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Makinde signs Anti-Corruption Bill into Law

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Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, has signed  the Oyo State Anti-Corruption Bill 2019 into Law.

The Governor, who assented to the bill passed last week by the State House of Assembly, said that his assent was a signal his government was ready to enforce probity and accountability.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, confirmed that Governor Makinde, immediately after his assent, transferred the law to the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo for further administrative actions.

The Governor had, as part of initial declarations upon assumption of office, declared that the State under his watch would establish its own anti-corruption agency to ensure probity, accountability and good governance.
While signing the bill into law on Wednesday, Governor Makinde said: “We have just signed the anti-corruption law for Oyo State. There is nothing to be afraid of. Why we have domesticated the anti-corruption law is that just as we want the governance to get closer to the grassroots. We also want to guard the resources of the state in the same manner.

“Yes, corruption kills the society. When money meant for projects, salaries and certain developmental initiatives are diverted, we miss the opportunities.”

The Governor, who spoke at the Executive Council Chambers of the Governor’s Office, said that the law has no political colourations, as according to him, corruption and underdevelopment have no political leanings.

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“This is not a law meant to witch-hunt anyone. It is not about politics or political interests. It is not about APC or PDP but about Oyo State. We know for a fact that if we tackle corruption, we will have enough resources to take care of our people and that is exactly what this law is meant to achieve for us,” he said.

The Governor reiterated his readiness to waive his immunity and face any corrupt charges against him, if he commits any infractions to the law.

He added: “So, we believe we have to tackle corruption. I said it during my inaugural address as the Executive Governor of Oyo State that I will be ready to waive my immunity to face any corruption charges against my person and I still maintain that position.”

The Governor, therefore, enjoined every citizen of the State to alert the Government of any unscrupulous activities, adding; “if you see something, say something.”

He also warned against writing frivolous petitions, adding that anyone found guilty of such would equally be prosecuted.

“I want to implore everybody, the citizens of Oyo State to say something when they see something. And I can give you the assurance that we will act. We do know that people may want to take certain things for granted.

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“They may want to use this law to settle scores, because we have seen situations where people wrote frivolous petitions against somebody they have hatred for and, with that, they think they have the opportunity to square up.

“Well, we won’t condone that. If you write a frivolous petition to us, you will also be sanctioned because that is corruption in itself.”
He warned the Civil Servants not to petitions themselves wrongly as anybody found doing so would face the law.

“And for my constituency, the civil servants, I do know that people jostle for positions, where they malign themselves to get into a higher position. This is not what the law is about. This law is to ensure that due processes are followed in our financial dealings and to ensure our resources are deployed for specific reasons why they were appropriated for, in the first instance.

The Governor further said: “So, it’s a new opportunity for us to show the world that we can run a transparent and accountable government. I do hope that nobody here will fall into the trap of corruption.

“I did mention that there is a serious temptation in this job. For instance, I am being paid N550,000 and I have to run a yearly budget of over 200 billion Naira. Of course, we will be tempted but we have to resist the temptation.

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We have to know that whichever position we occupy is based on the trust of the people and when we leave, we will still go back to the larger society and, if we perpetuate corruption, the effect is waiting for us out there.

“So, I want to assure the people of Oyo State that this law will keep us in check, hold us accountable. And if you have anything about any of us, don’t hesitate to bring the facts out and the law will take its full course.”

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Makinde’ll move Oyo from poverty to prosperity through improved IGR – Internal Revenue boss

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The Executive Chairman, Oyo State Internal Revenue Service (OYSIRS), Aremo John Adeleke, has said that the State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde is determined to take Oyo State from poverty to prosperity by boosting the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Aremo Adeleke, who stated this while speaking to newsmen in Ibadan ahead of the State’s one-day Tax stakeholders’ summit holding in Ibadan, added that the administration has been vigorously pursuing improved IGR since its inception.

According to him, improved IGR would make the vision to move Oyo State from poverty to prosperity a reality.

He added that the State under the leadership of Governor Makinde has set the objective to be self-sufficient financially and to have enough resources to cover all its recurrent expenditures such as salaries and wages.

Adeleke stated that when this objective is achieved, it would become easier for the State to attain the prosperous height it so desired.
He further stated that it was for this purpose that the OYIRS and the Ministry of Finance are jointly floating a programme tagged: “Tax Stakeholders’ POVERTY TO PROSPERITY Summit.”

Aremo Adeleke also counselled that for the benefits derivable from improved IGR to be sustained, the citizenry would have to play their parts by ensuring regular payment of their taxes, levies and rates, as “there is no government that can do much without adequate internal resources.”

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He stated: “ It is to further reassure ourselves that the OYIRS  and the Ministry of Finance is floating a one-day conference on January 28.
“The Summit essentially is for sensitization of all stakeholders and for the Governor to be able to enumerate all his efforts at restructuring the Internally Generated Revenue architecture.

“The Governor will also solicit the co-operation of the taxpaying public from manufacturers to business men as well as other operators in the Informal Sector – artisans, drivers, market women and men, motorcyclists, trade unions and trade associations etc. He will stress the need for all to contribute their quotas and discharge their civic duties.

“His Excellency intends to establish the nexus between improved and adequate IGR and the ability of his administration to provide sustained good governance. At the earliest possible time, the State objective is to ensure it has enough IGR to cover all its recurrent expenditures such as salaries and wages, cost of running the government and maintaining infrastructure.”

Some of the dignitaries expected at the summit include Prof Abiola Sanni, a Professor of Taxation and Fiscal Matters, Mr Samuel Kolawole, MD of University Press and current Chairman of Manufacturers’ Association of Nigeria, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo and Ekiti state; prominent business man, Chief Olatunji Fadairo, CEO of Tafotech Group, and The Asiwaju of Eruwa Land, and Mr Lawal Abubakar, Executive Secretary, Joint Tax Board,
“We expect Messages of Good will from His Imperial Majesty, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Aje Ogungunnuso I, the Olubadan of Ibadan Land,” the  statement read.

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The OYIRS boss added: “We expect all tax payers and the general public to turn up en masse for this important dialogue, as it will represent a turning point in government-public engagement.

“This Summit is part of Governor Seyi Makinde’s strategy of pushing the frontier of good governance. Taking our people from poverty to prosperity through responsible citizenship is not just a slogan of this government it is an ideal for which we are totally committed to and for which our people must totally imbibe.”

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{VIDEO}: Police Disobey IGP Order – Oyo LG Boss Alleges

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The Council  Chairman of Ajorosun Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Oyo state, Mr Adeyinka Adeyemi on Monday alleged that police officers in the council have gone against the order of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu  as he was restricted access to the council secretariat alongside other elected councilors.

Adeyinka also alleged that the Police specifically stated that they were acting on the instruction of the Oyo state government not to allow elected executives to gain entrance into the local government council secretariat.

The council boss in a video obtained by Mega Icon Magazine added that the council secretariat was under lock and key.

 

The IGP, Adamu had earlier directed the Commissioner of Police in Oyo state, Mr Shina Olukolu, to take actions to implement the legal opinion of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) on the sacked local government chairmen in the state.

Adamu in a letter signed by his Principal Staff Officer, Idowu Owohunwa, dated January 23, 2020 was in response to an earlier letter written by Prince Abass-Aleshiloye, the ALGON Chairman.

The letter titled “Re: Federal Government Order to Governor Seyi Makinde to Reverse Sack of Local Government/ Local Council Development Areas Chairmen in Oyo State- Result for Police Protection”, reads:

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“Your letter dated 21st, January, 2020 on the above underlined subject, refers,

“I am to inform you that the Inspector-General of Police has directed the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State to initiate appropriate actions in line with the legal opinion of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice on the matter.

“You may accordingly, liaise with him to facilitate. Accept the assurances of the esteemed regards of the Inspector General of Police, please”.

But, the Ajorosun LCDA council boss, Adeyinka in the video recorded at the Council secretariat today lamented, “Hello Executive member of ALGON, this is Ajorosun LCDA, we are live in front of the local government with my Councilors, Supervisory Councilors and party executives .

“As you can see, the Nigeria Police men said we cannot enter that the instruction from the state government states that they should not allow democratically elected local government executives to enter the local government.

“As you can see, I am right in front of the local government, everywhere is under lock and key and they have carried out the order of the state government contrary to the order of the IG that is what the police in my local government are doing . I want you to react on that and  notify everybody that should be notified that the Nigeria Police has gone against the order of the IG”.

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It was also reliably gathered that the situation was the same in  Ibadan North East Local Government and some local councils in the Oke Ogun axis of the state.

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EU, UN concerned by increasing attacks against aid workers in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe

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The European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) expressed concerns, in a joint press conference last  Friday about the recent upsurge in attacks against aid workers and civilians recorded in recent weeks in the north-eastern states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe.

Amidst a deteriorating security situation, they reiterated their commitment to work better together and strengthen efforts to provide life-saving assistance to those affected by more than ten years of crisis in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, in north-east Nigeria, and to increase support to people rebuilding their lives and communities.

On his first official trip outside Europe, Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, joined by the Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, met with President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hon. Sadiya Umar Farouq, and Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum, as well as various partners from local CSOs, international NGOs and UN agencies implementing the humanitarian response in north-east Nigeria.

During this two-day visit, Commissioner Lenarčič and Mr Kallon, also met with people displaced and affected by the violence in the Borno State town of Gwoza and visited EU-funded relief projects.

Announcing that the European Union will allocate an additional €26.5 million in humanitarian aid,Commissioner Lenarčič declared: “I saw first-hand today the suffering that conflict has brought to people’s lives and how crucial humanitarian aid is to people’s survival. What matters most is that humanitarian organisations can reach all the people in need, without restrictions, including in areas under the influence of non-state armed groups. It is vital that all States and parties to armed conflicts respect their obligation to allow and facilitate the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian relief.

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It is also key to implement in parallel a comprehensive strategy in the region, exploring political tracks while addressing the root causes of conflict.” Recent weeks have been marked by an upsurge in violent attacks from non-state armed groups and an increasing trend of illegal checkpoints on major supply and commercial routes directly targeting civilians, authorities and aid workers, especially in Borno State.

Twelve aid workers were deliberately and brutally murdered by non-state armed groups in 2019, twice the number in 2018. Two aid workers, Grace Taku and Alice Loksha, are still being held hostage by non-state armed groups and the humanitarian community call for their immediate and safe release.

“This highly symbolic visit comes at a critical time and brings together the United Nations, international and Nigerian NGOs, local and national CSOs and the European Union, as one of the most important donors,” highlighted Mr Kallon. “We are extremely worried that civilians and those who are providing them with assistance are the direct target of violent attacks, hindering our ability to save lives and help people rebuild livelihoods and communities.”

“All actors and stakeholders must strengthen their efforts to provide life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people affected by the crisis, and do their utmost to guarantee the protection of civilians and aid workers, and safe, unconditional access to the people in need,” added the Humanitarian Coordinator.

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The humanitarian crisis in Nigeria remains one of the largest crises across the globe. In a complex and volatile security environment, the United Nations and NGO partners, in collaboration with local and national authorities in Nigeria, have delivered urgent support and basic services to over 5.6 million people in the crisis-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, in Nigeria’s north-east.
In 2020, the humanitarian community estimates that 7.7 million people will need emergency assistance.

Over 1.8 million people, across the three crisis-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe are still living in camps or are hosted in other communities, that are themselves becoming extremely vulnerable.

1.2 million people in need remain cut off from humanitarian aid in hard-to-reach areas.

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