Women Affairs Commissioner Harps On Family Mobilisation For Devt.

Hon.-Mrs-Abiola-Kufile-Okonji-CommThe socio economic development of any State or nation depends mostly on the regular sensitization and mobilisation of the family being the smallest but very crucial unit in any society.

The Ogun State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Abiola Kufile-Okonji made this assertion while speaking at the 4th edition of the Couples’ Forum, organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, with the theme “Ensuring Harmonious Family Relationships and Peace at the Home Fronts” held in Abeokuta.

She stated that reported increase in cases of kidnapping, abduction, ritual killings, rape and teenage prostitution, were indicators that things were not well at the home front, saying there was need for urgent attention to save the family in particular and the community in general.

While acknowledging that this year’s edition was to consolidate on the gains of previous couples’ fora, she charged participants to take maximum advantage of the programme to boost their relationships and co-exist harmoniously with others.

“I wish to charge participants to take maximum advantage of the forum to boost their relationships, device other means to resolve differences that may arise between their families and co-exist harmoniously so that the state, nation and the world can be a better place to live”, she said.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs Abiola Gbadamosi, acknowledged that the present economic recession had taken a great toll on the financial capabilities of parents to meet family commitments leading to increase in street children and deviant behaviour.

The Permanent Secretary who expressed optimism that participants would gain more from the facilitator’s wealth of experience, enjoined estranged and would-be couples to henceforth develop right attitudes towards each other to improve co-existence and family bond.

Osinbajo To Sign 2017 Budget Next Week, Says Dogara

DogaraThe Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, on Friday said that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo would sign the 2017 budget into law “early next week.”

Dogara made this known during the second anniversary session of the 8th House of Representatives in Abuja.

Although the Speaker did not give much details as to the specific date when the budget signing would take place, his hint indicated that the Presidency might have communicated to him a decision to assent to the N7.441tn budget next week.

Meanwhile, as the session was going on, it was disrupted by some members of the National Association of Nigerian Students due to the leadership tussle rocking the association.

Dogara, while recognising the attendance of the students at the session, had mentioned Mr. Haruna Kadiri as the National President of NANS.

But, another factional NANS President, Mr. Chinedu Obasi, interrupted Dogara rudely by shouting that Kadiri was not the President.

Obasi’s supporters, who thronged the gallery of the House, also shouted that it was Obasi and not Kadiri that was the authentic President.

Amidst the confusion and uproar, Dogara was forced to halt his speech as security officials whisked Obasi out of the chambers.

Outside the chambers, Obasi, who almost had his clothes torn, insisted that he was the President, showing a letter of invitation sent to him by the House to attend the event.

Ironically, the House also sent the same letter to Kadiri, who was eventually recognised by Dogara.

Obasi stated, “We are disappointed by the action of the Speaker to have recognised someone not known to us as the national president of NANS. I am the duly elected national president of NANS.

“With me here is the letter of invitation to this event sent to me by the House leadership. I didn’t just come here. I was invited.”

But, one lawmaker and a former official of NANS, Mr. Tajudeen Yussuf, explained that the House invited both Obasi and Kadiri because of the confusion over who was the authentic NANS President.

“It was based on this reasoning that names were not contained in the invitation letters that were issued to the two leaders,” Yussuf added.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Editorial Board of ThisDay Newspapers, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, told the House that the National Assembly suffered negative image perception because of the jumbo pay of lawmakers and the unresolved controversies surrounding budget padding.

Adeniyi also said certificate scandals and the ostentatious lifestyle of senators and members of the House contributed to why Nigerians frequently questioned their relevance to the country.

Adeniyi was the guest speaker at the special session.

Speaking on the topic, “Image Perception of the Legislature: Causes and Possible Solutions,” he also observed that a House that could vote N3.6bn to buy exotic cars for its members in a period of recession did not appear to be sensitive to the plight of Nigerians.

He added that much as the House had passed many bills and motions in the last two years, the concern of Nigerians would be how the bills had impacted directly on their lives.

He said, “As far as the honourable members seated here this morning are concerned, you are serving the people.

“But where majority of Nigerians are concerned, you are all here serving only your own interest.

“Whether the populace is right or wrong is not the issue here. What is important is for the members to be aware that the people whose interest they claim to serve do not think highly of them.”

However, in his address, Dogara argued that while the current House would not assess itself for the work it had done, it had broken all the records of performance set since 1999.

The speaker said, “Statistics bear this out. The total number of bills introduced so far is 1,064, out of which Executive bills are 50; Senate bills transmitted to the House are 21; and Private Members’ bills are 993.

“A total of 126 bills have been passed by the House and the others are at various stages in the legislative mill. Twenty seven bills have received Presidential assent and a lot more are in the pipeline.

“Each of the achievements highlighted above is unsurpassed by any previous Assembly. The sheer volume of these bills attests to the vibrancy of the House in its attempt to legislate on key areas of our national life at a very trying time in our history.”

Dogara also stated that the House had kept its promise of not only to reform the budgeting process but had also published the details of the budget of the National Assembly this year.

Although, it was a special anniversary session, Saturday PUNCH observed that about 200 out of the 360 members of the House were absent in the chambers.

Saturday PUNCH counted only 74 members in attendance as at 10.27am when Dogara addressed the opening of the session. The number grew to 150 when it ended about 1.47pm.

However, the Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, told the session that there was a wrong notion of assessing legislators based on the number of times they sat in the chambers. According to him, while the plenary of the House might appear not to be full most of the times, legislators are busy performing other functions of oversight and committee assignments, “which are even more important than the plenary.”

Ogun Assembly Alerts Agencies On Flooding

The Speaker of the Ogun State House of Assembly has called on the Ministries of Environment and its Works counterpart, as well as the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) and other stakeholders in the environmental management to assist communities affected by flooding to overcome its present challenges.

Adekunbi made this call yesterday while responding to the complaints of some Honourable members who spoke under Personal Explanation at the plenary on the deplorable conditions of their areas.

He also cautioned the citizenry to avoid indiscriminate dumping of refuse along the road, in drainages and water ways to prevent flooding with anticipated intensity of the rain, while calling on the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBDEC) to quickly move in and replace the fallen electricity pole at Iyana Meta along Eggua-Oja Odan road

The members representing Yewa South State Constituency, Hon. Juliana Akintayo and her Abeokuta North counterpart, Hon. Olayiwola Ojodu on their part said that the Owode-Awuko-Alagbon communities were ravaged by flood due to the frequent rainfall in the past few weeks, while Abule Otun in Lafenwa area of Abeokuta North had also been flooded,

On his part a member representing Ifo II State Constituency, Hon. Ganiyu Oyedeji stated that Ijoko-Oke Aro to Ojodu Abiodun roads were in bad condition and palliative measures would be required in order to avert flooding in the communities in the areas just as  a member representing Yewa North II reported that eight electric poles had fallen on Eggua-Oja Odan road due to a rain storm.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome: Not New In Nigeria – Ipaye

Ogun State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Babatunde Ipaye , has refuted the notion that Stevens-Johnson syndrome(SJS) has just been discovered in Nigeria, revealing that the disease was not new in the country but had been in  existence many years ago, even before he graduated as a medical Doctor.

While correcting the impression that the syndrome was new, he called on the public not to panic and seek medical counsel on any strange health development.

Dr. Ipaye said the syndrome which was neither contagious nor transmittable, results from a collection of signs and symptoms that are associated with health related issues.

The Commissioner said he was surprised to read in the dailies that the syndrome was new in Nigeria, cautioning that a thorough research should be carried out before making conclusions on serious health related issues capable of dissuade the public.

“I laughed when I read it in the Paper that Stevens-Johnson is a new disease in Nigeria, there is nothing new about Stevens=Johnson, it’s just a syndrome with particular health related issues. I also want to use this medium to tell Nigerians to do a little bit of more research before concluding on public health issues that may cause panic in the Country”,  Ipaye said.

Dr. Ipaye said the SJS was an extreme case of an allergic body reaction to specific drugs, chemical compounds, medications and food items, saying that it could be likened to the way some people react to chloroquine, septrin and some other drugs or sea foods.

Advising members of the public to seek medical attention on any health related issues, the Commissioner said it was very essential to seek medical counsel before taking medications, warning that self medication could trigger an extreme case of the Syndrome in one’s body if care was not taken.

Amosun Inaugurates Statutory Board And Commission Members

Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun has inaugurated the new leadership of Local Government Service Commission, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), House of Assembly Service Commission and Teaching Service Commission to further complement efforts of Government at their various agencies.

       The Governor today in Abeokuta, while inaugurating the Board and Commission members, congratulated them on the appointment, urging them to brace up to the challenges of their office by discharging their duties with all diligence.

       He called on all the appointees to see their new appointment as a call to service in supporting the on-going rebuilding mission of the present administration.

        The newly inaugurated Chairmen of Board and  Commissions are:  Alhaji Olatunde Okewole, Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board; Comrade Rotimi Rahmon, chairman, Local Government Service Commission; Barr. Bayo Adesegun, Chairman, House of Assembly Service Commission and Chief (Mrs.) Olabosipo Ogunsan, Chairman, Teaching Service Commission.

       The Chairmen after taken oath of office, appreciated the Governor for counting them worthy of their appointments, with a promise to contribute their quota towards the development of the State.

Information Permanent Secretary Bows Out of Service

       The Ogun State Ministry of Information and Strategy has been described as a core Ministry of Government saddled with the responsibility of bridging the gap between the Government and the governed.

       This was made known by the immediate Past Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Ibikunle Onasanya at a valedictory meeting put together in his honour by the NUJ Information Chapel held at the Governor’s Office Press Center, Abeokuta.

       Mr. Onasanya said he was privileged to have worked with men of the pen profession, describing them as vital information managers showcasing activities of the State Government on a daily basis.

       According to him, Information Officers should endeavour to equip themselves with facilities that would enable them work effectively.

       ‘’A release warrant of 5 video cameras have been approved in which two will be released very soon to make information officers work more efficiently while discharging their duties. Also the Ministry’s library will be equipped with computers and a librarian will be put in place with other necessary facilities’’. He disclosed.

       Speaking earlier, the Director of Public Enlightenment, Ms. Moni Falade described Mr. Onasanya as an intelligent, brilliant, and versatile person to emulate.

       Deputy Director in the Ministry, Comrade Lanre Ogunyinka pointed out that the retired Permanent Secretary was a ‘Book of Season’ which exemplified simplicity, intelligence, friendliness and perseverance.

       The Chairperson, NUJ Information Chapel, Mrs. Seun Boye said Mr Onasanya acted as a father to all Information Officers by motivating them to discharge their duties conscientiously.

Ministry Registers Over 600 Cooperative Societies In 8 Months

          Ogun State Ministry of Community Development and Cooperatives says it has registered over 600 cooperative societies within the last eight months, just as 521 Community Development Associations were also registered within the same period.

          The Director of Community Development in the Ministry, Alhaja Muyibat Gbadamosi stated this while presenting the Ministry’s achievements to members of the State House of Assembly Committee on Cooperatives and Community Development, led by Hon. Olujimi Otukoya during the 2015 budget performance assessment visit to the Ministry.

          Alhaja Gbadamosi said Government was committed to the growth and development of Cooperative societies and had been supporting them in the State, as the sum of N1.5m was released to OGSCOFED for the celebration of the 2015 World Cooperative Day, while Government had also paid the sum of N.5m as annual subvention to the Federation.

          The Director added that the Ministry conducted a citizenship and leadership training for Community Development Associations to build their capacity in the three Senatorial Districts of the State, while over 28 inter and intra community conflicts amongst communities in the State were also resolved to promote peace and tranquility.

          Responding, the Chairman House Committee on Community Development and Cooperatives, Hon. Oluyemi Otukoya lauded the Ministry for encouraging  Cooperative Societies and Community Development Associations in the State, saying that such steps would assist the various communities to grow.

          He however charged the Ministry to be more proactive in revenue generation and set machineries in motion to increase students’ enrolment into the Social Development Institute, Shaha, Iperu.

Ogun Finance Ministry To Increase IGR And Cashless Policy

          The Ogun State Ministry of Finance is set to extend cashless policy initiatives to all Ministries and Agencies (MDAs) of Government to block revenue leakages and embark on other measures to improve upon the State Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

          The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Ajibola Chokor disclosed this during the visit of members of the State House of Assembly Committee on Finance and Appropriation who are on oversight visit to the Ministry for the performance level of the 2015 budget appraisal.

          Mrs. Chokor said the cashless policy initiatives of the CBN would be extended to all Government MDAs to minimize revenue leakages and also embark on aggressive sensitization to encourage voluntary compliance by tax payers in order to gear up the State IGR.

          She said the State Revenue Monitoring Task force would be empowered to apprehend illegal toll collectors on the highway across the State and revenue collection among MDAs, in the State and Local Government Councils would also be harmonized to avoid multiple taxation.

          The House Committee Chairman, Hon. Bankole Akande lauded the efforts of the Ministry geared towards increasing the revenue base of the State and charged the workers to put in more effort in the coming year.

          Present at the meeting were the Permanent secretary Ministry of Budget and planning, Mr. Abayomi Sobande and Directors of both Ministrie

Workers’ Welfare Top Our Priority- Ogun HoS

          Ogun State Government will continue to accord high priority to the welfare of the workers to have a highly motivated workforce for increased service delivery leading to the consolidation of the Mission to Rebuild agenda of the Government.

          The State Head of Service, Elder Sola Adeyemi gave the assurance while receiving members of the State House of Assembly Committee on Public Service and Establishment led by Hon. Oyenuga Olufowobi on a budget performance assessment to his office.

          Adeyemi represented by the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Service Matters Mr. Foluso Osunjimi said Government had constructed 200 Housing units for workers in the State at the A.A.K Degun Estate, Laderin, Abeokuta, to cater for the housing need of the growing population of public servants.

          He added that another affordable Housing Scheme (Ile-Irorun) was introduced in collaboration with Lafarge Cement Nigeria Plc, alongside with Lapo Micro Finance Bank limited to avail civil servants who have landed property or building project the opportunity to complete them. This he noted would be achieved by offering the civil servants loans between One Hundred Thousand and N1m to complete their housing project.

          The Head of Service also disclosed that some primary and secondary school teachers in the State who had remained stagnated for years had their career progression approved and all the teachers involved had been issued their letters.

          Responding, the State House of Assembly Committee on Public Service and Establishments, Hon Oyenuga Olufowobi sought for a renewed collaboration between the Executive and the Legislature to further improve the welfare of workers and promote quality service delivery.

Govt. Underscores Need For Appropriate Haulage Tax Payment

Owners of private businesses in Ogun State have been reminded of the need to pay haulage fees appropriately into Government coffers.

The Director, Geological Services in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Steve Ipinniwa  gave the reminder during the continuation of his sensitization tour to business premises in Agbara /Igbesa axis of the State, pointing out that such taxes was usually used by Government for provision of essential infrastructural facilities for the benefits of  all and sundry.

According to him, Government has a lot of responsibilities to meet and cannot afford any leakage of funds that could be used to improve the living condition of the people as well as enhance economic growth of the State.

“This money we are talking about is part of what Government uses to provide motorable roads, water and other amenities that the industrialists need for their businesses to thrive”, Ipinniwa said.

He further stated that “members of the public too make use of such amenities, so taxes like haulage fees must be paid appropriately into  Government coffers. With this, all of us will benefit immensely.” He warned that companies that failed to comply with the haulage law would be sanctioned.

In an interview, Mr. Samuel Ogundimu  of African Fertilizer stated that the State Government approach to stop the nefarious activities of illegal haulage fee collectors claiming to be agents of the State Government, urging Government not to relent at ensuring the enforcement of haulage law in the State.