said.

The chairman promised that the assignment will be free and fair saying that the aim is not to witch hunt anyone but to put the records straight.

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Tinubu to observe Eid-el-Kabir in Lagos

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President Bola Tinubu will depart Abuja for Lagos state on Friday ahead of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.

This is contained in a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, in Abuja.

The statement said the President would observe Eid-el-Kabir in Lagos, where he would also spend the Sallah holidays.

“The President will mark the occasion in prayers and reflection on advancing the transformation of Nigeria in line with his Renewed Hope Agenda,” said the statement.

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