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Posts tagged ‘Monday’

Lagos Assembly Fails To Pass Fashola’s N489.7 Billion Budget, Blames 10 MDAs.


Ayo Balogun, Lagos

Against all expectations, the Lagos State House of Assembly has failed to pass the N489.7 billion presented to it by Governor Babatunde Fashola for the 2014 fiscal year.

Lagos-House-Assembly

Lagos-House-Assembly

The governor presented the budget proposal to the House in October, but the House on Monday failed to pass the budget before the New Year.

This is unlike in 2012 when the Assembly passed the budget before going on recess for the New Year.

The Assembly blamed 10 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for the delay in passing the budget as they refused to submit to the House the necessary documents to facilitate the passage of the appropriation bill.

The concerned MDAs are Eko Project, Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABCA), Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Lagos State Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA), Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget and Ministry of Transportation.

Others are the Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project, LMDGP, Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) and Lottery Board.

The House has therefore ordered those MDAs to forward the document by 2 January, 2014 to the Appropriation Committee of the House.

On the floor of the House on Monday, a lawmaker, representing Badagry 11 Constituency, Hon. Suru Avoseh called the attention of his colleagues to report forwarded to him as inconclusive.

Chairman, House Committee on Budget and Appropriation, Mudashiru Obasa lamented that 10 MDAs had not supplied the necessary documents that would lead   to further deliberation on the report.

The committee chairman said the affected MDAs appeared before the House and were asked to present the documents, but that up till the sitting period, the committee had not received any of the documents, saying that he had laid the report hoping that before the presentation, the documents would get to the House, adding that the committee had written to the affected government institutions, yet there had been no favourable response.

The Chief Whip, Abdulrazaq Balogun observed that the MDAs deliberately refused to supply the necessary report and that they deserved to be compelled in doing so while Ipoola Omisore, Ifako-Ijaiye II said “it is the desire of the House to pass the appropriation bill before the end of the year. It is not right for any MDA to hold us back.”

Speaker of the House, Adeyemi Ikuforiji said that the House would have proceeded on recess after passing the bill but added that this was no longer possible as member must wait for the bill to be passed before embarking on such recess.

Source: African Examiner.

New National ID System will Curb Ghost Workers Problem, Help National Planning.


By Eric Ojo

The National Identity Commission (NIMC) has assured Nigerians that The National Identity Management System will also curb the ghost workers phenomenon in civil/public service in the country.

The commission said the new system would also go a long way in helping the government in facilitating national planning.

The NIMC added that the National Identification Number (NIN) will help protect individuals from identity theft and fraud by providing a simple, reliable, sustainable and universally acceptable means of conforming individual’s identity at all.

The Director Corporate Communications of the Commission, Mr Okwudiafor Anthony who gave the assurance in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, further noted that the system will make it difficult for criminals to use false or multiple or ghost identities.

Mr. Okwudiafor also assured that the system will also enhance the work of Law Enforcement Agencies in the country, adding that the Non- Intelligent 11 digits National Identification Number (NIN) which is pulled and given to Nigerians and Legal Residents after successful enrolment is what genuinely reveals the identity of Individuals at any point in time.

He further explained that the National Identity Management System is entirely different from mere Photo Card issuance that was carried out in previous schemes.

He said the NIN is the Individual’s Identity and the numbers are what will be used for authentication and verification through a sub-system.

He pointed out that the unique Smart Card that will be issued to all those that have registered and collected their NIN is unique because it is chip based card and 100 percent poly carbonate  with 18 security features of international standard.

The Card also has 13 applications including a payment solution, a match-on-card and an e-PRI.

The Director emphasized that the enrolment for the NIN is a continuous exercise from Mondays to Fridays with additional pre-enrolment portal that allows individuals to pre-enroll through the portal (www.ninenrol.gov.ng) that is capable of serving over one million pre-registration a day.

He added that the on-line pre- enrolment allows applicants to input their demographic data and print out the pre-registration slip that has a   2D Barcode and proceed to any nearest NIMC enrolment center to capture their biometrics and electronic signature which completes the process with the issuance or the National Identification Number (NIN) and a tracking ID number.

Mr. Okwudiafor also reiterated that the NIMS project is focused on Identity Management which is real time live processing of data from every location in line with the international standards (ICAO, ISO, IEEE, etc.) and best global practices unlike the previous schemes where personal information of individuals are collected stored and then processed later.

He said more  enrolment centers will be opened in all the  Local Government  Areas across the Nation in addition to mobile enrolment centers in high traffic  locations like the military, pre-military, universities, MDA’S and  remote areas to cater for the grassroots.

The director equally assured that the NIMS project will provide a convenient and simplified process for enrolment into the National Identity Management System in Nigeria.

Source: African Examiner.

John Bolton: Groups Will Keep Trying to Terrorize Olympics.


The terrorists who bombed a Russian city twice in the past two days, less than two months before the Winter Olympics, will likely attempt more attacks, says John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

We should be concerned. I have no doubt . . . that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will pull out all the stops for security,” Bolton told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“But by the same token, the terrorists will respond in kind. These bombings . . . are obviously intended to show they can hit vulnerable civilian targets,” Bolton said Monday.

Story continues below video.

Earlier Monday, a suicide bomb killed at least 14 people in the city of Volgograd, just a day after an explosion at Volgograd’s main train station killed 17 people and wounded at least 35. Authorities declared both bombings terrorist attacks.

Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said he fears the terrorists “are going to do everything they can to infiltrate and make their terrorist case again.”

“I’m not myself aware of the prior Olympic games where we’ve had this level of threat of terrorism . . . If I were on the American team, I would be taking extra precaution.”

Bolton said he was disturbed by a New York Times investigative report into the attack in Benghazi, Libya, last year that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, calling it “an editorial disguised as a news story.”

The report by David Kirkpatrick intimated the attack was the work of local militia groups and not al-Qaida.

“They should be embarrassed about this, but I’m sure they’re not. It really is a tribute to their ideology that they can put this out there and hope that it will go unchallenged,” Bolton said.

“It’s just filled, not only with the inaccuracies and contradictions, [but] it contradicts previous New York Times reporting about the involvement of al-Qaida.

“So, I am just amazed that anybody would give this thing credibility. It’s filled with irrelevant facts to make it look like a news story, but its basic conclusion isn’t supported by the reporting that’s actually done.”

See the “Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV each weekday live by clicking here now.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Bill Hoffmann

In Wake of Bombings, US Offers Security Help For Sochi Olympics.


Image: In Wake of Bombings, US Offers Security Help For Sochi OlympicsAn aerial view of Olympic Park in the Adler district of the Black Sea resort city of Sochi.

The U.S. government is concerned Islamist militants may be preparing attacks aimed at disrupting the Winter Olympic games in Sochi in February and is offering closer cooperation on security with Russia despite strains earlier this year.Two bombings in the Russian city of Volgograd in the past two days – one at the city’s central railway station and another on a bus – killed dozens of people and raised anxieties about the safety of the Olympics.

One militant group issued explicit direct threats to disrupt the Olympics, a State Department official said. Other officials said that regions near Sochi were among the areas of Russia currently most prone to Islamic militancy and other unrest.

“There are clearly sensitivities in our relationship with Moscow but enhancing Olympic security and counterterrorism efforts more broadly are areas of clear mutual interest,” one U.S. official said.

“The Volgograd bombings underscore the threat and the need to work hand in hand with Russia in order to ensure the protection of U.S. citizens participating in and attending the games in Sochi,” the official said.

U.S. security officials said the government was not surprised by the Volgograd bombings and had anticipated that such attacks might well occur in the run-up to the games.

The officials said U.S. and Russian authorities have engaged in extensive contacts regarding security preparations for the Olympics. The United States is expected to share with Russia information it might collect about possible threats to the games.

“We’re taking lots of security precautions” related to the Winter Games, a U.S. State Department official said on Monday.

The U.S. Olympic Committee says it’s cooperating with the State Department and law enforcement agencies to help ensure the protection of its athletes.

“We are always concerned with the safety of our delegation, and the Sochi Games are no different in that regard,” USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky told Newsmax on Monday.

“We will continue to work closely with the local organizing committee, our State Department and law enforcement agencies to ensure that all appropriate measures are in place.

“We offer our sincere condolences to those affected by the bombings in Russia,” Sandusky said.

National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden condemned the Volgograd attacks, which were blamed on suicide bombers.

She said the U.S. government had “offered our full support to the Russian government in security preparations for the Sochi Olympic Games, and we would welcome the opportunity for closer cooperation for the safety of the athletes, spectators, and other participants.”

The State Department is expected to caution U.S. travelers on Monday about possible bombings and hostage takings in Russia, particularly in the North Caucasus region, which is less than 100 miles from Sochi.

The U.S. offer for closer cooperation with Russia follows two issues earlier this year that raised tensions between U.S. and Russian security agencies: the involvement of two Chechen brothers in the Boston Marathon bombing and Russia’s granting temporary asylum to former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Nonetheless, in November, Matthew Olsen, director of the government’s U.S. National Counter-terrorism Center, said his agency was “coordinating and integrating the intelligence community’s support … to the Winter Olympics in Sochi.”

Newsmax reporter Cynthia Fagen contributed to this report.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Report: US, Libyan Forces Capture Tunisian Militant Leader.


Image: Report: US, Libyan Forces Capture Tunisian Militant Leader

TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisian state media said the head of the country’s Islamist militants had been captured in Libya by U.S. and Libyan forces on Monday, though his organization denied he had been detained.

The U.S. army also said it had not played any part in any move against Ansar al Sharia leader Saifallah Benahssine — the man accused of inciting an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia in 2012.

Any U.S. involvement in an operation on Libyan soil would be highly sensitive. Libyan Islamists were furious at what they saw as Washington’s interference after American forces captured a top al-Qaida suspect in Tripoli in October.

If confirmed, the capture of such a high-ranking Tunisian militant in Libya would also highlight close ties between Islamist groups in North Africa.

After the fall of Moammar Gadhafi two years ago, Libya has drawn foreign militants because its weak central government, uncontrolled southern areas and porous borders to sub Saharan Africa allow arms and fighters to flow to regional hot spots.

Western powers have pledged to help Libya control its frontiers and train its nascent armed forces to build up its capacity to control the country’s territory.

Tunisia’s TAP agency, citing a senior security source, said Benahssine, also known as Abu Iyadh, had been arrested in the coastal city of Misrata on Monday morning.

“An authorized security source told TAP that Saifallah Benahssine, known as Abu Iyadh, has been arrested in Libya on Monday morning,” TAP said. “The source said special American forces arrested Abu Iyadh and other members of his group, helped by Libyan forces.”

The U.S. military said it had played no part in any operation, and U.S. security officials told Reuters that U.S. intelligence agencies and their personnel also were not involved.

Some U.S. officials believed that Abu Iyad had indeed been captured, while others said that reports of his capture had not been confirmed and cannot be considered reliable.

Libya’s LANA state news agency also published the TAP report on the capture. But there was no comment from the Libyan government.

Misrata officials denied he had been captured in their city.

“Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia denies any information stating that its prince, the Tunisian Abu Iyadh, may God protect him, has been captured,” the group said on its Twitter account.

Ansar al-Sharia was one of the hardline jihadist groups to emerge after the Tunisia’s revolt against its autocratic leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali three years ago when long-oppressed Islamist ultra-conservatives rose in influence.

Militant violence has also increased there since the government began a crackdown on the group this year, declaring it an outlawed organization.© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

#Ejigbo2 Sodomy Update: Lagos Assembly Sets up Ad Hoc Panel.


By SaharaReporters, New York

The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday set up a panel to investigate the sodomization of two women, a tortuous video of which spread on the Internet recently.

A source with knowledge of the House yesterday said that the Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, commissioned an ad hoc committee to commence immediate investigations into the situation.

Confirming the development, the leader of the Women Arise for Change Initiative, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, who led a protest to the House on Monday, told SaharaReporters she has been alerted about the establishment of the committee.

Heading the committee is Mr. Ajibayo Adeyeye, the Majority Leader.  Other members are Mrs. Adefunmilayo Tejuosho, who represents Mushin I Constituency, and Mrs. Omowunmi Olatunji-Edet of the Oshodi-Isolo II Constituency.

Among those to be invited by the committee in its fact-finding exercise include Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, who is the chairman of Ejigbo Local Council area; market leaders at the Ejigbo central market, where the incident is reported to have taken place; head of police division in charge of the zone of the incident, as well as civil society representatives.  The committee is expected to report its findings soon.

Yesterday, after showing the tape depicting the horror to a group of people to raise more awareness and concern yesterday, protest groups trouped to the Assembly to demand a thorough investigation, and justice.

In a statement recently, the Chairman of the Ejigbo local government, Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, admitted that the incident took place in his area last February.  He said that the sodomized woman is the wife of a palm wine tapper and the other lady in the torture, her stepdaughter. He said he had handed over to police for proper and thorough investigation.

However, police investigation has not progressed much.

“With this State House panel, we hope that the perpetrators are found and brought to justice,” said one of the protest leaders this morning.

Obamacare Fumbling Continues With Newest Quick-Fix.


Image: Obamacare Fumbling Continues With Newest Quick-Fix

By Cathy Burke

Moving deadlines and quick-fixes have been the hallmark of Obamacare from the start, and the fumbling continued Monday with an abrupt change-of-date giving the uninsured a brief 24-hour extension, until Christmas Eve, to sign up for coverage beginning Jan. 1.

“We’re just trying to make sure everyone who wants to get enrolled to be covered by Jan. 1 is able to do that,” White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri told MSNBC on Monday, according to Politico. “We still consider the end of the deadline to be today, but we’re going to try to accommodate people who try to get it done [Monday].”

The HealthCare.gov Twitter account said record demand prompted a “fail-safe” extension, Politico reported — even though Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokeswoman Julie Bataille sent a decidedly mixed signal.

“The deadline for signing up for coverage to start Jan. 1 is today,” her statement said, Politico reported. “We recognize that many have chosen to make their final decisions on today’s deadline, and are committed to making sure they can do so. Consumers should not wait until tomorrow. If you are aiming to get coverage Jan. 1, you should try to sign up today.”

The confusion is all too familiar. In October, Obamacare insurance buyers were operating  on the assumption they had until Dec. 15 to pick a plan if they wanted coverage beginning Jan. 1.

A month later, however, the no-later-than deadline was stretched to Dec. 23 — even as the Department of Health and Human Services was pushing back its deadline for when the first month’s insurance premium would come due, from Jan. 1 to Jan. 10.

It’s not just the deadlines that have kept Americans guessing.

On Dec. 19, the administration announced its most major “fix” for Americans who had lost their coverage because it didn’t measure up to Obamacare standards: changing policy to help people make the deadline to replace their dropped plans.

Those with inadequate insurance who got dumped by their insurance carriers were then allowed to claim a “hardship exemption,” giving them the option to buy cheaper, minimal coverage normally available only to people under 30.

“This is not a new policy,” Palmieri said Monday, Politico reported. “We merely clarified on behalf of a group of senators who asked the same questions on behalf of their constituents.”

“We actually don’t think in reality a great many people will avail themselves of this option,” she said. “We just want to make sure that people understand they have this option.”

Another Obamacare mandate “fix” came Nov. 14 — a week after President Barack Obama apologized to insured Americans whose plans were dropped despite his oft-repeated promise that would never happen under the new law — asking insurers to offer the sub-par coverage for another year.

The president switched the mandate for small businesses too, announcing last July that he was bumping the deadline requiring companies with 50 or more employees to offer insurance from Jan. 1, 2014, to Jan. 1, 2015.

Reuters contributed to this report

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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