When Nigerians made history on March 28 presidential election by voting out an incumbent president- former president Goodluck Jonathan and opted for the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari, a lot of reasons were adduced to it. But the obvious and propelling one was the fact that, Mr. President has a personal hatred for corruption, which has been on the increase in the past six years.
President Buhari to fight graft, Gbajabiamila’s group gives conditions to House of Reps Speaker, Dogara, Kwankwaso’s reaction to National Assembly crisis and NERC revoking licenses of non-performing electricity firms features on the front pages of the national dailies for Tuesday, June 16, 2015.
According to VANGUARD, a close associate of President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday, June 15, disclosed that Mr. President will use five proposed laws to fight corruption in the country. The source, who didn’t want to be named said a committee of law legends, led by the vice-president, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo identified five bills among the 46 bills hurriedly passed by the 7th National Assembly at the point of its exit, and forwarded it to the President for further scrutiny.
The bills are; the Office of the Financial Ombudsman Bill 2015, National Convicts and Criminal Records Bill 2015, Electronics Transactions Bill 2015, Whistle Blower Protection Bill 2015 and the Nigerian International Financial Centre Bill 2015.
When Mallam Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity was contacted, he confirmed that the presidency was interested in the five bills. He said Mr. President has requested legal advice on the proposed law.
Speaking also on the increased corruption in the country, a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Olisa Agbakoba, who also map out ways the president could tackle corruption, said he (Buhari) must first have the political will to do so.
Meanwhile, a fresh battle between the Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara and former Minority Leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila has commenced in the green chambers of the National Assembly. DAILY SUN reports that the two sides are now locked in a new war over chairmanships of committees, appointment of principal officers and headship of the Committee on Public Accounts (PAC).
A source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Gbajabiamila’s group gave conditions for accepting to work with the new leadership of the House. The source said the opposing group demanded that half of the committee chairman should be ceded to them. He said the former minority leader wants to be the one to appoint three out of the four principal officers, adding that Gbajabiamila also requested to be given the opportunity to name a Peoples Democratic Party lawmaker from Delta state to chair the PAC.
The source revealed that APC National Chairman, chief John Odigie-Oyegun, is okay with all the demands made by Gbajabiamila and is requesting Dogara to concede.
PUNCH reports that a serving Senator on the platform of the All Progressive Congress, Rabiu Kwankwaso, on Monday, June 15, said the crisis in the National Assembly was caused by a miscalculation on the part of the party leadership. He said the party’s leadership probably underrated the G-5 governors while choosing those that should contest for top positions in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The lawmaker said the miscalculation led to what happened on the floor of the National Assembly during the election of the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives as well as their deputies.
The Kano state former governor , said the decision of the pro-Saraki APC Senators to reach an alliance with the opposition Peoples Democratic Party was a romance taken too far, and advised the party to look at the situation and come up with ways to redeem it.
Kwankwaso was one of the five governors that defected from the then ruling PDP to the APC. Other members of the group are; Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Alhaji Magatakarda Wamakko (Sokoto) and Kwara State Governor Abdulfatai Ahmed.
Speaking further on the internal issues in the ruling APC and Saraki’s romance with the PDP, THE NATION reports that Kwankwasowent on to posit that the development poses a threat to the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Senator said the PDP will use the opportunity of the alliance with Saraki to create hurdles for Buhari. The former governor was concerned that Saraki is neck deep in the alliance with the PDP, adding that the senate president’s election has divided the party, a development that might make reconciliation challenging.
He claimed that the President will face a lot of irritations in the sense that PDP lawmakers must be very angry with themselves and Nigerians, and would, therefore, do everything possible to put all sorts of hurdles on the way of Mr. President. He said the PDP lawmakers have their own agenda to tackle the APC as well as the government.
Kwankwaso further alleged that the PDP lawmakers are angry with themselves, the people and Nigeria because they feel Nigeria belongs to them and they wanted to take everything, but Nigerians rejected them.
“I can always read their mind. I was one of them, I was part of them, I was part of the party but we had to leave the party because of this attitude,” he said.
However, the country’s power supply is expected to get a boost as THE GUARDIAN reports that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Monday, June 15, said it has started revoking the licences of non-performing electricity firms after reviewing the status of the 120 licences issued since 2006.
The commission’s chairman, Sam Amadi, who disclosed this, said government had since resolved some of the complaints of the licensees by setting up the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET or Bulk Trader) to act as the off taker for the sector.
Amadi, who regretted that many of the licences were yet to change from being mere papers to mega watts of electricity, in Abuja issued fresh generation licences to four firms with total generation targets of 774 mega watts of electricity.
While issuing the fresh licences to the benefitting firms, he told them to produce power or be sanctioned. The firms are; Nigeria Solar Capital Partners Limited for a 100MW solar-powered IPP at Ganjuwa, Bauchi State; Proton Energy Limited for a 150MW IPP at Ogorode, Sapele, Delta State; Turbine Drives Limited for 500MW IPP at Ajaokuta, Kogi State; and Pan Africa Limited for a 24MW solar-powered IPP at Kankia, Katsina State.
Also in response to the country’s dilapidated power supply, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday, promised that government would bring in necessary investments to improve the wheeling capacity of the nation’s transmission infrastructure. He assured that this administration would focus attention on improving the supply of gas to power plants, in order to ensure sufficient gas supply. This, he expressed optimism would help maximize 13,000mw of generating capacity immediately.