By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah, Abuja There are plans to replace the card reader in the conduct of elections in the country,the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Mohammed Sani Haruna has said. He gave the hint yesterday after the National Economic Council ( NEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa. LEADERSHIP recalls that the card reader which was first used in the 2015 general election, is a portable electronic voter authentication device, configured to read only the Permanent Voter Cards issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission. The card reader was designed specifically for the accreditation process, authentication of eligible voters before voting.The machine was configured to read only the PVCs of a particular polling unit and can only work on Election Day. According to Haruna,the replacement would be  a made in Nigeria “Solar-Powered Electronic Voting System” to effectively mitigate current...
By MBACHU GODWIN NNANNA, Abuja The  Economic Financial Crime Commission  (EFCC) has refuted claim by the Senate ad hoc investigation committee that it share properties recovered by the commission. A statement by the spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, yesterday, reads “The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been drawn to comments attributed to the chairman of the Senate Ad Hoc Committee investigating the controversial reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Miana, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, alleging that officials of the Commission shared 222 properties which Maina’s Panel seized from pension fund thieves. “This sweeping allegation, coming from a Senate Committee is disturbing more so as no attempt was made to verify the information from the Commission. The EFCC was never invited by the Committee and given the opportunity to educate it on the status of assets seized from suspected pension thieves; yet the Committee was comfortable to scandalize the EFCC with the public disclosure of...

Reps Order Probe Of Etisalat Debt

By ADEBIYI ADEDAPO, Abuja The House of Representatives yesterday mandated its committee on Telecommunications  to investigate and ascertain the circumstances which led to the collapse of Etisalat Network so as to protect the interest of Nigerian subscribers. The House expressed worry that failure of Etisalat to meet its debt servicing obligations with 13 banks since 2016 forced its foreign shareholders out of the firm as the company was eventually taken over by the banks. Chairman of the committee, Hon Saheed Akinade-Fijabi in a motion titled, “Need to Investigate the Collapse of Etisalat Nigeria (Now 9mobile) in order to protect the interest of Nigerian Subscribers and other Stakeholders,” noted that the take over was against the letters and spirit of the Nigerian Communications Act. “The takeover of Etisalat which was renamed 9mobile by the banks is a clear violation of section 38(1) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, which provides that the grant of...

Minimum Wage Gets PMB’s Nod

...Ama Pepple to head 30-man negotiation team By Michael Oche, Abuja The call by Labour for a new minimum wage of N56,000 has received presidential consideration after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the appointment of a 30-member tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee for the negotiation of a new salary scheme for workers in the country. This move comes as a relief to workers who have waited for over a year for discussions to kick off in this matter. LEADERSHIP Friday recalls that the organised labour, comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress (TUC), had during the 2016 May Day demanded a N56, 000 upward review of the nation’s minimum wage from the current figure of N18,000. By its tripartite nature, the committee is made up of persons from the public sector (federal and state governments) and the private sector made up of the largest private employer group, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA),...

FG Moves To Reintroduce Tollgates

...Says S/East, S/South Roads worst in the country BY AHURAKA ISAH AND SOLOMON AYADO, Abuja The federal government, through minister of Power, Works and Housing,  Babatunde Fashola (SAN), hinted yesterday that it had concluded arrangements to reintroduce toll gates at 38 points across the country after the completion of works on the highways. This was just as the federal government has admitted that the worst roads in the country are located in South South and South East geopolitical zones, with some of the major federal roads in the 11 states constructed before the 1967-1970 Nigerian Civil War. Fashola, who appeared before members of the Senate Committee on Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), headed by Senator Magnus Abe, said efforts were in top gear to fix the roads. He also revealed that the N100 billion sourced through the Sukuk bond was yet to be released to his ministry to carry out 25 major road construction...
By Jonathan Nda-Isaiah The committee set up by the National Economic Council (NEC) on forensic audit of revenue accrued into the Federation Account, Excess Crude Account and Consolidated Revenue Fund from revenue-generating agencies has uncovered some fraud in 13 agencies . This was disclosed by the Ondo State governor, Rotimi Akeredolu after the NEC meeting yesterday presided over by Vice president Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He listed the agencies to include the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Ports Authority ( NPA) and Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), among others. He said: “The audit covers the period from 2010 to May 2015. Council was informed that there were possible under remittances from certain revenue-generating agencies to the Federation Account among others. Council was also informed of questionable loans granted by some of the revenue-generating agencies. “Out of the 18 agencies in which forensic audit was conducted, the committee completed work on...
By Juliana Agbo, with Agency Report Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe was granted immunity from prosecution and assured that his safety would be protected in his home country as part of a deal that led to his resignation, sources close to the negotiations said yesterday. Mugabe, who had ruled Zimbabwe from independence in 1980, stepped down on Tuesday after the army seized power and the ruling party turned against him. Emmerson Mnangagwa, the former vice president sacked by Mugabe earlier this month, is set to be sworn in as president today. A government source said Mugabe, who is 93, told negotiators he wanted to die in Zimbabwe and had no plans to live in exile. “It was very emotional for him and he was forceful about it,” said the source, who is not authorised to speak on the details of the negotiated settlement. “For him, it was very important that he be guaranteed security to...
By Abu Nmodu, Minna All is now set for the 9th Nupe Day celebration coming up tomorrow.  The event will be hosted by the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, at the Wadata House. The governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya  Bello, is the special guest of honour at the event which will also be attended by governors Abubakar Sani Bello, (Niger), Alhaji Ahmed Abdufatah ( Kwara), Willie Obiano (Anambra), and Ben Ayade (Cross River). A statement by the chairman of the publicity committee of the event and Danmasani Yanma Nupe, Alhaji  Muhammad Kudu Abubakar, noted that all necessary arrangements had been put in place for the display of the cultural heritage of Nupe land in dances and songs. Alhaji  Abubakar said the unique feature of this year’s celebration is the invitation of foreign missions in Nigeria to witness the culture of Nupe people. He stated that the security agencies will cover the event just...
...As 8 teams battle for unity football tournament By Andrew Essien, Abuja The governing All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governors have expressed greater commitment to sports development, saying they will deploy it as a veritable tool for curbing unemployment, secessionist threats and youth restiveness. Already, about eight teams are currently participating in the ongoing weeklong maiden edition of the APC National Unity Cup Football Championship in Abuja. Some of the teams from various states taking part in the competition targeted at hunting for talents to feed the various nationals teams include Jigawa, Taraba, Niger, Kogi, Benue, Nasarawa states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Speaking at the kick off ceremony of the tournament on Wednesday's evening, National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun as well as governors of Niger and Nasarawa states made the commitment, saying APC government was committed to use sports for creation of jobs and to solve youth restiveness. Oyegun...
By Tope Fayehun, Akure The Federal High Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State Capital has fixed January 30th, 2018 for definite hearing on the suit challenging the removal of Hon. Isaacs Kekemeke as the chairman of the APC in Ondo State. Kekemeke was removed as the Chairman of the party earlier this year after the disciplinary committee set up by state Executive Committee(SEC) , indicted him over alleged anti-party affairs. In the suit filled by the duo of Gboyega Adedipe and Desmond Dejumola on behalf of Kekemeke with Suit No; FHC/AK/CS/45/2017 ,argued that the disciplinary committee set up to investigate the chairman was unconstitutional , saying they were not constituted in relation to the party's constitution. While giving his application for further adjournment in the suit, he however confirmed that the leadership of the party both at the State and Zonal levels are making moves to resolve the matter politically. Asking for a...