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Speaker Abbas Says 400,000 Policemen Not Enough To Secure Nigeria’s Population

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…seeks collaboration with State Assemblies on constitutional amendments
By Gloria Ikibah
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas, has said that the 400,000 policemen in service is not sufficient to provide security to over 200 million Nigerians.
Speaking during a courtesy call by the Association of Clerks of State Houses of Assembly on Thursday, Abbas who was represented by Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Okezie Kalu, said that it is necessary to establish state police.
He said state policing will increase internal security because the operators are already familiar with the terrain they are to police.
Abbas said that the establishment of State Police is akin to the amendments made to issues of railway, power amongst others by the 9th National Assembly to enable the States enjoy some constitution rights under the concurrent list to delve into those issues.
He said: “On other key nationally important matters like state police, for example, the House recognizes the diverse perspectives and needs across different states. We believe that through constructive dialogue and a willingness to find common ground, we can arrive at solutions that truly serves the best interests of all Nigerians.
“Talking about state Police, you will remember also that we did something with the Correctional Services. These are issues that ordinarily fall into the exclusive list of the Constitution of the federal of republic of Nigeria which you had no business tampering with. But in the spirit of true federalism, the 9th and 10th Assemblies are determined to bring some of these for better governance to take it from the exclusive list to the concurrent list. We did that with the railway and power in the 9th assembly. The question is, how many of the states have drafted laws, domesticating that in their state?
“Now, the State Police is here. We want to use the legislative intervention to improve the needs in our society. One of our needs is security. And we have tried the one layer police system and they overwhelmed us. The truth remains that 400, 000 policemen, policing over 200 million people can never give you the expected security. It is not even in line with the international best practices on police per citizen policing.
“How do we make it trickle down and achieve what we are looking for. Imagine a brother of mine trained in Sokoto or Kaduna during his training as a policeman and he finished and was sent to Bayelsa, a riverine area where the culture is different, language is different, even the way of movement is different -they use mainly boats and this our brother has a phobia for water, how do you expect him to police the people who swim? The policing will not be thorough. But take a man from that community who knows the in and out of the geography of the area, train him around that place, send him to police, you will agree with me that he will police better. The same thing if you take my brother from Bayelsa to Sokoto, he will not police better than the Sokoto man.
“Yet, the spirit of one nation, national integration, federal character is key and cannot be tampered with. That is why the federal police can have the coloration of what it is at the moment.
“And another thing is, if we don’t streamline it,  you will see pockets of organizations, vigilante groups springing up everyday, getting armed everyday. If tomorrow we are not able to manage them in line with the core principle of policing, we may end up creating monsters that will add to insecurity.”
Abbas also called for collaborations among the national parliament and the State Assemblies with regards to the ongoing constitutional amendments.
He said that the synergy was necessary if lofty results were to be achieved.
“The House of Representatives recognizes the crucial role State Assemblies play in shaping the fabric of our nation. We understand that effective governance in a federal system like ours requires inter-governmental collaboration and synergy between the government at the center and the federating units.
“The Nigerian constitutional amendment process has long been a subject of national discourse, and rightfully so because the society is dynamic. It presents a unique opportunity to address critical issues, strengthen our institutions, and pave the way for a more prosperous, enviable and equitable future for all Nigerians.
“However, this process cannot succeed without a unified front. It’s been tested time and again that the federal legislature in isolation of the states legislature cannot amend the grundnom. The constitution is clear on that. Responsibility is shared.
“The House of Representatives firmly believes that collaboration between the National Assembly and State Assemblies is essential to achieve meaningful and lasting reforms. The clerks are the backbones of the State legislature.
“We are committed to working closely with you, the Clerks who serve as the backbone of your respective legislative houses, to ensure open communication, exchange of ideas, and a shared understanding of the issues at stake”, he said.
Earlier in her presentation, the chairman and leadership of the delegation, Rukaiyatu Adamu Jalo told the Speaker that their mission to the House was to seek collaboration with the House, appreciate the national assembly for the passage of the autonomy for state legislature and judiciary bill into law and to understudy the national parliament on the implementation of practice and procedures of legislative business.
Bemoaning the non implementation of the act in many states, Adamu appealed to the House leadership to interface with the Forum of State Speakers to resolve the issue.
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Electricity Tariff: Speaker Abbas Says Increase Must Be Fair, Equitable, Beneficial To Citizens

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By Gloria Ikibah 
 
 
 
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Tajudeen Abbas, has said that any adjustments made in the electricity tariffs must be fair, equitable and beneficial to all the stakeholders. 
 
 
The Speaker stated this at a special public hearing on the increase in electricity tarrifs organized by the joint House committees on power, commerce, national planning and delegated legislation on Tuesday in Abuja. 
 
 
Naijablitznews.com recalled that the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) recently increased electricity tariff, a development which sparked great displeasure and attracted strong opposition from different groups across the country.
 
 
Speaker Abbas who was represented by the deputy speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu, said the public hearing was to ultimately examine all issues of concern with a view to proffering solutions. 
 
 
He said: “The fears expressed by many are valid – that such a sharp increase in electricity tariffs will only exacerbate the economic hardships already faced by our people. There are genuine concerns that higher utility bills resulting from this tariff hike could have a ripple effect on operational costs for businesses, potentially leading to increased prices for goods and services
 
 
“Electricity as we know, is not just a commodity; it is a lifeline for many households and businesses across our nation. Any significant rise in tariff could have far-reaching consequences for our economy and the livelihoods of our people. Therefore, it is essential that we carefully assess all factors before making any decisions that may affect the affordability and accessibility of electricity for our citizens. It is imperative that we engage in constructive dialogue to address these issues and ensure that any adjustments made are fair, transparent, and ultimately beneficial to all parties involved.
 
 
“It is in the light of the foregoing that the House convened this public hearing. As representatives of the Nigerian people, it is our duty to carefully consider the implications of such policies on our constituents’well-being and livelihoods. 
 
 
“Our goal is to ensure that any adjustments made to electricity tariffs are fair, equitable, and ultimately beneficial to all stakeholders involved.
 
 
“We must strive to strike a balance that safeguards the interests of consumers while also enabling sustainable growth and development within the energy sector.”
 
 
He assured that the House will continue to work with the executive arm of government, even as he urged the stakeholders to make valuable submissions that will help the parliament make an informed decision on the issue. 
 
 
“I urge all stakeholders present here today to engage in constructive dialogue and provide valuable insights that will guide us in finding a balanced solution to this pressing issue. Let us work together towards ensuring that electricity remains affordable for all Nigerians while also aupporting the growth and stability of our energy sector. Let us use this public hearing as an opportunity to listen to all stakeholders,understand their perspectives, and work towards finding a sustainable and equitable resolution to this pressing issue. 
 
 
“I want to emphasize our commitment to working closely with the executive to transform the Nigerian power sector into a model of efficiency and sustainability as outlined in our Legislative Agenda. We are dedicated to providing legislative support to the efforts of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s Administration in reforming the power sector by addressing all legal and legislative impediments accordingly”, he added. 
 
 
Speaker Abbas however expressed displeasure at the failure of the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to honour the invitation of the committees to make their respective presentations. 
 
 
He urged them to submit their memoranda to the secretariat of the committees, saying that positive results can only be made when all the stakeholders come into a partnership.
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Democracy Day: Senator Dafinone Felicitates Tinubu, Deltans, Nigerians, Calls For Unity

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

The Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District, Senator Ede Dafinone has called on Nigerians to take time out as the country marks 25 years of unbroken democratic rule to remember sacrifices of those who fought valiantly for the democracy we now enjoy.

The renowned accountant, now a lawmaker while congratulating President Bola Tinubu, the people of Delta Central and Nigerians in a signed statement, noted that Nigeria’s 25 years of unbroken democratic rule is a testament to the resilience, dedication, and unwavering commitment of the Nigerian people to the principles of democracy and freedom.

The Delta Central lawmaker also called on Nigerians to embrace unity, love, and respect for one another and to deepen their engagement in participatory democracy, and to guard against antidemocratic tendencies and ensure that our democratic values and culture are firmly entrenched at all levels of society.

Senator Dafinone’s media release titled: “Celebrating 25 Years of Unbroken Democratic Rule in Nigeria,” reads.

“I extend my heartfelt congratulations to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and to all Nigerians as our beloved country commemorate 25 years of unbroken democratic rule. This significant milestone is a testament to the resilience, dedication, and unwavering commitment of the Nigerian people to the principles of democracy and freedom.

“As we celebrate this historic day, let us remember the sacrifices of those who fought valiantly for the democracy we now enjoy. June 12th is not just a date; it symbolizes our collective struggle for justice, equity, and the rule of law. It is a reminder of the power of the people’s voice and the strength of our democratic institutions.

“I urge every Nigerian to embrace unity, love, and respect for one another. In our diversity lies our strength, and it is only through mutual understanding and cooperation that we can achieve the greatness we aspire to as a nation. Let us set aside our differences and work together towards a common goal: a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Nigeria.

“Furthermore, I call on all citizens to deepen their engagement in participatory democracy. It is our collective responsibility to guard against antidemocratic tendencies and ensure that our democratic values and culture are firmly entrenched at all levels of society. Let us hold our leaders accountable, participate actively in the democratic process, and foster an environment where every Nigerian feel valued and heard.

“As we celebrate this momentous occasion, let us renew our commitment to building a Nigeria where democracy thrives, where every citizen enjoys their fundamental rights, and where the future is bright for generations to come.

“Once again, congratulations to President Bola Tinubu, the Urhobo Nation and to all Nigerians. Together, let us continue to strive for a more united and democratic nation.

“God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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Senegal Joins Oil-Producing Countries In West Africa, Produces Oil For The First Time

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By Kayode Sanni-Arewa

Senegal has become one of West Africa’s oil producing countries as the country started producing oil for the first time on Tuesday.

As President Bassirou Diomaye Faye promised that profits from the sale of the country’s oil and gas would be “well managed”, Australian energy giant Woodside described the oil production in Senegal as a “historic day” and a “key milestone” for the company and the country.

BBC reports that the Sangomar deep-water project, which also has gas, aims to produce 100,000 barrels of oil per day.

It is expected to generate billions of dollars for Senegal and boost the country’s economy.

The general manager of the national oil company Petrosen, Thierno Ly, said that the country had entered a “new era” when production began on Tuesday.

Ly was quoted as saying, “We have never been so well positioned for opportunities for growth, innovation and success in the economic and social development of our nation.”

It was reported that Petrosen has an 18% stake in the project while Woodside owns the remainder.

Elected in April this year, President Faye has been keen on renegotiating the deal as part of reforms he promised during the election campaign.

The President, while speaking to students on Tuesday, said that the earnings from the oil and gas production would be “well managed”, and that an “inter-generation fund” had been set up for the benefit of “your generation and those to come.”

The country’s move to renegotiate oil and gas contracts has been seen by some analysts as making investors jittery, but government supporters have reportedly said that it is vital for the West African state to increase its stake in projects so that the nation benefits from its natural resources.

A former opposition politician, Prime Minister Ousmane Sonko, who was a key figure in the president’s election campaign, recently insisted that contracts signed by previous administrations were ”unfavourable” to the country, and would be reviewed.

Sonko was quoted as saying on Tuesday, “We’re the ones who promised you we’d renegotiate the contracts, and we’re going to do it. We’ve started already.

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