Angola defeated in COSAFA Cup

Angola national senior women’s team were defeated Sunday 1-3 by Zambia in the second round of group B of the COSAFA Cup played at Dobsonville stadium, Pretoria, South Africa.

Zambia had a 2-0 lead at the end of the first half, with goals scored by Jere (3′) and NKole (20′).

At minute 85, Jere found the back of the net once again to increase the lead (3-0),Luvunga reduced the score for the Angolans at minute 90+1(1-3).

The Angola national team dropped to second place in group B with three points.

The group is led by Zambia with four points, while Mozambique are in third place with one point and Comoros Islands at the bottom of the table with no points

Source: Angola Press News Agency


Angola attends UNHCR Executive Committee meeting

Angola takes part in the 74th session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme (ExCom) of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) taking place on October 9-13 in Geneva, Switzerland, ANGOP has learnt.

According to a press release, Angola attends the event with a delegation led by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Esmeralda Mendonça, that includes Ambassador Margarida Izata, representative of the Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, diplomats from the Permanent Mission and humanitarian specialists of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Interior.

Angola takes part in this event for the first time as a member state, following its election on April 5 2023 in New York as the 108th member of the ExCom.

Angola will take part in the general debate, which is expected to focus on regional and global issues on the challenges of migration, as well as the country’s multi-annual voluntary financial contribution to the UN agency.

Alongside the programme for the 74th session of the UNHCR, the Angolan delegation has several meetings on the agenda.

The delegation is expected to meet with Raouf Mazou, the UNHCR’s Deputy High Commissioner for Operations, the ambassador of the United States of America, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and Communities of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, Gareth Guadalupe, among others.

The ExCom is a subsidiary body of the United Nations General Assembly that came into operation on January 1, 1959.

Source: Angola Press News Agency


SMEDAN empowers women farmers cooperative societies in Oyo

The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) has conducted training and empowerment programmes for selected women-owned farmers’ cooperative societies in Oyo State.

The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports that the primary objective of this initiative is to enhance the productivity and export potential of these farmers in the manufacturing and processing sectors within the state.

The Director-General, SMEDAN, Dr Olawale Fasanya, at the closing ceremony of the capacity building for the Women in Self-Employment Programme (WISE-P), in Ibadan, said the training was to enhance the production of high-quality foods.

Fasanya, who was represented by SMEDAN Deputy Director, Special Duties, Mr Tunde Oloyede, said that the programme included entrepreneurship and enterprise training, with a specific focus on Hazard and Critical Control Point (HACCP) and delivery of empowerment equipments.

According to him, the training package, designed to enhance the beneficiaries’ capacity, will not produce quality products that only meet the standards of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) but other international market requirements.

“This capacity building will also create a financial enablement for women cooperatives and their businesses on the needed sound footing for impact – in terms of pride, profit, and diversification.

“The objectives of this programme, therefore, include to encourage more women cooperatives to embrace processing and manufacturing food related products as a viable business option and to encourage the diversification of the economy away from crude oil into non-oil exports,” he said.

Also, Mr Ademola Ojo, the Commissioner for Trade, Industry, Investment, and Cooperatives in Oyo State, urged the beneficiaries to leverage the skills acquired during the training to expand and effectively manage their vocational enterprises.

Ojo said this would help them to focus on wealth creation and employment generation within the cooperative societies.

He noted that it would contribute positively to the nation’s economy and improve the standard of living for citizens.

“I wish to add that the Oyo State Government, under the leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde, will continue to provide an enabling environment for private enterprises to thrive in the state,” he said.

In his lecture, Dr James Marsh, a food safety consultant from HAACP Academy Nigeria (HAN), charged the participants to be mindful of food hygiene, food fraud, food terrorism, bioterrorism and food sabotage in their operations.

He urged the participants to always imbibe and practice food safety so that they could favourably compete with producers in the international community.

“Majority of ailments that people have is as a result of what they eat.

“Life expectancy rate in Nigeria is not an encouraging figure, we need to focus more on preventive medicine through food safety.

“Government also need to do more on food sensitisation,” he said.

One of the beneficiaries from Agricultural Exporting Farmers’ Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Dr Oluwatomisin Olatunji, said that the training had exposed the participants to food safety system that would ensure that Nigeria products are accepted both locally and internationally.

Another beneficiary from Olorunsogo Oba-Agbe Mechanised Farmers’ Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Mrs Damilola Bukola, urged government to ensure strict compliance with food industry regulations.

She said this would help to improve standard of food coming out of Nigeria to international community.

NAN reports that the two selected cooperatives were empowered with dehydrator for drying food products, slicing machine, power miller for milling dried products and automatic sealing machine for sealing finished products.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Fiscal Responsibility Commission cautions banks on non-compliance to Act

The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) on Saturday highlighted the risks associated with banks lending in a manner that contravenes the Section 45 of its Fiscal Responsibility Act.

Its Executive Chairman, Mr Victor Muruako, who spoke at a one-day stakeholders dialogue in Lagos, said such manner could also have severe consequences for banks and the Nigerian economy as a whole.

The dialogue was on implementing Section 45 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commission began discussions with banks and financial institutions in the country to ensure that their lending practices consistently comply with provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act(FRA).

Muruako emphasised that although borrowing by the government and public institutions is a tool for development, lending by banks and financial institutions in violation of the provision is unlawful.

Despite the simplicity and clarity of the Act’s language, he pointed out that banks often approve and disburse loans to subnational governments without fully adhering to the provisions of the FRA.

Muruako said: “Not once in the commission’s verification exercises, has it confirmed that a Proof of Compliance With Provision of the FRA was specifically requested for and obtained by a bank or financial institution before lending to any government.

“Also, only one, out of a recent sample of 13 loans to governments across the country, had an associated ‘Cost-Benefit Analysis’, detailing the economic and social benefits of the purpose to which the intended borrowing is to be applied.

The FRA chairman said there lawsuits in courts across the country, challenging the propriety of some bank loans to governments and public institutions, based on provisions of the FRA 2007.

Muruako said: “The unsavory effect of this non-compliance, may spread well beyond the individual banks to the inside macroeconomic space.

“Since the commission has responsibility toward macroeconomic stability, we thought it necessary to hold this stakeholders dialogue to get the perspectives of banks and also stem the tide before it’s too late.

“I urge the banks and other financial institutions to support the bold macroeconomic reform initiative of President Bola Tinubu’s administration.

“By being intentional in helping to reduce the risk of macroeconomic instability through ensuring that their lending practice consistently comply with provisions of the FRA.”

Muruako appreciated the leadership of Access bank for their support in organising the event and stakeholders in the financial industry for their cooperation with FRA.

In his remark, Mr Felix Obiamalu, a lawyer, advised the FRC to work toward engaging the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and carry them along to ease the implementation of the provision.

Obiamalu, also Associate Director, Legal and Sanctions, Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit,

stated that the FRA should also be empowered to enforce compliance to the FRA.

This, he noted, could be done by enabling laws to sanction and penalise defaulters of the Act.

In his presentation, Prof. Uche Uwaleke of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, also harped on the need to curb borrowings from government at all levels.

He said this had become more for consumption, rather than for capital projects.

Uwaleke noted that government borrowings over the years had been on the rise, as the country currently has over N87 trillion public debt.

According to him, this is causing strain on government balance sheet and stifling the nation’s development.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that stakeholders at the dialogue included: representatives of NGF, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Chief Compliance Officers, Chief Risk Officers, Chief Legal Officers and Chief Executive Officers of banks, among others.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


25 states pass Fiscal Responsibility Law – Governors’ Forum

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) says not less than 25 states in the country have passed the Fiscal Responsibility Law.

It also said that 30 state have passed the Debt Management law.

The Director-General, NGF, Mr Asishana Okauru, said this while delivering a goodwill message at the Fiscal Responsibility Commission’s ( FRCs) Stakeholders Dialogue on Implementation of Section 45 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) in Lagos.

Okauru, represented by Mr Olanrewaju Ajogbasile, Senior Programme Manager, NGF, said that states were also domesticating core principles of the FRA, regarding fiscal planning and management.

He revealed that 15 states recorded an average monthly debt service that was less than 40 per cent of gross Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) for 2021 financial year and total debt stock at the end of December 2021.

According to him, although section 45 of the FRA is the premise of the deliberation, all sections of the Act or state’s FRL’s, are reinforcing of each other in terms of delivering fiscal sustainability across the tiers of government.

“Unfortunately, certain flexibilities and a weak consequence system, renders full compliance a choice.

“Likewise, fiscal planning has largely remained unrealistic due to paucity of requisite data, low Own Source Revenue (OSR), increase in permanent and development expenditures.

“As well as the susceptibility to volatiles in FAAC, crude oil, inflation rate and exchange rate parameters, among others,” he said.

According to him, the NGF Secretariat will continue to advocate as good practice the tenets and provision of the Act through its engagements, initiatives and discourse around fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability.

In a keynote address, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Dr George Akume, said that the dialogue was organised to promote the need for subnational to borrow through the right channels and for the right reasons.

Akume, represented by Dr David Eze, Assistant Director, Finance and Account, OSGF, stated that the commission must adhere to laid down rules that ensure that government officials at all levels do not abuse the process of borrowing.

He noted that governments across the world grow faster and better through very good and strong institutions, rules and regulations, hence the implementation of the FRA 2007 is worthwhile.

The SGF stated that there was the need to urgently address some of the excesses and infractions of the FRA 2007, particularly with the banks.

Akume also demanded for adequate machineries to effectively control and properly manage public resources, as public debt lowers the future generation’s well-being.

He expressed worry that the private sector may be discouraged from investing in the states, if the government needs to service debt and also provide a satisfactory environment for investment in infrastructure.

“Although, it is believed that the efficiency and equity benefit of borrowing by subnational government outweighs associated macroeconomic risk, factors such as lack of institutional capacity.

“Also, quest to control subnational government impulse in running excessive deficit and the need to take their fiscal excesses in the area of borrowing cannot be overemphasised,” he said.

According to him, systemic subnational insolvency may impede the growth of the capital market, deter fiscal space for infrastructure investment, threaten financial stability and core public services.

Akume said that might create pressure on the Federal Government to provide financial assistance to ensure a continued provision of essential public services.

The SGF insisted that a disciplined borrowing processes was needed to avoid the potential long term consequences of subnational borrowings of fiscal sustainability and macroeconomic stability.

He stated that FRA 2007 was enacted to ensure the coordination of the national economy policy between various tiers of government.

The SGF expressed that the ACT also enables the monitoring of agencies that were off budget, but whose activities had significant impact on fiscal policies.

He lauded FRC for organising the meeting at a time when the Nigeria economy is faced with key challenges.

Akume said that the country needed to develop strategy on how to structurally reform the economy, move labour and economic resources from low productivity to high productivity sector.

“The dialogue is justified, as the government is damning to get things right from the beginning to avoid mistakes that have dragged the nation into huge domestic and foreign debt.

“Accordingly, this particular direction is to ensure that the nation follows the laid down rules and regulations, in order to ensure prudence, transparency and accountability in the management of public funds and also to depart from such practices that have left so much debt for successive government,”: he said.

Earlier, the Executive Chairman, FRC, Mr Victor Muruako, said that banks and financial institutions in the country must ensure that their lending practices consistently comply with provisions of the FRA.

Muruako, a lawyer, said that to eliminate ambiguity, Section 45(1) of the FRA, all banks and financial institutions shall request and obtain Proof of Compliance with the provision of the Act before lending to any government in the federation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that stateholders at the dialogue included: representatives of NGF, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, Chief Compliance (NIDC) Officers, Chief Risk Officers, Chief Legal Officers and Chief Executive Officers of banks, among others.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Tendering fresh evidence at Supreme Court is herculean task-Erokoro, SAN

A legal luminary, Mr Paul Erokoro, SAN, says tendering additional evidence at the Supreme Court is an uphill task that requires a great deal of effort.

According to him, the rules admitting fresh evidence at the Supreme Court are very stringent.

Erokoro made the remark on Sunday in Abuja in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the type of evidence that can be admitted at the Supreme Court.

He said the general rule is that additional evidence is not encouraged at the apex court.

“The general rules is that additional evidence at the Supreme Court or any Court of Appeal is not encouraged at all, but that doesn’t mean that it is totally forbidden.

“However, the rules for admitting it are very stringent.

“The first is that such evidence is going to be extremely material to the resolution of the issues in the case. That’s one of the hurdles to be crossed.

“The second hurdle is that such evidence could not have been procured during the trial at the trial court by reasonable diligence.

“So it is either the evidence was not available at the time of the trial or it could not, by any kind of due diligence or any reasonable effort, be made available.

“For evidence to be admissible at the Supreme Court or in any Court of Appeal, it has to, at a very minimum, satisfied those two conditions,” he said.

On whether there are provisions in the constitution allowing a party to tender additional evidence at the apex court, the senior lawyer said: “Most of these rules are case laws and the Evidence Act does not specifically make these provisions.”

He stressed that it is only backed by the rules of the court.

“In the case of election petition, the constitution requires that the proceeding be concluded within 180 days at the election tribunal which, in the case of the presidential election, is the Court of Appeal.

“So the Court of Appeal which may have power to admit additional evidence cannot have any jurisdiction if the jurisdiction of the trial court has expired.

“For instance, if a Court of Appeal has within six months to hear and conclude a presidential election matter and the six months have expired, even if the Supreme Court wanted to admit an additional evidence, it doesn’t seem to me that it would be able to admit such evidence after the expiration of the six months,” he said.

According to him, if such evidence becomes available, it is very likely that it cannot be admitted on appeal.

“This is because it may not meet the jurisdictional requirement which is that a court which has jurisdiction to do it, will it have done it at this time.

“And if the period available for the trial court has expired, there is nothing the Appeal Court, in this case, the Supreme Court, can do,” he said.

Erokoro said that the Supreme Court or any appellate court in the country had 60 days within which to hear and conclude election matters.

He said even though the Supreme Court has jurisdiction to hear the appeal, it would have jurisdiction only in relation to the appeal.

“The fact that the Supreme Court has only two months within which to hear the appeal will not revive the jurisdiction of the trial court,” he added.

On whether there is a period within which a Supreme Court can admit additional evidence, Erokoro said: “Except when it is dealing with matters that have come before it under its original jurisdiction, the Supreme Court doesn’t, generally, admit evidence.

“It is an appeal court and its function is to see whether the matter was properly tried at the trial court, and not to admit additional evidence.

“It’s just that there are few exceptions to the rules regards that and those exceptions, I have already explained to you.

“But outside that, the Supreme Court, generally, doesn’t like to admit additional evidence because it is not fair to the trial court which did not hear that.

“Two, you will not give the other party the chance to, maybe, gather evidence that could have contradicted that one.

“So that is why the rules are very strict and that’s why you don’t see it happening all the time.”

He said though the move could succeed, he described it as “an uphill task.”

When asked about grounds that an already decided case can be reviewed at the Supreme Court, he said though the grounds are not determined by law, there are rules of trial that are universal in Nigeria.

“One of them is whether due process was followed, admissible evidence rejected or inadmissible evidence admitted, if trial court failed to act fairly to both sides, if the lower court made mistake as regard the law to be applied, etc.

“So there are so many possibilities that the grounds of appeal can be built around,” he said.

Erokoro said though it was reported in the media that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s presidential candidate in the Feb. 25 poll, planned to file new evidence at the apex court, it was still in the realm of speculation.

“This is actually within the realm of speculation because I have not seen the evidence beyond what the press has reported and I don’t know whether those who issued the documents are prepared to come to court, otherwise, there is a risk of what is called, ‘documentary hearsay,’” he said.

NAN reports Abubakar on Friday sought the leave of the Supreme Court to bring in fresh additional evidence to prove that President Tinubu submitted a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in aid of his qualification for the presidential election.

The documents Atiku sought to tender are Tinubu’s academic records, which were handed over to him by Chicago State University (CSU) on Oct. 2.

The 32-page documents were released to the former Vice President on the orders of Judge Nancy Maldonado of the District Court of Illinois, Eastern Division, Illinois, U.S.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Kaduna PDP unperturbed by ex-govenor Yero, Gaiya’s exit – Hyat

Mr Felix Hyat, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman in Kaduna State, has said that the exit of former governor Ramalan Yero and Rep. Godfrey Gaiya would not affect the party’s strength.

The duo recently left the party with Gaiya, currently an aide to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, moving to the APC while Yero is yet to announce his next destination.

The party also recently lost Mr Tanko Rossi, the “generous” super delegate, who openly shared millions of naira to his constituents after he returned from PDP presidential primary election.

Rossi, who said that the money was what he received as a delegate to the primaries, defected to the APC and has since been a major critic of his former political party.

Hyat, while reacting to their exit in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, said their exit would “never” affect the party’s fortunes as none of them had any political weight.

“They were mere paper weights. They had no influence. We are not going to miss any of them.

“None of them has said that the PDP maltreated him. We did not do anything to offend anyone.

“They came on their own volition. None of them did not get a good share even above their contributions to the party.

“The former governor became a commissioner of finance without being a member of the PDP.

“As a sitting governor, he contested and lost the governorship seat in 2015. He contested for the ticket to seek the seat later but lost the primaries.

“As for Gaiya, he got two terms in House of Representatives and left after losing elections.

“He came even lower, politically speaking, and sought to be a local government chairman but lost the primaries woefully.

“I am told that he was promised the then vacant Kaduna State ministerial slot if he defected, but it has been taken now. He may have do another political arithmetic. It is up to him.

“So, their exit cannot pain anyone. They are not strong politicians with any particular support base.”

Hyat said that PDP was the leading party in Kaduna having won the three senate seats and 10 out of 16 House of Representatives seats.

Hyat also spoke on suggestions that the PDP made some poor calculations ahead of the 2023 general elections.

“I have of such suggestions, but the fact is that there was no way any PDP leader could have impose any candidate because the primary elections were handled by ad-hoc delegates that came from the wards.

“The room for manipulation was not there at all. Even in the presidential election, it was the same delegates that decided.

“All presidential candidates requested for, and met, the delegates.”

On the management of the campaigns in Kaduna State, he said that efforts were made to ensure that everyone was carried along.

“Some people felt not carried along, but we gave each governoship aspirant the opportunity to nominate five people into the campaign structure.

“We also ensured that one of such nominees headed one of the Direcorates.

“I did not shut people out. I couldn’t have done that when we needed all hands on deck to win the elections.

“The problem is that everyone wants to be a leader, but we have always said that people should strive to deliver their areas of operation so that, collectively, we shall achieve success.”

He also spoke on the Nov. 13 governorship elections in Imo, Bayelsa and Kogi.

“We believe that the PDP has a good chance of picking the three seats.

“We cannot overrule the role that incumbency could on matters like this, but INEC does its job well and every vote counts, PDP shouldn’t have any problem in the three states,” he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Ile-Ife history deeper than what is available in academic institutions – Ooni

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja 11, has said that the history of the ancient city of Ile-Ife is deeper than what is available in academic institutions.

Ooni disclosed this on Saturday during the press conference on the theme: “International Conference on Ile-Ife and Yoruba Civilisation: The Nexus between Tradition and Modernity”, held at his palace in Ile-Ife.

He lauded the organisers of the event saying that it would pave the way for proper documentation of Ile-Ife history.

“As the 51st Ooni of Ife, in the third dynasty of Ife, i noted that there are so many facts that were not written down about the nexus of tradition and modality.

“Our oral tradition has not been adequately written down, so many facts and figures were distorted from the original history of Kaaro-o-o-jiire.

“For me to build the legacy for the entire Kaaro-o-o-jiire race, that is known as Yoruba people, we are discovering every day that our history is deeper than what we have in various academic institutions,” OOni said.

He commended the team led by Prof. Siyan Oyefeso, as very passionate and fantastic people working together to put history in the right perspective.

The royal father revealed that Ghanians had traced their lineage to Aga-Ako in Ile-Ife and that Euthopians are sons and daughters of Oramiya in Okerewe, Eredumi ruling house in Ife till date.

‘Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania categorically told me when i travelled to their countries that they migrated from Ile-Ife and they are sons and daughters of the source, while all these cannot be found in any archive.

“We are leading the team globally, nobody has documented the three dynasties, only the last dynasty, Ife Akanlubebe, which am the 51st Ooni, was documented to a large extent.

“But the two, Ife Oodaye and Ife Ooyelagbo, some professors talked briefly on them, but during this internatioanl conference, the duo will be deeply rooted.

“Their rulers, supernatural beings that form these dynasties like: the Luwos, the Agbaakos., the Oromos, Oranmiyans, all over the continents of Africans, the Bantoos, the Baribas will be dealth with,” Ooni added.

Oba Ogunwusi tasked the indigenes to support the conveners of the conference in order to properly document the history of their race.

“If we fail to do it this time around, nobody will do it for us, we cannot be waiting for any western country to continue with wrong documentation,” he said.

Earlier, Oyefeso, a Lecturer at the Department of History, International Studies, Osun State University, said the conference is an international academic gathering that needs the royal blessing of Ooni.

Oyefeso said that apart from royal the blessing, the conference would deepen the body of literature on Ile-Ife and Yoruba civilisation.

He stated facts would be established that Ile-Ife is not just the cradle of Yoruba race, but a place where Yoruba identity was formed.

“Right from the Oduduwa revolution to the three phases of Ile-Ife history, Ife Oodaye, Ife Oyelagbo and Ife Akanlubebe has not been put in right perspective.

“We want to ensure that Nigerians are aware that before the 51st dynasty, there had been three phases and its the third phase that his royal majesty is now the 51st Ooni of Ife.

“So when people talk about the history of Ile-Ife, they talk about it in generic terms, we want to draw that distinction,” the convener said.

“The main purpose of the conference is to invite body of scholars at the international, national, state and local levels to reexamine the existing literature.

“And to come out with a new original and unsearched evidence which might have been unresearched. A number of experts in Yoruba history, archeology would be part of the conference.

“Eminent scholars overseas and Nigeria that would partake in the conference are:Prof. Cordelia Osasona, Professor of Architecture,OAU;Prof. Oyeronke Olademo, Professor of Coparative Religious Studies of the Unilorin.

Others include: Prof. Akin Ogundiran, Professor of Africana Studies, Anthropology and History of the Northwestern University, United States of America and the 18th President of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists among others.

“In less than eight years of Oba Ogunwusi on the throne, there are a lot of changes in the architectural and infrastructural landscape in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife within the 60 years of establishment.

“Ile-Ife is now the home of tourism and hospitality, it is a great destination of today, Ooni is a proprietor of Ojaja University, Eyenkorin, Ilorin, Kwara.

“He established hospitality industry in the leading city of Nigeria today like: Ife Grand Resort, Ojaja Arena, Ojaja Cinema, Adire Odua hub, Ojaja More in Ife, Ede, Ibadan, Akure, Lagos among other cities,” Oyefeso expressed.

The historian said that Oba Ogunwusi had impacted greatly on Yoruba history and culture, encouraging archeologists and historians to partner by coming together to deepen their understanding, not just on the history of Ile-Ife but of the entire Yoruba race.

He said that the academic conference would hold between Oct. 10 and Oct. 12 at Ojaja Arena, Ife Grand Resort, Km 4, Ife-Ibadan Expressway, Ile-Ife.

“The Ooni has positioned Ile-Ife as a leading light in the making of modern Nigeria, embarked on several local and foreign trips to tie the loose ends and reestablish the cultural significance of the Yoruba race.

“Ooni is passionate about the preservation and restoration of the ancient city of Ile-Ife, since ascension to the throne,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria {NAN} reports that the conference would basically be on documenting the history of Ile-Ife in terms of culture, archeology, history, tourism, hospitality and international networking.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Nigeria can’t be surviving on debt @ 63- Deputy Speaker

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Benjamin Kalu, has expressed concern about Nigeria’s reliance on debt at 63 years of Independence anniversary.

Speaking at a stakeholders’ dialogue on the implementation of Section 45 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, on Saturday in Lagos, Kalu said the nation needs to be self-sufficient and independent instead of relying on loans.

Kalu, represented by Mr Nalaraba Abubakar, Chairman, House Committee on Loans and Debt Management, said previous governments sustained budgets through loans but an approach he considered not sustainable.

He also said that the compliance of the provisions of Section 45 of the FRA remains crucial to the banks and other financial institutions before lending to any government of the federation.

“Lending by banks and financial institutions is contravention to the FRA 2007 is unlawful,” the lawmaker said.

Kalu said it was imperative for banks and financial institutions to comply with the provisions outlined in Section 45 of the Fiscal Responsibility Act before they lend to the government.

He noted that it was essential to consider the authorised borrowing limit specified in the appropriation Act and adhere to the extant provisions of Section 45.

The deputy speaker expressed his disappointment that state governments were borrowing for consumption rather than focusing on long-term capital expenditure for production purposes.

According to him, the trend worsens the country’s inflation and inhibits economic growth.

Kalu urged state governments to explore their own potentials and enhance local production to increase internally generated revenue instead of relying solely on the Federal Government.

“We encourage states to stop depending on federal government and boost their local production, thereby increasing internally generated revenue.

“I commend FRC in its responsibility of keeping up with promoting a transparent and accountable government fiscal management framework for Nigeria,” the deputy speaker said.

He, however, expressed disappointment that the authorities in charge of monitoring inflow of grants into the country had no proper record of the grants.

“These grants do not just pass through the thin air, but by processes, which the commercial banks are involved in.

“It is important for commercial banks to liaise with the government by making disclosure on the inflow of the grants,” he said.

According to him, accumulation of those aids and grants are crippling the economy, which has become unbearable.

Kalu confirmed that the 10th Assembly was prepared to introduce legislation that would bring transparency to the processes of grants entering the country.

He said it also plans to enact a law compelling commercial banks to disclose the sources of grants, their beneficiaries, and who holds custody of the funds.

He noted that these measures aim to provide greater oversight and accountability in the management of grants in the country.

The lawmaker said: “We have billions of dollars coming into Nigeria as grants, but cannot pin point where the grants are going into in the economy.

“So, it’s important that the commercial work together with the government to rebuild the country, because a bouyant economy would also contribute in the activities of the banks too.”

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Inconsistency in election tribunal rulings hurting democracy – Hyat

Mr Felix Hyat, Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna State, has said that the inconsistencies in the decisions of the election petition tribunals were hurting the nation’s democracy.

“The electoral law and the guidelines are the same, but we keep getting different rulings even with same facts and circumstances.

“Situations like that breed confusion,” Hyat told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.

He opined that the tribunal rulings in many cases appeared to be “just the opinion of the Judges.

“Sometimes you feel that the judgments are based on their thinking. You get a feeling that they are not applying the law that is there for everyone to see”.

Hyat particularly expressed surprise at the contrasting rulings in Plateau even when all the facts, claims and circumstances were the same.

“The case of Plateau is rather strange. The petitioners are claiming that the PDP had no structure when the primaries were conducted.

“The petitioners tabled the same complaints, but while one tribunal dismissed their claims and ruled that PDP had a structure having complied with a court order to conduct a repeat Congress, another insisted that it did not have.

“I am not a lawyer, but we all know that the issue of primaries is purely an internal matter of the party.

“The Supreme Court has also ruled that the tribunals are not set up to listen to pre-election matters.

“The apex court has also declared that only an aspirant who participated in a primary election is qualified to challenge its outcome.

“So, you wonder; on what ground would a tribunal rule in favour of an opposing party that is alleging that the opponent did not hold a Congress? How does that become an outsider’s concern?”

Hyat also spoke on the rulings of the governorship tribunals in Kaduna State.

“Kaduna, Kano and Nasarawa States had the same complaints about irregularities in INEC calculations of votes during the governorship polls.

“Our complaints were simple. Let the illegal votes be discountenanced and deducted, and the winner is then announced after calculating the genuine and lawful votes.

“In Nasarawa, the right thing was done and the winner given his prize. It was the same thing in Kano.

“But in Kaduna, the tribunal only opted to call for fresh elections in some polling units even when we brought videos of scenes where votes were mutilated.

“We believe something went wrong. But we see that as a product of genuine mistakes and that is why we have gone to the appellate court.

“We are not lawyers, so we cannot sit somewhere and criticise. We must promote confidence because we are confident that the judiciary will right the wrongs.

“We believe that election is about votes. The winner is determined by numbers. We believe the PDP won in Kaduna and that is why we have approached the appeal court.

“The judgment was a split one with two Judges favouring the PDP while one was against. We believe that the higher courts have the final say,” he said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria


Okahandja informal settlers demand petition back from town’s leadership

A group of disgruntled residents from Okahandja’s informal settlements took to the streets on Friday to demand their petition back from the town’s Mayor, in order to submit it to the head of state, following an alleged lack of interest from the town’s leadership in addressing their concerns.

Led by their community activist leader, Sethy Gariseb, chanting ‘We want land! Down councillors!’ the group marched from the town’s informal settlement to the municipality building in the central business district, demanding the return of their petition. The petition urged the municipality to address their plea for land and municipal services.

In the petition submitted to the municipality in July 2022 and the minister of urban and rural development in March 2023, residents demanded the provision of water, electricity, and all other basic municipal services in the informal settlements. The petition also calls for relevant authorities to clarify who is entitled to own a piece of land and who qualifies for municipal services.

‘We are tired, and because they are not acknowledging the petition, we want to take our petition to the President… so that the President can see which doors we have exhausted. The streets are dark, our children are being raped,’ stressed Gariseb.

Land grabbing continues unabated in the once eminent ‘Garden Town,’ with many landless people occupying unserviced municipal land in the fast-growing illegal informal settlements, including Promise Land, Virgenoeg, Dom Lokasie, Oshetu, RCC camp, Five Rand, and Sweet Village.

At the protest, Okahandja Mayor Kaunapawa Fillemon handed over the petition while refusing to make any comments on the matter. ‘I am just here to hand over the petition… I don’t have anything to say,’ she said.

Anna Fredricks, a resident of Promise Land and one of the first settlers on the unserviced land since 28 June 2020, shared that eviction from their former landlord due to nonpayment led them to occupy the unserviced municipal land illegally.

‘I had nowhere to go as a mother of four. So, my aunt and I decided to set up our caravan here, and we started living here. Since then, many landless people have found their homes in Promise Land. People are calling us illegal since we don’t have Erf numbers, so when are they planning to legalize us?’ she asked.

Gariseb said that they are planning to hand over the petition to the Office of the President in two weeks’ time.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency


Mutota commends public cooperation in crime prevention

The Namibian Police Force (NamPol)’s Deputy Inspector-General for Operations, Major General Elias Mutota, has commended the collaboration between the public and law enforcement agencies in the combating of crime.

Speaking to the media in Windhoek on Friday, Mutota attributed the success of a high-profile police operation last week to public’s trust in law enforcement.

During a sting operation in the capital on Tuesday, NamPol arrested 20 foreign nationals who allegedly recruited Namibian youth to conduct cryptocurrency scams on foreign nationals.

During the intelligence-led operation, the police raided six residences in the upmarket suburbs of Auasblick, Klein Kuppe, Klein Windhoek, as well as the offices of Raylon Investment at Shapumba Towers in the city centre.

Mutota said the suspects included 11 Chinese, five Zimbabweans, two Namibians, a Singaporean and a Cuban national.

In addition, 88 Namibian youth have been arrested for being accomplices to the crime.

He said the police received a tip-off about an alleged fraudulent scheme concerning a pig butchering cryptocurrency investment scheme.

“Young Namibians, mostly students, were recruited by suspected foreign nationals and trained to create false profiles on Facebook and Instagram to lure unsuspecting United States citizens into the scheme,” Mutota said.

The students, who were accommodated at various residences across the city, worked at night from 17h00 to convince American clients that the scammers were indeed in America.

“The students’ movements were strictly controlled, and they were also provided with company cellphones, which were collected when they went off duty—twice a week,” Mutato explained, adding that they were paid salaries ranging from N.dollars 3 000.

The suspects face criminal charges ranging from human trafficking to money laundering, fraud, and tax evasion. However, a total of 50 youth, aged between 20–25, have since agreed to collaborate with the police.

Mutota paid tribute to the police officers and stakeholders for their dedication to crime prevention.

“Moreover, to the public, because their trust and cooperation plays a vital role in assisting law enforcement officers in the execution of their mandate. May this success serve as a reminder of the importance of stakeholder, community and police collaboration. Together, we can create a safer Namibia,” he said.

Source: The Namibian Press Agency