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Gov. Ortom Rejects Invitation To Rejoin APC

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The Benue state governor Mr Samuel Ortom has rejected the invitation extended to him by the All Progressive Congress to return to the party, noting that he is fully committed to the ideals of the Peoples Democratic Party, thereby putting to rest, speculations on his alleged defection plans to the APC.

Governor Ortom made this public at the PDP congress to elect a new state executive committee of the party was returned the John Ngbede led executive, admitting that the APC indeed reached out to him but the congress decision would determine if he would remain in the PDP.

Expectedly, the delegates passed a vote of confidence on him after a voice vote he put forward to leave for the APC, was rejected by the PDP delegates, promising to work for the victory of the PDP come 2023.

With that cleared out of the way, the issue of equitable distribution of power, where only the Tiv ethnic group has been ruling the state since its creation in 1976 was tabled.

The Senator representing Benue South Senator Abba Moro and the former senate president, Mister David Mark makes a compelling case for the zone to produce the next governor come 2023.

After acknowledging cheers from the crowd and taking his seat, delegates began casting their votes for the candidates running for the 39 positions led by the incumbent chairman, Mr. John Ngbede.

Some notable persons who were present at the congress on Saturday include former Senate Presidents, David Mark, and Iyorchia Ayu, as well as the three Senators representing Benue at the National Assembly.

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Anambra Guber: Soludo, Umeh, Ifeanyi Uba, Others Run to Arthur Eze for “Financial Support”

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An apparent cash trapped All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), led by its candidate for the Anambra Governorship election, Chukwuma Soludo, has gone cap in hand to Prince Engr Arthur Eze to seek financial support to prosecute the November 6 election.

With strong allies of APGA decamping to the All Progressives Congress (APC) ahead of the election, it was gathered that Soludo mobilised close friends to the Abuja residence of Prince Engr Arthur Eze to plead with him to support his ambition financially.

Prof. Soludo was accompanied by Sir Victor Umeh, some Igwe and APGA chieftains. Coincidentally, they met Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah who had also come to Prince Arthur Eze’s residence to solicit for his support.

Soludo’s visit to the Anambra business mogul has shocked many as it would be recalled that the governor Willie Obiano APGA led government insulted and called Prince Engr Arthur Eze unprintable names after he led some traditional rulers on a thank you visit President Buhari.

Some of the traditional rulers were dethroned, some suspended and Ozo Igbo Ndu was ridiculed by APGA media.

A source privy to the meeting told our correspondent that Arthur Eze told Prof. Soludo to go and bring Gov. Obiano and his wife to come and tender open apology before he could listen to them.

He advised Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah to go and support Andy Ubah of APC.

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Comprehensive Review of RAF Overdue – Gov. Bello

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Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has opined that the discuss for the comprehensive review of Revenue Allocation formula (RAF) was overdue and that Federal government must now consider relinquishing portions of her share to the other 2 tiers

He noted that realities between the 3 Tiers of Government currently necessitated a more equitable sharing plan for all revenue accruing into the Federation Account noting that such was the position of Kogi State and he was convinced it was held by his colleague governors

He stated that the federal government enters into all sorts of agreements with organised labour, including on the minimum wage as well as enhanced pay for some professional cadres, which invariably mean more money out of the already depleted pockets of hapless states and local governments.

Governor Bello noted that Currently, the federal government takes 52.68 percent, the 36 states and the FCT split 26.72 percent and the local government councils make do with 20.60 percent while the 9 oil producing states receive an additional 13 percent as derivation revenue which is distributed among them depending on the actual contribution of each to crude oil receipts.

The Governor said with 43,788 workers and a salary obligation of N3.8bn monthly for Local which is quite different from the N3.206bn needed to settle salaries and remunerations every month at the state level for a workforce Kogi’s monthly income, which includes allocations from FAAC and JAAC plus its internally generated revenue which the current Administration has painstakingly grown about 300%, still hovers around N7bn.

He added “The situation is dire and it becomes worse when you add our many other governance responsibilities such as meeting the needs of our people in all sectors – education, health, infrastructure and utilities, security of lives and properties, social cohesion, diversity management, among others. Clearly, the case for an enhanced revenue share for the 2nd and 3rd tier of governance has never been stronger. I strongly urge it this is the right thing to do and this is the time to do it”.

He added that the Commission has a duty to ensure that none of such revenue was stolen, diverted or hidden away from all lawful beneficiaries. Often, States and Local Governments can do nothing more than look on, helpless, at the distressing frequency with which our media report the discovery of trillions of naira in distributable revenue which the NNPC or other revenue generator either neglected, failed or refused to remit to the federation account as and at when due.

While tasking the EFCC to brace up in the challenge of its responsibilities, he advised that preventing the larceny of the nation’s communal funds was actually a better use of her valuable resources and time than the recent dealing in innuendos about alleged lost or found funds in alleged secret accounts of the Kogi State Government which neither him, nor his administration knew anything about.

The Governor noted that Revenue allocation in Nigeria should promote national unity and accelerated economic growth of all tiers while he urged this assemblage to look critically at the revenue allocation formula currently in use in Nigeria today and isolate the immediate and remote reasons why it has failed to achieve the desired developmental aspirations.

Governor Bello however suggested a revenue-sharing formula of 39%, 35% and 26% between the federal, state and local governments respectively

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National Assembly’ll Pass 2022 Budget Before End of 2021 – Lawan

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has said the National Assembly is committed to passing the 2022 Appropriation Bill before the end of this year.

Lawan, in his opening speech at the budget laying ceremony, recalled how the 9th National Assembly promised to return Nigeria to a January-to-December budget cycle with the 2020 budget and made it possible. He added that the feat was repeated with the 2021 budget.

While thanking the President, Muhammadu Buhari , for early presentation of budget, the Senate President said the lawmakers would pass the money bill before the end of 2021 to allow maintenance of the new budget cycle.

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