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Fiscal Responsibility, Kogi State A Homo Sequendum

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We have repeatedly told Nigerians that Governor Yahaya Bello GYB is clearly the most profound and prolific State Governor in today’s Nigeria. We have said that the plethora of Awards and Honours that attend his stable everyday are in attestation of the phenomenal feats of his watch. And we have boasted unashamedly that not only is the GYB magic evidence of the capacity and the competency of the Nigerian Youth to take our nation away from the nadir to promise, but a manifestation of the unequalled commitment of GYB to berth the Nigeria of our dreams.

This time our position is not just predicated on the myriad of Awards for good governance that GYB gets daily. It is not based on the deluge of Honours for exceptional leadership from the Media, and Groups across the Country. It is predicated on the attestation by the World Bank of GYB and Kogi State as leading the pack in the States with fiscal discipline and financial decorum. GYB is not only an Accountant and an Auditor, in governance he is a practical manifestation of fiscal discipline and decency.

In a World Bank letter dated the 17th of November 2021, and received on the 25th of November, 2021 by the Accountant General Of Kogi State, the World Bank described the 2020 Audited FInancial Statement of Kogi State as a standard for transparency and accountability in the public sector. That is to say that Kogi State shows the way in financial rectitude. And that is to say that GYB is a phenomenon that must be copied and followed where fiscal discipline is required. Do you yet wonder why he is the best bet for the big job come 2023?

In the World Bank letter signed by one Deborah Hannah Isser, the States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme (SFTAS) Task Team Leader, Nigeria Country Office, and titled, ‘Nigeria: Review of Kogi State’s Audited Financial Statements (AFS) for the Year Ended December 31, 2020 for State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS)’, the World Bank commended the State for preparing its audited financial statements, in line with accrual basis of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards.

It said: “We note that Kogi State’s AFS for the year ended December 31, 2020 has been uploaded on the state’s website as per the SFTAS’ eligibility criteria for FY21. The financial statements were prepared on International Public Sector Accounting Standards accrual basis and the Auditor General of the State has issued an audit certificate with an unqualified (clean) audit opinion on the General-Purpose Financial Statement (GPFS) and a Special Opinion on SFTAS Programme Expenditure Framework during the period.

Note that SFTAS is a $750 million programme to reward States for meeting any or all of nine indicators that demonstrate improvements in fiscal transparency, accountability and sustainability. The SFTAS compliance indicators are offshoots of the previous Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP) of the Federal Government, where States were to be rewarded for meeting up to 22 targets. And through the letter in reference the World Bank in no uncertain terms have applauded Kogi State for leading the pack in compliance with set rules of Fiscal Discipline and rectitude.

Also note that the World Bank has supported the Federal Government in ensuring that States seek to achieve the Fiscal Sustainability Plan FSP, which has now been redesigned as Disbursement Linked Indicators under SFTAS. And the goal is to achieve improved financial reporting and budget reliability; increased openness and citizens’ engagement in budget process; improved cash management and reduced revenue leakages through implementation of State Treasury Single Account (TSA); strengthened Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) collection; biometric registration and Bank Verification Number (BVN) used to reduce payroll fraud. That Kogi State is in compliance with the above parameters puts the GYB Phenomenon head and shoulder above his peers.

Other profound feats connected to the Fiscal Sustainability Plan FSP are improved procurement practices for increased transparency and value for money; strengthened public debt management and fiscal responsibility framework; improved clearance/reduction of the stock of domestic expenditure arrears; and improved debt sustainability. Do you yet wonder why Kogi State tops the chart in the servicing of her local debts, and has infact reduced her local debts more than most States in the Country?

Compliance with the World Bank SFTAS programme is part of efforts by the Federal Government to further enhance transparency and accountability in the use of public resources through implementation of the Open Government Partnership, to which Nigeria is a signatory. That Kogi State has not only kept faith with the Federal Government’s quest for fiscal discipline in governance but has met all local and international requirements thereto is glaring and such is the GYB Phenomenon.

It is significant to note that the World Bank letter in reference is coming 4months after it issued a letter commending GYB for good leadership ditto the refund of $4.63million surplus funds under the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP). Who does that in today’s Nigeria you may ask? But such is the legacy of fiscal discipline that GYB inspires and brings to bear. Do you yet wonder why GYB is the exemplary Leader that fits the call for a New Deal come 2023, do you?

More on that unique example in leadership that underscores the refund of the 4.63m US Dollars Erosion Management Fund by GYB, the World Bank in a letter of appreciation, titled, ‘Refund of Surplus Project Funds to the World Bank under the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) signed by its Regional Director, Shubham Chaudhuri, stated that Bello’s action made it possible for the organisation to extend its projects to other States. What more do naysayers need? GYB is the quintessential script in responsible and responsive leadership, and this truism is unequivocal.

Compatriots we have repeatedly urged and advised that a study of the GYB Phenomenon would do great good to all who seek a New Deal for the masses come 2023. And need we say again that we shall consistently and committedly defeat those whose stock in trade is deceit, falsehood and gibberish.

As we galvanise the old and the young in support of a Leader whose dedication to service and whose penchant for Fiscal Discipline and Responsibility is second to none, we wish our Dear Country the best. God Bless Nigeria.

Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia Jnr.
National Coordinator
GOT YOUR BACK NIGERIA.
GYB NIGERIA.

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2023: North Central APC Stakeholders Say Region’s VP Will Enthrone Equity, Stability in Nigeria

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Some stakeholders of the ruling All Progressives Congress in north-central have made a strong case for the region to produce the party’s presidential running mate for equity and stability.

The North Central APC Stakeholders Forum, which made this known at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, warned the party not to make the mistake of ignoring the zone in the scheme of things.

According to a statement signed by its Coordinator, Bala Danladi Adamu, the group said the north central is critical to the party’s success in 2023, considering its innumerable contributions in the growth and development of the APC over the years.

Adamu said not only will a Christian from the region balance the presidential ticket, he added that it will ultimately guarantee success at the polls.

The group, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari, party leaders and elders from the north central zone to settle for a young and vibrant Christian out of the “array of credible individuals that fits the bill of the vice-presidential candidate for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu”.

Failure to do so, Adamu, however, cautioned that doom awaits the party as it would be further divided along ethnic and religious lines.

Read full statement below:

The North Central APC Stakeholders Forum is calling this press conference as a concerned stakeholder in the APC to put issues in proper perspective regarding the choice of running mate to the APC presidential candidate.

This has become instructive given the attempt by some selfish individuals who are bent on scheming the North Central out of the affairs of the country, especially in the buildup to the 2023 General elections.

The North Central APC Stakeholders Forum frowns at such a despicable plot considering the innumerable contributions of the North Central in the growth and development of the APC over the years.

It remains a statement that the North Central is a critical region in the country. As such, it would be against all known political strategies for the region to be alienated in the present permutations towards securing victory at the elections.

The APC Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, must come to terms with choosing his running mate for the elections. Consequently, the APC North Central Stakeholders Forum wishes to inform Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be wary of those that have constituted themselves around him as electoral strategists.

We are aware of the plot to ensure that the vice presidential slot is not given to a Christian APC member from any North Central state for inexplicable reasons. This is on the heels that such a move would spell doom for the party.

They have been ferocious in this regard. As stakeholders in the North Central region, we know that such a move would boomerang and further divide the party along ethnic and religious lines.

The APC Presidential Candidate must rise to the occasion and resist every form of pressure mounted on him by these selfish individuals against the idea of a Christian running mate from the North Central region of the country.

It is on the strength of the above that we demand that the vice-presidential slot be given to a vibrant and young candidate from the Middle Belt. This is necessary to ensure a balanced and strategic team that would guarantee electoral success at the elections.

We are also using this medium to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to see that the APC gets it right regarding its choice of running mate to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This is necessary to ensure that the party records outstanding victory at the polls.

President Muhammadu Buhari must also recognize that the North Central region in the country holds the ace in the presidential elections, and little wonder why the opposition parties have been making strategic advancements in the region to secure electoral victory.

The APC must not allow any form of discontent in the North Central by denying the region of the vice-presidential slots, as there are an array of credible candidates that fits the bill of the vice-presidential candidate for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The hawks that want the party’s downfall are unfortunately parading themselves as stakeholders of the party. At the same time, they are out to satisfy their selfish interest and not the well-being of the party as a whole.

The APC North Central Stakeholders Forum is also using this medium to call on prominent middle belt elders to rise in defence of the Middle belt in the political scheming in the country. The strategic importance of such cannot be overemphasized.

They must ensure that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not misled as the indicators point to the fact that the APC Presidential candidate is on the verge of making a grave mistake should he choose a running mate outside the middle belt region.

The consequences of such a move might not be palatable for the party in the presidential elections, hence the need for caution in the choice of vice-presidential candidate of the APC.

We wish to call on elders of the APC in the Middle Belt region to protect the region’s interest by ensuring that the APV nominates its vice-presidential candidate from the Christian community in North Central.

We thank you all for your time and attention.

God bless.

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CVR Fresh Registration Hits Over 10m – INEC

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says fresh registration in the ongoing nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) has hit 10,487,972 as at 7 a.m. on Monday, June 27.

The commission in its CVR weekly update, released in Abuja on Monday, also disclosed that 8,631,696 registrants had completed their registrations.

It disclosed that 3,250,449 of the registrants completed the process through online, while 5,381,247 did through physical registration.

The gender breakdown of the registrants who had completed their registration comprised 4,292,690 male and 4,339,006 female, with the gender category showing that 6,081,456 of the figures were youth, while 67,171 were Persons with Disabilities, PWDs.

The update also revealed that INEC had received a total of 23,560,043 applications including those applying for voter transfer, requests for replacement of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and update of voter information records.

The breakdown also indicated that 12,317,963 of the applications were from male, 11,242, 080 were from female, while 187,904 applications were received from PWDs. (NAN)

 

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Banditry: Military Rejects Zamfara’s Call for Citizens to Bear Arms

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The Military High Command yesterday rejected the call by the Zamfara State Government for residents to take up arms and defend themselves against bandits and terrorists.

Governor Bello Matawalle had asked the Commissioner of Police to work out the modalities for gun licence to residents willing to bear arms to protect themselves.

Reacting yesterday, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, said he did not see the basis for such call.

He spoke at the National Defence College, Abuja, during the opening ceremony of the joint exercise for the National Defence College and War Colleges of the Armed Forces of Nigeria codenamed “Exercise Grand Nationale”.

He said it was expedient for stakeholders to follow the rules and constitution accordingly.

Irabor said: “We do not take instruction from the state governments. We have a Commander-in-Chief. The constitution gives the right and powers to the C-in-C for the use of the armed forces and I believe what we’re doing in Zamfara State and across the states of the federation is not different to the provisions of the constitution.

“We’re there to give support to the civil authority in this case, the police. We’re there to ensure that peace returns to Zamfara. The governor does not have the powers to ask the CP to issue licences. I’m yet to get the details, but I do not think that’s the right thing to do.”

He said the Federal Government, through the Attorney-General of the Federation, should be in a position to address the issue.

“I do not see the basis. My view is that the AGF will look at the constitution and what the constitution says. That’s the right way to go. The Armed Forces are in Zamfara, but beyond that, I believe there are legal issues that should be addressed using the instrumentality of the law to bring peace and security.

“I believe that the Federal Government, through the Attorney-General, should look at the details of the press release. If what I read is true, I do not believe that the governor has the powers to instruct the CP to issue licence because the CP does not have the power to issue licences.

”Like I said, the AGF will do much about it. We have the Armed Forces in Zamfara, military, police, NSCDC; but beyond that, I believe there are legal issues”, Irabor said.

Irabor said the essence of the Operation Grand Nationale, was to review the programmes of the training colleges and the war colleges.

 

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