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SERAP Condemns Arbitrary Electricity Tariff, Fuel Price Hike

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images 2020 09 09T120454.279 SERAP Condemns Arbitrary Electricity Tariff, Fuel Price Hike

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned “the patently unfair and arbitrary hike in electricity tariff and fuel price by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. This is unjust to many people living in extreme poverty, and entirely incompatible with the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended] and the country’s international human rights obligations.”
Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP deputy director said in a statement today: “The hike will endanger lives and increase inequality and poverty exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. SERAP will challenge this travesty in court if the Federal Government does not immediately drop these retrogressive measures against the Nigerian people.”
“Specifically, the increase in electricity tariff and fuel price clearly violates Nigeria’s obligations under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, to which the country is a state party, not to take ‘deliberately retrogressive measures’ unless there are no alternative options and full consideration has been given to ensure that the measures are necessary and proportionate.”
“SERAP urges President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately drop the misguided hike, and to establish independent impact assessment of the increases on the poorest segments of society, and to identify alternative measures, such as cutting the bogus allowances of people in the Presidency and members of the National Assembly.”
“The hike is lacking in compassion, as it will hit the poorest and most vulnerable Nigerians the hardest, increase inequality levels in an already very unequal Nigeria. It definitively signals that socio-economic rights are a very low priority for this government.”
“President Buhari should reconsider these arbitrary measures and put human rights at the centre of his government’s policies.”

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Nigerians’ future at stake, warns Jega

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images 2020 09 26T142811.793 Nigerians’ future at stake, warns Jega

A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission , Prof Attahiru Jega , on Friday warned that Nigerians’ future was at stake due to misgovernance .
Jega , who stated this at the inauguration of the 34 – member Policy Advisory Committee of the People ’s Redemption Party in Abuja on Friday, asked Nigerians not to allow “ bad people” to continue to misgovern the country by contributing to the electoral process .
The committee is made up of Jega, Mr Richard Umoru , Prof Ifeanyi Anigbogu, Dr Aminu Aliyu, Mr Abdulkadir Isa , Prof Ahmadu Sanda , Hajiya Aishatu Dankani, among others.
The former INEC boss, who is a member of the committee , said , “ I believe that all Nigerians can no longer sit on the fence , as everybody needs to contribute to the cleansing of politics in Nigeria . There should be no fence – sitters ; our future is at stake . We cannot allow bad people to continue to misgovern us and continue to wreak havoc on our country and its future. ”
Jega said the committee was to prepare policy papers and frameworks that would make the PRP a strong political party that could win elections .
The party chairman, Mr Falalu Bello, earlier while inaugurating the committee, said its members were thoroughbred intellectuals drawn from different fields of expertise and experience .
He advised the members to consider the progressive provisions of Chapter two of the 1999 Constitution in carrying out their assignment .
“ Our party , the PRP , shall court the involvement and participation of intellectuals in the struggle for the material and social advancement of the masses of this country, ” he said .

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FG Develops Rapid Response Register For Poor Nigerians

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images 2020 09 26T141530.847 FG Develops Rapid Response Register For Poor Nigerians

The Federal Government through the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office is developing a Rapid Response Register to scale up the enrollment of poor and vulnerable citizens in urban centres.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this in her remarks at the Open Government Partnership 2020 Virtual Leaders Summit Roundtable.
The theme of the roundtable was “Open Recovery: Tracking the trillions of dollars in stimulus and safety net packages.”
Ahmed said poor and the vulnerable Nigerians captured in the register would benefit from cash transfers to cushion the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement issued in Abuja by the minister’s Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Yunusa Abdullahi, stated that the event was to advance discourse and innovation around open response and open recovery measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The finance minister said data for the response register were being sourced through primary and secondary sources, including the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System and the National Communication Commission database on mobile phone users.
To ensure transparency and to mitigate corruption risks, she said that payments would be made directly to the accounts of the individuals using their bank verification numbers.
On the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ahmed said, “Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic under the leadership of Mr. President has been proactive, people-oriented and aimed at averting drastic economic decline and protecting our most vulnerable citizens.”
The minister told participants at the summit that the government amended the 2021-2023 Medium-Term Fiscal Framework and the 2020 Appropriation Act and introduced a fiscal stimulus package of N2.3tn (about US$5.9bn).
She said the government was also scaling up social safety nets, including cash transfers and school feeding programmes and was currently implementing a multisector economic sustainability plan.
Ahmed said, “To this end, in addition to existing OGP measures around budgeting, citizens engagement, open contracting, anti-corruption and others, we have introduced measures to sustainability enhanced fiscal prudence and transparency.
“This includes the establishment of a technology-enabled result-based performance management framework to track expenditures under the Economic Sustainability Plan.”
Commenting on the importance of targeted interventions, Ahmed stated that the COVID-19 pandemic had underscored the critical importance of targeted interventions that had built-in safeguards to ensure transparency, accountability, prevent corruption and ultimately strengthen the social contract between governments and citizens.

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Policeman Shoots 1 Dead, Injures 3 In Stampede For Sokoto Governor Tambuwal’s Cash

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images 2020 09 26T140256.904 Policeman Shoots 1 Dead, Injures 3 In Stampede For Sokoto Governor Tambuwal’s Cash

A stampede for the monetary gift doled out by Governor Aminu Tambuwal in Sokoto on Friday has led to tragedy after a policeman shot dead one person.
The policeman also injured three others.
The shooter, a police sergeant, identified as Bello Garba, was promptly arrested by the Sokoto Police Command.
His victims have also been identified.
Bello killed 25-year-old Aminu Abdulrahman and injured Junaidu Abba, Babangida Muhammad and Awaisu Alti, during the incident at Sultan Bello Jumu’at mosque, in Sokoto..
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The Command’s Public Relations Officer, ASP Muhammad Sadiq, said all the victims were evacuated to Specialist Hospital Sokoto.
The injured will be treated, while an autopsy will be carried out on the dead.
Sadiq said victims were said to be sharing money doled out by Gov. Aminu Tambuwal after the Juma’at prayers to mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence anniversary.
Sadiq said that the Sergeant, of Counter Terrorism Unit Base 18 Gusau, was attached to Government House Sokoto.
He said that “the policeman unprofessionally fired without reasonable justification at that material time.”
”The Sokoto State Police Command condemns in its entirety the unwarranted, uncivil and unprofessional conduct of a Police Sergeant on special duty in the state.
”Commissioner of Police. Mr Sani Kaoje had ordered the detention and trial of the erring officer and charged the state Criminal Investigation Department to speed up investigation and come up with objective findings,” Sadiq said.
He added that the commissioner also charged all officers and men of the Command to deploy professional acumen, including psychological capacity to enhance the safety of the people, and not to resort to using arms against the populace.
”The incident occurred at about 2:30pm, shortly after the special Juma’at prayers offered in commemoration of Nigeria’s forthcoming 60th independence anniversary at Sultan Bello Juma’at Mosque.
”The Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal while magnanimously giving out gifts to the needy, a brief distribution which gave birth to an upsurge in would-be beneficiaries.
“However, in an unconventional effort to control the crowd after the departure of the governor the policeman fired the shot,” Sadiq added.

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