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We Are Not Owing State Workers, Kwara Government Tells SERAP.

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Gov Abdulfatai-Ahmed

The Kwara State Governor, Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed has described the decision by SERAP, a rights advocacy group, to include him in a petition to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged non payment of salaries to workers as ill-informed and misdirected as well as an attempt to whip up sentiments on an issue of national concern.

Reacting to the group’s petition, Governor Ahmed described it as baseless and lacking a foundation in fact as Kwara State is up to date in the payment of salaries to state civil servants and pensioners. Alhaji Ahmed stressed that SERAP may have been referring to the local government councils in the state, which receive separate allocations from the federal government and have varying degrees of staff and pension arrears.

Furthermore, the Kwara State Governor said despite experiencing a drop in monthly allocation from N3.2b to N800m, the state government has sustained payment of its civil servants and pensioners through prudent management of resources and revenue reforms which have increased Internally Generated Revenue by more than 100 per cent in less than a year, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Dr. Muyideen Akorede.

Continuing, Dr. Ahmed said he is currently working with local government chairmen in the state to redress salary arrears at that tier of government through measures such as the proposed takeover of Junior Secondary School funding by the state to reduce the financial pressure on local governments.

He, therefore, wondered why SERAP will refer an issue involving contractual obligation between a government and its workers to the ICC which deals with criminal matters and settles legal disputes submitted to it by sovereign states.

The state governor pointed out that while the said LG pension and salary delays are unfortunate and painful, the issue is reflective of the financial gridlock currently confronting the country and is neither intentional nor criminal in nature.

The Governor further dismissed the petition as selective for failing to reflect the federal government position that 27 states are currently unable to pay workers. Additionally, Alhaji Ahmed also questioned the source of SERAP’s data, and emphasised that recent surveys by the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC), respected national media organisations as well as reputable financial watchdogs in the country had given Kwara State a clean bill of health with regards to payment of state workers and pensioners.

NEWS

CBA Foundation Lends Voice Against Police Brutality, Backs Effective Policing, Good Governance

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Chinwe Bode-Akinwande (CBA) Foundation, a non-governmental organization in Lagos, has joined well-meaning Nigerians across the world to lend its voice against the unfriendly approach of the Nigeria Police Force to civil policing and respect of human rights.

The foundation expressed its support to the widespread cry on the need for the Nigeria Police Force to be uplifted and modernized to promote its efficiency in the discharge of its primary duties of protecting the lives and properties of all residents in the country, irrespective of nationality.

A statement by the foundation’s chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr. Adesina Adegunle, on Friday, said that as the protest for #EndSARs, #EndPoliceBrutality is being looked into by the government (legislative and executive arms), as well as other stakeholders in the place of influence and authority, a common ground and lasting solution is expedient so the trust of the police by everyone is achieved.

“We stand for #EndPoliceBrutality #EndDehumanisation on all grounds. Without a doubt, the victims of police brutality at the extreme case, hence death, have left many women widows; it has left many widows losing their children as well, with many having no one to turn to. Such dehumanization has made the meaning and essence of life lost by the victims.

“Now is the time to speak up, listen, represent right, and see through the solution we seek. We need to hear the plans, see actions, and feel the effectiveness of the timelines in place.

“We need a listening government, people-centered leaders that will be bold to ask the public to track and hold those in authority accountable.

“Good leadership and representative governance are all we seek because Nigeria is ours and indeed the role security plays to the growth and development of the country cannot be overemphasized. God bless Nigeria,” he noted.

The CBA Foundation is primarily dedicated to promoting the protection of Nigerian widows and their vulnerable children, restoring immediate and lasting hope, confidence, and courage in their lives.

Established in 2015, the foundation, under its 5-point agenda, has reached out to thousands of underprivileged widows and children through skills acquisition training, health intervention, business start-ups, and provision of clothing, nutrition, and tuition fees for the children.

In breakdown, 5,600 widows have been empowered through its women empowerment and capacity building initiative; over 3,500 underprivileged widows have received health intervention; over 3,500 have also received food items.

The foundation has also reinstated 45 children in school, empowered 120 widows financially to start a business of their own, and also provided palliatives to 250 widows during the COVID-19 pandemic lock-down.

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BIG STORY

Senate Minority Caucus Knocks Buhari Over Lauretta Onochie’s INEC Nomination, Calls For Withdrawal Of Nomination

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The Senate Minority Caucus said on Tuesday that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), flouted the nation’s constitution with the appointment of his media aide, Lauretta Onochie, as a national commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The opposition senators in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja and signed by their leader, however, asked Buhari to withdraw Onochie’s nomination.

They noted that Buhari, by nominating Onochie, “has willfully gone against the constitution that he swore to uphold.”

Part of the statement read, “Item F, paragraph 14 of the Third Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) forbids a card-carrying member of a political party to be a member of INEC.

“The Minority Caucus of the Senate is against this nomination and call on Mr President to withdraw it.”

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NEWS

Baba Bajaj, Runs Faster, Lasts Longer, Covers Over 5500 Kms On Tough Nigerian Road

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Bajaj

For the first time ever, Nigeria experienced its own Keke rally that kicked off on 7th August from the Stallion Auto Keke- Ijesha Showroom for Bajaj Kekes. The Stallion Bajaj Keke Rally has now completed a tough terrain of 5594 km through 27 cities and 18 states in the West, East, and North Central in less than 41 days.

 The road trip was up of a team of 5 experienced riders and the Stallion Bajaj officials and security agents. Collectively the convoy covered more than 26000 Kms without any product issues.

 Managing Director for the business, Mr. Manish Rohtagi stated that “The Keke Rally really boasts on how the New Baba Bajaj is tough, strong, reliable, and well equipped for the Nigerian roads. Having covered almost more than 5000 km the Kekes did not face any performance or maintenance challenges. It kept its brand promise of “Runs Faster, Lasts Longer” through every rider who was a part of this rally.”

 The rally was flagged off from Lagos and covered states like Ogun, Oyo, Kwara, Kogi, Benue, Enugu, Ebonyi, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Abia, Rivers, Anambra, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Osun, to prove the durability of  Bajaj Keke. It even spread the message of urging people of Nigeria to be responsible for maintaining hygiene to curb the spread of the Corona Virus. The Stallion Bajaj Keke Rally visited celebrated cultural and historic sites in each state highlighting and sharing the Nigerian culture of host communities. The journey to these sites brought forth the stories around it to encourage connecting the youth to their rich heritage.

 The vision from this rally was not only to take up the challenge of proving how credible the product is but also to engage in the stories of these riders that will go on to make the brand what it is. The alliance of Stallion and Bajaj will continue to improve lives by going the extra mile providing rider-training facilities, scholarship programmes, mechanic empowerment programmes, ease in the financing, ease of spare part availability, and differentiated customer service through its existing footprints within the auto industry.

 Bajaj Auto Ltd. is a world leader in the intracity vehicle space. Loved in 70 countries the brand stands for integrity, dedication, resourcefulness, and determination to succeed and empower. It is a well-known brand for its durability, speed, and maneuverability and is the pioneer brand of tricycles in Nigeria loved by millions. It’s a Keke for the people engineered for a smooth journey and better livelihood.

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