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Tinubu slashes foreign, local trips’ expenditures by 60 per cent

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President Bola Tinubu has slashed the expenditure on all official travel, domestic and international trips by 60 per cent.

For foreign trips the president will be accompanied by – 20 persons, while the Vice President will have just five persons and the First Lady will also have five persons, respectively.

For local trips, the president will be accompanied by 25 persons, the Vice President 15 persons while the First lady will have 10 persons.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, who briefed State House Correspondents of the latest development, revealed that President Tinubu has, by his most recent directive, approved a massive cost-cutting exercise that will touch across the entire federal government of Nigeria and the offices of the president himself, the Vice President and the office of the First Lady. It will be conducted in the following fashion.

According to the presidential media aide, official trips within the country, involving the President or the Vice President, will experience significant cost reductions. This is a result of the president’s directive to slash the substantial bills associated with allowances and estacode for security details traveling from Abuja to those states.

He said the security outfits within states, whether it be police DSS, or branches of the military, will frontline his protective detail when he travels to those states, a major cost-cutting initiative that will affect the Office of the Vice President as well as the office of the First Lady.

Ngelale also added that when any international travel is being approved, the following limits have been placed on all ministers of the Federation. Four members of their staff, appointees and the like will be allowed to travel with a minister on official trip.

“For heads of agency, that will be limited to two members of staff allowed to travel on an official trip. Furthermore, the numbers that the President has now approved for official travel with him that will apply to his principal staff are as follows: on international trips the president has directed that no more than 20 individuals be allowed to travel with him.

“That number will be cut down to five in the case of the First Lady. Additionally, the number in the entourage on official international trips for the Vice President will be cut to five, the number that will be placed as a limit on the wife of the Vice President is also five.

He explained that in terms of local trips, the President has approved a new limit of 25 members of staff to accompany him on domestic trips within the country.

He confirmed that the Office of the First Lady is now limited to 10 staff members to accompany her on official trips within the country. The Vice President will be limited to 15 members of staff on official trips within the country, while his wife will be limited to 10 members of staff on officials within the country, the same as the first lady.

His words, “It is pertinent to note that there is a difference between the number of members of staff allowed to travel with the presiding officials to international trips and those that are allowed for domestic. You will find that the numbers on international trips are less than those allowed on domestic trips. This is because international trips are far more expensive across the board and the President is determined to bring total sanity and prudence to the management of the Commonwealth of our people.

“As a result of this, the President has directed that every federal MDA also including the office of the president itself and the Office of the Vice President as well as the offices of the first and Second Ladies, are affected and bound by this directive of the president.

“Henceforth, the President is insistent that the notion of government wastage, the notion of recurrent expenditure being in excess, the notion that government officials will be allowed to conduct their affairs in a way that is different from what we are asking of Nigerian citizens with respect to prudence and cost management, those days are over.

“The President is insistent that the prudence of government officials must reflect the prudence and efficiency of Nigerian citizens and this is the directive of the President. Thank you very much.”

Asked if this new directive on restrictions will come in form of an executive order, Ajuri simply replied, “With respect to the adherence to this most recent directive of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. I believe we do not need to convince the officers of the federal government of Nigeria of the seriousness of the president with respect to how he will implement his directives.

“If there is anybody who feels that the directive of the President is not binding on them and who feels that the President will not uphold this directive in implementation and seeks to test it, they will do so at their own peril.”

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Ogun Govt sympathises with victims of Ado Odo/Ota over rainstorm destruction

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…’We’re in touch with IBEDC for prompt action’

Ogun State  Government said it  is in touch with the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) to ensure the immediate fixing of poles damaged as a result of rainstorm occasioned by Sunday’s downpour in some parts of Sango in Ado Odo/Ota Local Government Area of the state.

The government, in a statement signed by the Special Adviser on Media, Hon. Kayode Akinmade said a team from the state government was in the area on Monday to physically ascertain the extent of damage and to know how to engage with IBEDC, as well as sympathising with victims.

Akinmade noted the cables had not been energised before the destruction, which saved lots of lives.

“Our team went on physical site inspection of the affected area on Monday to ascertain the extent of the damage and to know how to engage with the IBEDC team.

“We are currently working with the IBEDC team led by the Regional Manager and the Technical Head for the Ogun Region. Some of the less affected feeders have been restored and energised while the clean-up of the most affected areas has already started.

“Most of the poles on the roads have been removed while the remaining will be taken out today (Wednesday). We are working with IBEDC to ensure there will be full restoration of power in Sango Ota before the week runs out.

“The government is not relenting in its effort to make sure that we restore power to Sango Ota and its environs and we can assure the citizens that we are on top on the matter.

“We, therefore, commiserate with those whose properties were destroyed by the fallen poles, as the government urged those living in the area to remain calm.”

Residents of lyana lyesi, Osuke Town, Egan Road, lyana Ilogbo, Ijaba, Ijagba, Itele, Lafenwa, Singer, Joju, Alishiba, Oju Ore, Tollgate, Eledi, Akeja, Abebi, Osi Roundabout, Ota Town, Ota Industrial Estate, Igberen, lju, Atan, Onipanu, Obasanjo, Lusada, Arigba, Odugbe, Ado-Odo, Igbesa, Owode. Olokuta, Hanushi, Bamtish Camp Lufiwape, Eltees Farm, August Engineering, Spark Cear Soap Ayetoro, Amazing Grace Oil, Christopher University, Royal Garden Estate were affected by the disaster.

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Ortom urges Alia to work with SGF for more democracy dividends in Benue

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By Titus Atondu, Makurdi

The former Governor of Benue State, Chief Samuel Ortom, has called on his successor, Governor Hyacinth Alia to work in synergy  with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, (SGF), Sen George Akume for sustainable democracy dividends to the state.

 Ortom made the call in Makurdi  while speaking at the public lecture organised by his former aides on the occasion of his 63rd birthday.

Ortom described Sen George Akume as a true father, his leader and mentor and attributed all his achievements in life to the SGF.

He  also thanked Governor Hyacinth Alia for his good will message on his birthday and warned that Benue state has not had the position of SGF in the past and called on Governor Alia to embrace and work with him to enable the state to benefit from the position.

“Benue is our state, we have no other state and no one will come from anywhere to bring peace to Benue.

“Alia must sheathe his sword and find ways to work with the SGF so that all of us can enjoy the dividends of that position,” Ortom maintained.

He noted that elections were conducted and won, litigation were entered and God gave him victory saying, “It is his responsibility to do the needful so that Benue state will be at peace.”

Ortom expressed worry  that Benue is under siege and the governor alone or the SGF and himself cannot fight it alone without working collectively. He therefore noted that, “We are available if we are called upon to support or add value to the peace efforts of the government so that our people can live and enjoy the dividends of democracy.”

He  enjoined Benue people to pray for their leaders, Ortom said, “If I had my way, I would have given everyone the opportunity to be the Governor even in a few days.

“The challenges are enormous. You would not understand the challenges we go through but when you are there, you will understand the issues better.

“Nigeria is passing through very difficult times and that was what I was fighting against and I’m happy that people appreciated what we were doing,” he explained.

He appreciated his former appointees for organising the celebration of his 63 birthday anniversary in his honour.

“I’m very humbled by this special lecture on my 63 birthday celebration. This is not my first but this is the first time I’m witnessing a lecture and I must say that I’m pleased and enriched with all that was said here.

“I was taken unawares. You have made me know that I am appreciated. I thought I was used and dumped. I’m grateful to God for the eight years in office. I did everything with the fear of God, with equity, justice and fairness.

“I must have stepped on toes and those I know and those I didn’t know, I ask for forgiveness. I am humbled by this programme and further encouraged by your presence, kind words and prayers,” Ortom testified.

Guest Lecturer, Prof Samuel Aghalino, in the department of History and International Studies, University of Ilorin who is also the President Historical Society of Nigeria said, “Ortom was that Governor with a face cap. Anyone with a face cap is a revolutionary.

“Ortom played a significant role in extending politics beyond the borders of the state.

“He is one of the few politicians that stood in defense of his people, and was passionate in standing for human value while also demonstrating uncommon leadership.

“He was committed to the wellbeing of his people and stood vehemently, against the then government for murdering justice, fairness, equity and accountability, adding that Ortom expressed a rare readiness to cooperate with the investigations.

“He was a servant leader at a great cost to himself. At a time, during the Buhari administration, the doors of Aso Rock, the seat of power was shut against him for speaking the truth to power and holding the powerful accountable. I wonder how he survived.

“Ortom believes that politicians do not have to strive to be perfect to provide good governance to the people because only God is perfect. In his mind, you only have to love the people, therefore when it comes to democratic considerations, Ortom represents the school of thought that existence must take precedence over essence in governance.”

He said Ortom will be remembered by his people for the numerous things he has done and still doing.

Nigerian NewsDirect reports that the lecture was graced by prominent personalities like the former Attorney General of the federation and minister of Justice, Mike Aondakaa, Speaker, Plateau State House of Assembly, Gabriel Dewan, Member representing Apa-Agatu Federal Constituency, Pastor, Ojotu Ojema, Former Deputy Governor, Engr Benson Abounu, representatives of the Tor Tiv, Professor James Ayatse, Ter Gwer Dominic Akpete, the Ochidoma, Ogabaidu John Elaigwu represented by Dr Chris Ijale among others

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Katsina Gov. tasks corps members on nation building, cultism

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By Matthew Denis

The Governor of Katsina State, Mallam Dikko Umaru Radda has tasked National Youth Service Corps members deployed to the State for the one year national service to strive towards nation building.

This is contained in a statement signed by Director, Press and Public Relations, Eddy Megwa, to the governor and made available to journalists on Wednesday.

He also lauded the immense contributions of successive batches of corps members to the socio-economic development of Katsina State over the years, especially through corps members community development service projects and also increasing the manpower needs in schools and in the industrial sector across the State.

Governor Raddah disclosed this at the NYSC Katsina State Orientation Camp, while speaking through his Deputy, Alhaji Farouk Lawal Jobe during the swearing-in ceremony of the prospective corps members deployed to the State.

The Governor urged the corps members to embrace the opportunities of the orientation course to prepare themselves for leadership responsibilities.

“I challenge you to live up to the standard already set by your predecessors. It is my belief that the orientation lectures will stimulate you to strive for the socio-economic development of our country.

“I urge you to see the opportunity of your call to service as a rare opportunity and your commitment to the Oath of Allegiance to your fatherland”, he said.

He also advised the corps members to shun cultism, political and religious intolerance with other forms of anti-social behaviour.

The NYSC Katsina State Coordinator, Hajiya Aisha Muhammad in her address stated that the orientation course is the first among the cardinal programmes of the NYSC, which was designed to prepare corps members for the challenges of the service year and beyond.

She added that the orientation course, which is a regimented environment has over the years been able to inculcate in the youth, the spirit of positive citizenship, leadership values including the ideals of commitment to national assignment, patriotism, integrity, diligence and loyalty to the fatherland.

“I enjoin you to obey all camp rules and regulations as any erring corps member will be referred to the Camp court for appropriate sanctions in line with the provision of the NYSC by-laws,” She added.

The Coordinator also said a total of 1,410 prospective corps members comprising 715 males and 695 females were deployed to the State.

The Director General of National Youth Service Corps, Brigadier General YD Ahmed who was among the dignitaries that witnessed the swearing-in ceremony earlier in the day implored the corps members to take full advantage of the NYSC Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development (SAED) programme and acquire at least a skill while in camp.

The DG added that skills acquisition is the remedy to the increasing youth unemployment in the country.

General Ahmed who urged the corps members to be security conscious at all times also advised them to obey the cultural beliefs of their host communities.

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