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Reps begins process to merge Ministries,MDAs



The House of Representatives has commenced its public hearing on the proposed merger of some government related agencies in order to reduce cost in governance.

The ad-hoc committee mandated to investigate the duplication of functions of agencies of the federal government in its first hearing received the National Council for Arts and Culture, National Commission for Museum and Monuments, National Gallery of Art and Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation.

Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Ronsewe expressed support for the proposed merger.

Ronsewe while speaking at the hearing
described the move as one which “will make some of us more effective” in the discharge of responsibilities, answering in the affirmative when the committee asked if in his opinion, five agencies performing related function as his’ that “the five agencies can be merged. I totally agree with you”.

He described the move as one which “will make some of us more effective” in the discharge of responsibilities but cautioned that it may lead to litigation in the future as these agencies performs their various functions.

When the ad-hoc committee asked of his opinion on the merger, the Art and Culture Council boss affirmed that since the five agencies are performing related function as his’ that “the agencies can be merged. “I totally agree with you”,he said.

According to him, culture and tourism cannot be separated, as is the case in Nigeria. “You can’t go to Dubai today and be hearing all these names (agencies) here. It is just culture and tourism”, he argued, noting that some sister parastatals have been trying to operate parallel functions, with almost all carrying out one festival or another.

He concluded saying it is time for the federal government to look inward and merge the agencies.

However, Director General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, Nura Kangiwa insisted that there were no similarities between his organisation and any other, saying that “our own is a training provider”.

He also could not satisfy the committee on which law that gave rise to appointment of a DG for the institute, when he said an amendment to its Act was passed last year, but yet to be signed into law by the President. He was asked to at a later date, finish the committee with details of the number of trainees of the agency since inception.

On his part on whether the agencies be merged, the Director General of National Commission for Museum and Monuments, Prof. Abba Tijani said he can not say whether they should be merged considering the fact that they perform separate functions.

Prof. Tijani explained that the commission’s mandate is to protect, document and regulate monuments and antiquities while the National Gallery of Art deals with contemporary Arts.

The ad-hoc committee chairman, Hon. Victor Danzaria in his remarks said the essence of the engagement was to look into how desirable the agencies were, “so that government don’t waste resources on agencies”.

He assured that the findings by his led adhoc committee will be prepared and submitted to the House when concluded.

Other agencies to appear at the ongoing hearing for the proposed merger include: National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism; Nigerian Communications Commission; Border Communities Development Agency and National Boundary Commission.

Recalled that Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila had on June 29, inaugurated the Ad hoc committee with the mandate to investigate and determine such agencies, and to recommend appropriate action to the larger house.


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PDP Crisis: Ortom, Fayose, Anyim, Others Get Soft Landing



…..Party Rescinds Sanctions

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rescinded sanctions slammed on former governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, and ex-Senate President, Pius Anyim, over alleged anti-party activities.

Benue Governor Samuel Ortom, Ibrahim Shema of Kastina state and other party Chieftains also sanctioned got soft landings after a crucial meeting of the national working committee of the party yesterday in Abuja

Recall that the party top shots were suspended by the embattled Iyorchia Ayu leadership over alleged anti party activities

But in a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, yesterday Thursday, March 30, the party announced that its National Working Committee,NWC, has reversed the suspension of the party’s chieftains.

Ologunagba noted that the PDP NWC also reversed Governor Ortom’s referral to the party’s disciplinary committee.

He said: “The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at its meeting today, Thursday, March 30, 2023, extensively discussed recent developments in the party.

“The NWC recognised the imperativeness of a total reconciliation among party leaders and critical stakeholders for a more cohesive Party in the overall interest of our teeming members and Nigerians in general.

“Consequent upon the above, the NWC reverses the referral of the Governor of Benue State, His Excellency, Dr. Samuel Ortom to the National Disciplinary Committee.

“The NWC in the same vein reverses the suspension of the following members of our great party: H.E Ibrahim Shema (Katsina State); Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti State); Sen. Pius Anyim (Ebonyi State); Prof. Dennis Ityavyar (Benue State); Dr. Aslam Aliyu (Zamfara State).

“This decision is without prejudice to the powers of the NWC to take necessary disciplinary action against any member of the party at any time pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of the PDP (as amended in 2017).

“The NWC charges all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party across the country to be guided by the provisions of the PDP Constitution (as amended in 2017) as well as the new spirit and necessity of reconciliation, unity, and harmony in our party at this critical time.

“The PDP must remain focused as we continue to take every necessary action to recover the stolen mandate freely given by Nigerians to our party and presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on Saturday, February 25, 2023, at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal,” the PDP spokesperson stated.

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DSS ING Alarm:Legal Means Can Be Deployed To Stop Tinubu’s Inauguration- HURIWA



Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), yesterday said there was nothing wrong in applying legal means to stop the inauguration of the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu on May 29, 2023 because the February 25, 2023 election that produced him is still being actively challenged in court by leading candidates in the poll.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the so-called alarm raised by the Department of State Services (DSS) on Wednesday that some politicians are plotting an interim government should not be used as an obstacle to stop the petitions filed by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) challenging Tinubu’s Victory

The DSS warning followed a petition by the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Keyamo that the DSS should invite Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, over their rejection of Tinubu as the President-Elect.

Similarly, Atiku had earlier in March led a protest to the Abuja office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to reject the result of the February 25 poll declared by the electoral umpire.

Both Atiku and Obi alleged electoral malpractices in the poll and are in court to challenge the declaration of Tinubu as President-Elect by INEC.

HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The Department of State Services should not rope in powerful opposition forces such as Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar with a view to finding some frivolous charges to hang on their necks to frustrate their formidable petitions against the outcome of the February 25 presidential poll.

“The DSS must work for all of Nigeria and not work as errand boys of Tinubu and his allies who only recently made claims that some persons want to stop his swearing in. By the way, there is nothing wrong in applying legal means to stop his inauguration because the election is being actively challenged. Nothing should be used as obstacles to obstruct Obi and Atiku’s petitions.

He advised that ,“The DSS should go after arm smugglers, kidnappers, bandits and terrorists and leave politicking for politicians.”

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Edo NUJ Felicitates Arase Over Appointment As Chairman PSC



The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Edo State Council has felicitated with Solomon Arase, a retired Inspector General of Police on his appointment as Chairman of the Police Service Commission (PSC).

In a statement signed by the union Chairman, Comrade Festus Alenkhe, the union described the appointment as well deserved.

The union expressed optimism that Arase will bring his wealth of experience to bear in his new assignment to his father land.

The union prayed God Almighty to grant him the knowledge and wisdom to reposition the Police Service Commission for better service delivery.

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