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Lagos speaker meets AGF Malami, speaks on financial autonomy for state legislatures

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Obasa, who is the chairman of the Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures, said this at the induction of new speakers into the conference in Abuja on Wednesday.

The speaker, who earlier led a delegation to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, also tasked his colleagues in other states on ensuring that they fulfill their individual promises of serving the people.

Noting that as speakers, the weight of stabilizing their states through legislative practices rests on their shoulders, Obasa appealed to them to focus on people-oriented laws and motions that would serve a larger interest and ultimately help in the development of Nigeria.

“There is the need for all speakers of state legislatures to settle down and look at the nitty-gritty of our jobs, having in mind the progress of our dear country within the frame work of our legislative power,” Obasa said.

According to him, the time for celebrations over victories recorded at the 2019 general elections are over and legislators must now focus on governance.

The speaker also said the meeting was necessary for the new speakers to understand the workings of the conference, share same ideas and visions as well as get acquainted with its goals.

He further said the meeting would afford the speakers an opportunity to agree on a road-map to move state parliaments forward towards greater achievements in the next four years.

“Evidently, this sitting will be an inaugural one for the new speakers as well as an avenue to intimate you all with what we have been doing, particularly concerning the issue of financial autonomy for the state legislatures in Nigeria and its implementation.

“Let me remind us of the pending issues that are yet to be resolved like the constitutional amendment that was ongoing during the eighth Assembly in the Senate and House of Representatives as well as state police.

“We should all work together in the current Assembly to continue with the process of constitutional amendment, which is geared towards enhancing the well-being and improved standard of living of our people,” Obasa said just as he condemned the recent fresh attacks on Nigerians and other nationals in South Africa.

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lifestyle

Coronavirus: Lagos sets date to begin clinical trial

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The Lagos State Government has said it will begin clinical trial for Coronavirus next week in partnership with the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, NCDC.

Commissioner for Health, Akin Abayomi, at a news conference on Monday in Lagos, said the clinical trial would be started with Coronavirus patients and staff in Lagos State.

According to him, “There are a lot of research going on around the world, so it is possible that at some time in the near future, we will have what we may describe as a definitive cure for COVID-19.

“Indeed we are setting up our own clinical trials in Lagos in collaboration with other institutions and the NCDC and hopefully by this time next week, we should have started some clinical trials on our patients and on our staff in Lagos State.”

However, Abayomi attributed the low number of COVID-19 cases it has recorded when compared to other countries where there is an outbreak of the infection, to residents’ level of compliance to the sit-at-home order by the Federal Government.
He noted that the low figures recorded in the State indicated that the strategies adopted and being implemented by the State government was yielding the resources results.
Abayomi explained that the State was succeeding in flattening the steep rise in the curve of transmission.
“We are achieving success in delaying the spread of infection and expanding the time needed to impose social distancing and other measures. This is an indication that we are gradually winning the battle against the spread of the disease,” he observed.
While applauding residents for complying with the restriction order, he lamented that some Lagosians still flouted the stay-at-home instruction as they are seen engaging in activities which contravene the principle of social distancing and other relevant measures put in place by government to check the spread of the virus.
He advised them to adhere strictly to the order which he said has greatly helped in contact tracing of suspected cases and enabled health workers to respond swiftly in locating infected people within the state.
He stated further that the isolation centres in Onikan Stadium which has been completed and delivered will be officially opened Tuesday, noting that an additional 180 bed-space facility at the Gbagada General hospital will also be commissioned by the end of the week.
‘’We have enough facilities to manage the situation. We also have enough Personal Protection Equipment in stock for our health workers. Presently, we are still operating from the Mainland Hospital where we still have 60% of our bed-space available. Our Isolation Centers in Onikan Stadium and Gbagada General Hospital will be opened tomorrow and end of the week respectively. We believe this will provide almost 300-bed space,’’ he said

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crime

DELTA: ACCOUNTANT-GENERAL TO GOV. OKOWA CYRIL AGBELE IN ALLEGED N14BN FRAUD

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Cyril Agbele and Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa

…As Governor Okowa Constitutes Secret Investigation Committee.
Hard and trying times lay ahead of Delta State Accountant General, Mr Cyril Agbele, who is set to bow out of the state civil service on Wednesday 8, April, 2020 and to handover to his deputy, Mrs Joy Enwa, Thecitypulsenews gathers

Agbeye will be answering to a probe by the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over a N14 billion allegation of fraud.

Contained in a petition made available to the press, Mr Cyril Agbele allegedly paid N14 billion from the state coffers to contractors who were his cronies without the State Governor’s authorization or finance commissioner’s knowledge.

According to the petition titled, “Petition to investigate N14 billion unauthorized payment by Delta State Accountant General, Cyril Agbele and sundry crimes” and dated 12th March, 2020, the Accountant General allegedly took between 10 to 20 percent from contractors (in dollars) before paying them.

A source, in the EFCC disclosed that the SFU was currently on the investigation and will be inviting Mr Agbele any moment once the road to Lagos was cleared from the COVID-19 lockdown.

Meanwhile, a source in the government house has disclosed that the state governor, apparently not happy with the development, had constituted a classified committee to probe the Accountant General.

By the same token, he said the governor, had ordered the freezing of contractors accounts with Zenith Bank, Asaba, who were beneficiaries of the alleged fraud.

In view of this, contractors who were supposed to be paid by the Accountant General in the month of March, 2020 had their cheques dishonoured by the bank, in respect to a letter written by the Commissioner of Finance, Chief Fidelis Tilije, with an order for any payment not cleared by him to be dishonoured.

However, the State Commissioner of Finance, Mr. Fidelis Tilije denied knowledge of any fraud allegedly perpetuated by the State Accountant General.

Tilije, in a telephone conversation, also stated that he was not also aware of a committee set up by the governor to probe the alleged fraud perpetuated by the State Accountant General.

According to him, “I am not aware of any petition. I am not aware of any N14 billion fraud. I am not aware of anything relating to a N14 billion naira fraud or any fraud in this government.”

This is not the first time the Accountant General, Mr Cyril Agbele is facing allegations of multiple fraud. He has been fingered, severally, for fraud of over N15 billion in cases under investigation by the EFCC.

All efforts to reach the accused Accountant General, Mr Cyril Agbele, proved abortive, as calls and a text message to his phone number, 0803**** 526 were neither answered nor replied.

Source: TheCityPulseNews.com

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lifestyle

FOOD RELIEF PACKAGE IS FOR THE INDIGENT, VULNERABLE ONLY– LASG

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In the past few days, the social media have been awash with biased opinions about the welfare package initiative of the Lagos State Government to support the indigent and the vulnerable.

The welfare package was one of the various decisions taken by the Lagos State Executive Council to ease the discomfort thrust on Lagosians by the lockdown announced by the Federal Government, especially on those who earn daily income.

It has become necessary to reiterate the modus of distribution of the welfare package as well as the category of beneficiaries of the government’s compassionate gesture, which is deliberately being distorted by mischief-makers.

For the avoidance of doubt, the first stage of the welfare package was designed to cater for 200,000 households, comprising of a father, mother and four children across the 20 local governments and the 37 local council development authorities. It is a misconception that it was meant for all Lagosians. No.

All aged residents who are above 60 years old and registered with the Lagos State Residents’ Registration Agency, LASRRA, were sent text messages and requested to confirm the accuracy of their details, such as name and home address. They have since responded to the text messages so as to benefit from the package.

The food relief materials for the above 60 group are being delivered directly to the beneficiaries by representatives of the State Government based on the data with the Lagos State Residents Registration Agency.

The other category of beneficiaries comprises the indigent and vulnerable within the various communities at the grassroots.

As part of strategies to ensure that the relief packages reach the deserving beneficiaries, the State government involved Community Development Associations and their Committees as well as Community and Religious Leaders to collate the names of community members who deserve to benefit from the palliative measure.
The CDAs were also tasked to ensure the items were judiciously distributed.

The government is constantly monitoring the process and has observed some lapses that gave rise to the negative comments on some social media platforms.
The issues are being addressed to fine-tune the strategies adopted in getting the food items across to the intended recipients of the package.

In all, about 100,000 households across the State have been reached since the exercise started.

Lagosians should remain confident that the State Government is working to ensure that the lapses are
addressed so that the vulnerable who Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu said will not suffer will benefit from this laudable intervention.

Gbenga Omotoso
Commissioner for Information & Strategy

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