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Gov El rufai Extols Inuwa’s Foresight, Vision To Transform Gombe State

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_As Both State’s Chief Executives Unveil Shongo Layout, Flag-off Construction of 550 Housing Units, Commission GOGIS Service Centre
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…”GOGIS Has Generated
Over N1.8bn So Far”- Dr. Kabir Hassan

Owing to its centrality in the Northeastern region and the prevailing insecurity in the neighboring states, Gombe state has witnessed an exponential increase both in population and size of its urban centres, partly as a result of influx of Internally Displaced Persons and urbanisation”

Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, alongside his Kaduna counterpart, Malam Nasiru Ahmed Elrufa’i have performed the official unveiling of a new layout, known as Shongo Gardens Layout and the ground breaking for the construction of 550 housing units in a bid to provide affordable houses to the people of Gombe State.

Speaking at the event, Governor Inuwa observed that owing to its centrality in the Northeastern region and the prevailing insecurity in the neighboring states, Gombe state has witnessed an exponential increase both in population and size of its urban centres, partly as a result of influx of Internally Displaced Persons and urbanisation, the scenario that he said has put more pressure on the existing social amenities and proliferated the demand for housing and other social services.

“Since inception, we realised that in our efforts towards achieving the SDGs Goal 11 on fostering sustainable community and inclusive urban development we must develop innovative ways to provide affordable and quality housing to our people.

“It is against this backdrop that our administration deemed it necessary to establish Gombe Geographic Information Systems, GOGIS and transform the Gombe State Development Board to Gombe State Urban Planning Development Authority, GOSUPDA in order to ensure the realisation of the urban renewal agenda while abolishing administrative bottle necks”, he added.

According to the governor, the twin events mark the commencement of yet another phase of massive infrastructural development in the state and an important step that will see to the actualisation of the Special Development Zone Project which encapsulates an ambitious vision of his administration for a new and modern Gombe.

“This layout will be the first of its kind where critical infrastructure such as roads, water, power networks and other vital services will be provided with a goal of creating a habitable environment for Gombe residents while at the same time attracting investors and developers”, he noted.

Governor Inuwa warned that his administration will not condone any act of sabotage, distortion or encroachment in the new layout, calling on all relevant authorities to ensure compliance to development control regulations in the area.

The governor said when completed, the housing project will provide housing opportunities to hundreds of civil servants and other residents of the state, assuring to continue collaborating with both domestic and international development partners in the provision of sustainable housing and inclusive urban development.

In his remarks during the events, Mallam Nasir Ahmed Elrufa’i commended the people of Gombe State for their votes to the APC presidential candidates, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu during the presidential election and for re-electing Governor Inuwa Yahaya, whom he described as a performing governor.

“Gombe people have wisely chosen development over deception; they refused to compromise their future and that of their young ones. I assure you that you will never regret this”, he said.

Elrufa’i extolled Governor Inuwa’s foresight and clear vision as testified by his administration’s policies and programmes which are geared toward restoring the pride of the people of Gombe State.

“Like in our case in Kaduna, layouts have been distorted and land mismanaged, there are carve outs in GRA and no additional layouts were created, people are erecting structures without compliance to regulations and so on.

“There is urgent need to make provisions and plan for our cities and urban centres to provide conducive environment for the ever increasing population. And this is exactly what Governor Inuwa is doing in Gombe; planning for the present and the future. He is also thriving to see Gombe always remains the best option for investors, I believe that is why Gombe remains its position as the best in the ease of doing business in the country”.

At the GOGIS Corporate Office, Mallam Elrufa’i described the establishment of the agency as “a step in the right direction, maintaining that no development can be achieved without proper land administration”.

He said GOGIS, apart from revenue generation, will contribute to peace and development of Gombe State.

Earlier speaking at the venue of the unveiling of the layout and flagging of of the housing construction, the Director General, Gombe Geographic Information Systems, Dr Kabiru Usman Hassan said the location, structure and other properties of the layout were modelled to provide safer, convenient and more enticing environment using Internationally recommended standards.

At the Corporate Office of the Agency, the DG lamented that “GOGIS Project was conceived in 2013 but suffered negligence by previous administration until the emergence of Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya in 2019 who saw the need to rejuvenate the agency by digitizing its functions using the GIS technology”.

He appreciated the support of Governor Inuwa which saw to the success of the agency and facilitation of its transformation from analogue to digital systems.

“Your Excellency, you have provided the necessary infrastructure to this
agency and supported us in terms of legislation, budgetary allocation,
skillful manpower, vehicles, and befitting office complex as well as technological facilities that have adequately armed the agency to deliver on its mandate”.

Dr. Kabiru noted that the agency has recorded some remarkable achievements to include: securing digital Certificates of Occupancy, digitization of over 22 thousand manual land files out of the 27,000, digitization 52 layouts to checkmate distortions, regularization of about 12,000 customary titles to statutory titles, capturing of over 1500 customary plots into database, among others.

“GOGIS through the delivery of its services, has been able to generate
about 1.8 billion naira, contributing greatly to the increased Internally
Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state”, he said.

Ealier in his welcome address at the venue, the Commissioner of Housing and Urban Development, Hon. Idris Abdullahi thanked Governor Inuwa for his foresight in conceiving and moving to execute the mega project, saying that it is the first time ever in the history of the state, that a state government is building such a large number of housing units at a go.

He said four competent companies will undertake the contract for the construction of the 550 housing units which include three, two and one bedroom bungalows, assuring that work will start immediately.

Also in his remarks at GOGIS Headquarters, the Commissioner of Land and Survey, Alh. Usman Jafun Biri commended Governor Inuwa for his support to the actualisation of digital transformation of land administration in Gombe State, assuring his ministry’s readiness to do more towards providing effective and efficient system of managing land and landed properties in the state.

Governors Inuwa and Elrufa’i had also inspected the GOGIS Service Centre, a complex built and equiped with modern facilities by Inuwa Yahaya Administration for effective digital land administration in the state.

Dignitaries present during the events included: Speaker Gombe State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Abubakar Mohammed Luggerewo, Chief if Staff Government House, Abubakar Inuwa Kari, Head of Service Commissioners, Special Advisers,Chairman of Gombe State Investment and Property Development Company, Dr. Umar Kwairanga ( Sarkin Fulanin Gombe), DG Abuja Geographic Information Systems, AGIS, Dr Isa Jalo Waziri, traditional rulers, among other technocrats and top government functionaries.

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EDSG Trains Batch- 9 Vigilantes, Hunters.

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….. As Gov Obaseki Signs Edo Security Corps Bill into law

By Sim Omo- Benin City

As part of efforts to combat crimes, criminalities, cultism and other social vices bedeviling the state, the governor Obaseki led administration has commenced training of batch Nine hunters and operatives of Vigilantes, bringing a total of over ten thousand Vigilantes and hunters so far trained by the state to tighten security in every nook and cranny

Similarly Governor Godwin Obaseki has signed the State security Corps Bill into law

Speaking at the commencement of the batch- nine training exercise at the Police Training School in Ogida, the State Co-ordinator of the Edo security and Vigilantes network , Col. Kole Omomia( Rtd) commended Governor Obaseki and the state government for prioritizing security in the state and its continuous commitment to providing the necessary logistics for the state’s security apparatus to function

He noted that the training of the corps operatives which included the hunters, as in the instance of the batch- 9 who are currently here today, are concerted effort and determination of the state government to put her citizens at the fore front to enjoy peace, tranquility and have an enabling environment that would promote growth, development and investments.

Col. Omomia reiterated that the trainees would undergo series of exercises such as medical fitness, bio-data, teekwando, Judo, Drills, Parades and mental fitness and other activities ancillary to the job

According to the State Cord, the training would cut across the three senatorial districts in the state , with about One thousand, three hundred,(1300) Vigilantes and hunters expected to be trained in Batch- 9

He, however,urged the trainees to key into the program with keen interest and participate fully.

Recall that only recently, the state governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, singed the Bill establishing the State security Corps, formerly known as the Edo State Security Vigilante Network,ESSVN, into law

By the establishing Act, the Corps is now a statutory body recognised by law and would perform its roles as provided by the Act

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HAILING THE SUPREME COURT ON LG ALLOCATION JUDGMENT

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Prof Mike Ozekhome, SAN,CON, OFR

The supreme court judgement on

July 11, 2024, directing the Federal Government to pay allocations due to Local Government Areas directly to their account thereby abolishing the old practices of State-Local Government Joint Account,is timely and courageous.

What the judgement has done is more like interpreting section 162 of the Constitution, which provides for a joint State-Local Government Account. In which case, money is normally paid to state governors’ accounts and then for them to disburse to the local governments for them to share. But what has been happening is that, as I noted in 2020,over three years ago, the state governors, have been behaving like ”bandits”, waylaing local governments funds along the way and thus impoverishing them leaving them with nothing to work, just a little for salary. And nothing to actually work for the people whom they represent.
I agree totally with the judgement of the supreme court to grant full financial autonomy so that money is released and paid directly to the 774 local government councils which constitute the third-tier of government,to develop their places because the LGAs are grassrooted and nearest to the people. Rather than allow overbearing state governors throw their weight around and muzzle the local governments and seize their purse,they will now allow LGs breath some air of freedom.

If you take a look at our situation, Nigeria is operating a very lopsided federation,more like a unitary system of government. Where the federal government is supposed to be a small government,it is controlling 67 items on the exclusive legislative list. That is why the federal government gets the lion share of the federation account , the lion share of the money that comes to the federation account to the tune of 52.68%. The states get 26.72% while the entire 774 local government councils in Nigeria get just 20.60% of the monthly allocation by the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RLASMC.

The question is, what is the federal government doing with almost 53% of the national income? That is because it is a government that is behemoth.That is elephantine. A government that intrudes and intervenes in areas that should not concern it at all. What is the federal government’s business with licensing cars and trucks for states? What is its business with the Marriage Act, dealing with how people marry and wed in Nigeria and how they live together as husband and wife and separate or divorce? What is the federal government’s business with unity schools? A whole FG operating secondary schools? What is their business? Why is the FG not allowing states generate their own power, operate their own railway stations, if they have the capacity? Why should the federal government not allow states have their own police force? Even for the local governments to have their own police force as we have in the United States and other advanced countries of the world where even tertiary institutions have their own police?

The truth is that the federal government is overbloated and overpampered. That is why it is using too much money and make the centre become too attractive,eating deep into funds that ought to be meant for the states and local government areas. The states take not only that which belongs to the states, but also waylays at source that which is meant for the local government areas. No Nation grows that way.

So, I see this judgment as epochal,having

far-reaching effect because money will now be made available directly to the local government areas who will no longer be subservient, like fawning slaves to state governors. In fact, the judgement even went further to say that no state government has the power henceforth to dissolve local government areas. This is because we have been seeing cases where inspite of the provisions of section 7 of the 1999 constitution that give autonomy to local government areas, states normally go ahead and dissolve local government areas ND appoint caretaker committees for them.This is whimsical and capricious.The Supreme Court has said this can no longer go on and that henceforth, no state government should ever be able to dissolve any local government area in Nigeria for any reason whatsoever and howsoever.

The judgement is salutary, timely and regenerative. It should be upheld by all governments and people in Nigeria for better democratic dividends.I see this as victory for our wobbling democracy, even if we are far removed from true fiscal federalism where the federating units control and utilize their God-given resources while paying royalty or tax to the central government. This case is one big plus for tested court room gladiator, Prince Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the Attorney General of the Federation, who initiated the case at the apex court, invoking its original jurisdiction.Surely,to jaw-jaw is better than to war-war. God bless Nigeria.

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Ex+Abia gov, Senator Kalu backs part-time legislature

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Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has backed calls for part-time legislature at both federal and state levels.

Senator Kalu (APC Abia North) said this would help the nation cut costs and enhance the citizenry’s trust in the polity.

The former Abia governor said this in an interview published on his verified Facebook page over the weekend.

On calls for part-time legislature, Senator Kalu said, “I think it will be a very good idea if my colleagues and other members of the Houses of Assembly will agree that we can sit for three months and do constitutional amendment first.

“So we can sit four times a year and if there’s any emergency, there will be emergency sitting. We can come to do a presidential bid on that basis and go back instead of sitting on a full-time basis.

“Not only the Senate and the House of Representatives, but all the legislative houses in Nigeria will be part-time.”

Senator Kalu maintained that this would be part of austerity measures to reduce cost of governance, arguing that regional government is another viable alternative.

“If we’re going for regional government, it also means that the ministers, the legislators, will be the same. I’ve been tinkering with the idea of how we can save money to run Nigeria because the country needs money.

“I will encourage the President, the National Assembly to make these kind of laws. This will help him, and this will help the system, and this will help everybody,” he said.

The ex-governor explained that contrary to misconceptions among Nigerians, senators are not paid enough.
U
“But I want Nigerians and my colleagues to do a quick constitutional amendment so we can go and be a part-time sitting Senate and part-time sitting House of Representatives, and other 36 state houses of assembly in Nigeria.

“That will bring trust and bring relief to the Nigerian people,” the ex-governor said.

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