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River Park Estate Demolition Notice: FCDA Denies Involvement Before Reps Probe Panel

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Following the summon by the House of Representatives Committee on public Petition on the FCT over the demolition notice of the River Park Estate, the director of the department of the development control in Federal Capital Development Authority, Muktair Galadima Usman has denied knowledge of such notice.

The committee, sequel to the petition by the residents of the River Park summoned the minister of FCT, director of department of the development control and officials and the developer, Mr Paul Odili with a view to resolving the age long crisis in the area.

Having denied any knowledge of notice of demolition, the Chairman of the committee Mike Etiaba ruled that the committee will make on the spot visit of the area to access the place to know where the committee whether the FCDA or the developer.

The chair however, adjourned sitting still 21st of March and urged the residents to remain calm, he also appealed to them to make all the relevant papers concerning the lands available to the committee.

In the petition to the speaker of the House, Rt Hon Abbas Tajudeen, the residents at the CRD Layout No. 0235 where we and our families with population of over 500 have been resident for not less than 15 years to come to their rescue.

The chairman of the resident association, Alhaji Abdulwasiu Mustapha appealed to the speaker to kindly lend support to suppressed voices by personally intervene and engage with FCT minister on this matter as all previous engagement s with the immediate past administration had yielded no positive result.

It would be recalled that these illegal activities took a frightening dimension on the 31st January 2015. Then Mr. Paul Odili together with about 30 armed miscreants and 4 persons in Police uniform invaded the Layout. Several people were beaten and properties were damaged with impunity.

This war-like incident, which was coordinated by the 4 people in Police uniform, left four residents of the estate with life-threatening machete injuries on their heads and chests. Mr. Paul Odili stationed some of the miscreants on the “conquered” lands and properties with firm instructions that they should not allow any development whatsoever in the layout.

In December 2016, Mr. Paul Odili came to the Layout again, arrogantly claiming that he had settled top officials of the Department of Development Control of the Ministry of Federal Capital Territory (MFCT) to demolish all the remaining houses located in the Layout. Like a joke, 3 days later, he mobilized 2 Bulldozers to the Layout and personally directed their operators to demolish some fences and dig very steep trenches around some undeveloped plots to make them inaccessible to their owners.

The attempts by some residents and landlord of the Layout to protest were violently resisted by Mr. Paul Odili and about 20 persons in Police uniform, who used their guns and horse whips to frighten and chase such residents and landlords.

The grand plan of Mr. Paul Odili is to forcibly acquired 475 hectares for the siting of River Park Estate. One wonders where this much land will come from in Lugbe, of all places. In pursuance of this grand plan, Mr. Paul Odili had illegal demolished over 10 houses and forcibly acquired about 150 plots in the CRD Lugbe 1, Layout. In the Layout alone, his intention is to forcibly acquire 475 plots. The CRD Lugbe I Layout is not the first Layout that had been so illegally canibalized by Mr. Paul Odili.

Part of Lugbe I Layout was forcibly acquired in this same Gestapo manner. To our chagrin, on Wednesday 7th February 2024, we were welcomed home from work with DEMOLITION NOTICES issued by the Department of Development Control on the ground that our houses either CONSTITUTED NUISANCES to other existing structures or built on land earmarked for CENTRAL MARKET (the attached refers).

This is a ruse and a ploy to misinform and misguide members of the public. It is hard to believe that these illegalities continue under the present FCT Administration, which professed to have no tolerance for corruption. As concerned residents and landlords, and responsible Nigerians in the CRD Lugbe I Layout, severally and collectively, we have reported these illegal activities of Mr. Paul Odili to the DPO Lugbe Police Station, the FCT Police Command, the Minister of the FCT, and the National Assembly, to no avail.

Our patience has been stretched to a point of exhaustion, however, we strongly believe that the long arm of the law shall catch-up with these illegalities. But we pray that the government should come to our rescue on time before the situation degenerate into a total breakdown of law and order in the Layout and its environs.

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Constitution Amendment:C’mtee Calls For Memoranda , As First Draft,Final Copy For Presidential Assent, Ready In Aug 24/2025 Respectively-Kalu

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Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Benjamin Okezie Kalu has called for memoranda from Nigerians for this next round of amendment of the 1999 constitution, disclosing that the first draft report of the ongoing review of the 1999 constitution would be ready in August 2025

He also announced that the final clean copy for the presidential assent after the voting on the expected issues of concern by the two chambers of the national assembly would be out in August, 2025.

Kalu dropped the hints at a press conference by the House Committee on Constitution Review on Thursday.

It will be recalled that the committee on its inauguration, Monday, in Abuja gave a 24 month timeline for the conclusion of the exercise.

At the press conference, Kalu who doubles as the chairman of the committee said: “We are pushing to ensure that in our activities, that in no distance time, the first draft of the work we are trying to do in the constitution will be ready.

“This will be subject to approval of the work done by the subcommittee. Let me mention that our target, the first draft of the constitution will be out in August 2024.

“Second draft will be out in October 2024, we will commence zonal inputs from October 2024, we’ll keep collecting inputs from citizens from 14th October 2024 as we prepare for the last version or that last draft copy of the constitution.

“We are hoping that there will be a harmonization of the issues, on the 27th, 28th February 2025.

“We are hoping that during a technical working retreat that will take place in February 2025, the Senate and the House of Representatives documents will be harmonized.

“It is our desire that on the 17th of March 2025, we will have harmonized documents considered in the House. It is our believe that by April 2025, we will have the final copies of draft amendments produced.

“We are optimistic also that by 12th May 2025, we’ll have, the final clean copy of amendments bills agreed on.

“And we are looking at 22nd May 2025, as a time when we will have final report laid for consideration and voting.

“This is to say that members will be voting on the work we have done on this important date of 22nd May 2025

“We are believing that around the 29th of May or 13th of June knowing fully well what these important dates mean to Nigerians, we will expect the final concurrence of state assemblies secured.

“If it delays more than that, it will not go beyond August of 2025 because we believe that by August 2025, the president will receive the bills that will be presented to him for presidential assent. So, our targets that transmission of bills to Mr President for assent will take place August 2025.

“And with this, we are sure that our target to get this job done in 24 months will be achieved if we send it Mr President by August 2025 and hoping that by December we will have a constitution that’s fully amended. Thank you very our guests and honorable colleagues”.

The Deputy Speaker also called for submission of memoranda from different interest groups, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Labour Unions, relevant institutions of government and the members of the general public to aid the committee’s work.

He said that the thematic areas included Federal Structure and Power Devolution; Local Government/Local Government Autonomy; Public Revenue, Fiscal Federation, and Revenue Allocation; Nigerian Police and Nigerian Security Architecture; Comprehensive Judicial Reforms; Electoral Reforms to strengthen INEC to deliver transparent, credible, free and fair elections; Socio-economic and cultural rights as contained in Chapter 2 of the
constitution and Traditional Institutions.

Other were Issues of Gender; Strengthening the Independence of oversight institutions and agencies created by the constitution or pursuant to an Act of the National Assembly; Residency and Indigene Provisions; Immunity; The National Assembly; Process of state creation and State access to mining.

“In exercise of the powers conferred on the Legislature by Sections 4, 8, and 9 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as
Amended) and Order 20, Rule 30 of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives (11th Edition) and the Legislative Agenda of the 10th House of Representatives, I am pleased to invite the Executive and judicial bodies, State Governments, Women Groups, Academics, Civil society Organizations, Labour Unions, Professional bodies, Ethnic
Nationalities, Nigerians in the Diaspora, Diplomats and the general public,
to submit memoranda or proposals for further alteration(s) of the 1999
Constitution (as amended) on the following thematic areas: The Federal Structure and Power Devolution; Local Government/Local Government Autonomy; Public Revenue, Fiscal Federation, and Revenue Allocation; Nigerian Police and Nigerian Security Architecture; Comprehensive Judicial Reforms; Electoral Reforms to strengthen INEC to deliver transparent, credible, free and fair elections; Socio-economic and cultural rights as contained in Chapter 2 of the
constitution; Traditional Institutions; Issues of Gender; Strengthening the Independence of oversight institutions and agencies created by the constitution or pursuant to an Act of the National Assembly; Residency and Indigene Provisions; Immunity; The National Assembly; Process of state creation; State access to mining”, he said.

The committee however extended the call for memoranda to “any other matter that will promote good governance and the welfare of all persons in our country on the principles of freedom, equality, and justice”.

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Passing 5 Years Extension Bill For NASS Staff By Senate, Good Omen To Safeguard Nigerian Representative- Democracy- Group

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The Nigeria Good Governance Research Centre has expressed excitement over the Senate final passage of the 5-year extension staff of National Assembly Bill

The group also commended the Senate for concurring with the House of Representatives, in passing the much talked about bill, in a press statement signed by Comrade Igbotako Nowinta, Executive – Director of NIGOREC

The proposed piece of legislation seeks a Five- Year Extension for staff of the nation’s highest parliamentary body, the National Assembly.

“The passing of this bill by the Senate is a major victory and a good omen for safeguarding parliamentary democracy in Nigeria”, NIGOREC, said

The group while commending the 10th Senate under the able leadership of Senator Godswil Akpabio, for using superior wisdom, prayed that the executive arm of government will assent to the Bill

“It is our fervent prayers that the Executive Arm of Government under President Bola Tinubu, will speedily grant the much needed assent to this very important bill, knowing fully well that the current Chief of Staff to the President, Hon. Femi Gbajamiabila is well acquainted with the Bill; he knows the enormous benefits, because he was the leader of the House during the 8th National Assembly who lead the debate, and Speaker, in the 9th National Assembly who passed the Bill but unfortunately did not get concurence with the Senate not until now.” the group added

NIGOREC, noted that the benefits of the Bill cannot be overemphasized, as legislative assignments is best mastered with reasonable length of years, unlike those who appear and disappear with successive elections.

It further noted that the National Assembly needs wholeheartedly experienced hands with abundant capacity built over the years on the job

“The fact of the matter is that this Five Year Extension of service Bill is a welcome development in the name of transferring knowledge and expertise by the top brass of the National Assembly bureaucracy, who are on their way out of the system; just as those top level management staff who were brought in via the Federal Civil Service will be having super advantage in passing further capacity to the lower cadres with the additional five years extension of service

This is a pragmatic opportunity which the current Clerk to the National Assembly, Sani Magaji Tambawal is harnessing to the fullest,.the group argued, stressing that the the five year extension of service is a fantastic idea, unlike the practice of engaging ex-staff as consultants who carry out the same work they can perform with just five years without additional cost or burden to the purse of the National Assembly, the group also argued

Continuing NIGOREC, explained that in civilized parliamentary democracy, such as it is obtainable in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, it is parliamentary experts that usually undertake the technical aspects of the legislative assignments,. such as offering their principals, invaluable technical legislative advise.

The group further explained that the Bill was long over due but has come at the right time

” For us at the Nigeria Good Governance Research Centre, the recent Bill passed by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, seeking Five Year Extension of service for parliamentary Staff of the National Assembly, is long over due, and a great idea which time has come”

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UBA SANI’S FIVE ACTIONS THAT CHANGED KADUNA’S HEALTHCARE HISTORY

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“We must put in place measures to ensure inclusiveness, responsiveness, fairness and integrity in policy making and service delivery” — Kaduna Governor, on June 12th, 2023

By NASIR DAMBATTA

Kaduna, a state with an estimated population of about ten million people and 1,064 primary healthcare facilities was experiencing a man-made backward slide, owing to what discerning observers considered as weak management capacity in the state’s healthcare system. Now there is the growing consensus that five recent and unforgettable actions of Governor Uba Sani have given a major facelift to Kaduna’s healthcare delivery system. Let us maize through them, in no particular order.

Number one, is the approval by the governor, dedicating 15% of Kaduna’s annual budget to the health sector. This landmark disclosure was reported the day key stakeholders stormed Kaduna, notably officials of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF among others. The interaction between Governor Sani and the stakeholders revolved around issues of upgrading primary healthcare services with the aim of ensuring universal health coverage and routine immunisation for children and women.

Number two, Governor Uba Sani ensured the distribution of medical equipment and consumables to 290 Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) of the State. The objective of committing huge resources to the supply of ultramodern healthcare facilities was to enhance access to affordable and efficient healthcare services especially in the new spirit of rural renewal.

The governor was on point to have offered that the initiative’s impact goes beyond the medical equipment but underscored the determination to invest heavily in the healthcare workforce, their training, and providing an enabling environment for professional excellence.

Hear him: “Our goal is to provide them with the tools they need to make informed decisions, deliver precise diagnoses, and administer effective treatments”.

Number three, the Governor inaugurated five mobile medical trucks, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to provide medical services to communities that are difficult to reach.

It is obvious that the mobile trucks policy will address the problems of long and difficult terrains that make it nearly impossible for rural communities to access health services.

His words: “With these medical trucks, screening and diagnosis of ailment will be brought to the doorstep of the citizens of Kaduna State. Our administration is committed to taking all necessary steps to make significant progress towards achieving universal health coverage”.

In a nutshell, the vision of his administration is to build and strengthen an enhanced health system that is adequately equipped, well-staffed with comprehensive, accessible and affordable services to deliver distanced standard of care.

Number four? The approval for the recruitment of 89 medical doctors was a game-changer. This approval for the continuation of the recruitment of 89 medical doctors to address the staffing gap identified in 2017, as recommended by a special committee, gladdened the hearts of Kaduna populace no end. This initiative, the governor once revealed, was amongst others, designed to boost doctors’ morale and improve access to quality healthcare for the residents.

Number five, Governor Sani gave full backing to the partnership with a United Nations agency to confront the growing menace of the consumption of psychotropic substances in the State. The partnership with this UN body, known as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), marked a significant milestone in the efforts to combat substance abuse in the State. This move will also be helpful to human capital development and citizen engagement.

Evidently, these five major steps by the administration of Senator Uba Sani has changed the history of Kaduna State’s healthcare services in an unprecedented way. It is therefore obvious that the governor will go down in history as a leader who gave a befitting touch to modernizing the Kaduna healthcare system, while making it so affordable that people at the grassroots will not be left out. This all-embracing strategy has been at the heart of the government’s SUSTAIN Agenda.

Dambatta is Senior Special Assistant on Print Media to the Governor of Kaduna State, Nigeria

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