Written by Bede NNAJI

Ben Bruce donates wardrobe allowance to widows

The Senator representing Bayelsa East, Mr. Ben Murray Bruce of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has donated half of his wardrobe allowance to widows in his community at Akasa, Bayelsa state.

The senator made the donation at the weekend.

“I fulfilled my vow to give half my wardrobe allowance to widows of my Constituency today. #BenBrucekeepspromises!,” he posted on his Twitter handle, @benmurraybruce.

The media mogul had pledged to donate his wardrobe allowance to the unpaid workers in Osun state and widows in his community.

He said his action was necessitated by the suffering of the workers and their dependants over the inability of the state government to pay public service workers.

“I, Ben Murray Bruce, will not sit down idly, while my fellow citizens die because salaries have not been paid.

“As a first step, I am immediately donating my wardrobe allowance to unpaid workers in Osun state and widows in my Constituency,” he said

He added that he will publicly handover his allowance to the chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC in Osun state and the head of widows association in Akasa.

“We are starting in Osun, but we will not end there. I will do as much to help workers who’ve not been paid in other states.

“As soon as my wardrobe allowance is paid, I will divide it into two. Half will be publicly given to the NLC Chairman Osun.

“The other half will be publicly given to the head of widows association in my community of Akasa.,”

Each senator is entitled to a wardrobe allowance of N506, 600 per annum according to the Chairman of Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, Engr. Elias Mbam.

 

PDP chief faults political appointments in Kwara State

By Muyideen ALIU, Ilorin 

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Mashood Aigoro, said has faulted political appointments in Kwara State since the return of democracy in 1999, saying the same set of people have remained in office.

Aigoro, who was a House of Assembly aspirant in the 2015 general election for Ilorin East Local Government Area, denied media reports of his defecting to the ruling All Progressives Congress in the state, saying that he remains a bona fide member of PDP.

The politician while speaking with our correspondent in Ilorin last Thursday, said “as a bonafide Kwaran who wishes the state well, supported the ambition of Senator Bukola Saraki as Senate President.

“I left Saraki’s camp due to that fact that my political ideology differs from Sarakis hence the need to part ways with them.

“Since Nigeria return returned to democracy in 1999, political officeholders or the ruling class in Kwara State remains the same set of people which negate the principles of equal right of all citizens.

“There is no connection between the ruling class and the people at the grassroots as most them are “imported” either from Lagos, Abuja or other part of the country since they enjoy the favour of “leader” who appoints whoever he wanted.”

The PDP aspirant noted that Nigerians will soon witness good tidings as PMB represents the change the country is yearning for.

 

 

Fight against corruption, terrorism on track – Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government has done “very” well in the fight against corruption and terrorism in the country.

Mohammed said this at the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja at the weekend.

The minister stated that one major achievement of the Federal Government’s fight against corruption is that for the first time in a long time, people have begun to appreciate the fact that corruption is an ill.

He said that in its anti-corruption war, the present administration would go beyond prosecuting people, to changing the way Nigerians did things.

Mohammed, therefore, said that the government would soon launch its change initiative tagged: “Change begins with me”.

He urged Nigerians to embrace the change initiative in order to promote development at all levels of the society.

The minister said that corruption and indiscipline were worse at the lower level of the society because the people at that level “have no good example to look up to”.

Mohammed also urged Nigerians to always strive to promote the image of the country, saying that marketing the positive aspects of the country would change the way the country was perceived by the international community.

He said, “The challenges Nigeria is facing today are small compared to challenges being faced in other parts of the world.

“Yet this perception in other parts of the world is being managed and nobody really notices them.

“We on our part have to market Nigeria vigorously; we have to look at those areas that are positive and market them while we are addressing and tackling the issues of insurgency here and there.”

Oyinloye: Nigeria needs N23bn annually to develop its infrastructure

By Sarah NEGEDU

Nigeria needs N23 billion annually to meet its infrastructure financing needs.

Mr Adekunle Oyinloye, the Chief Executive of The Infrastructure Bank (TIB) who disclosed this at a press conference at the weekend, said that infrastructure decay in the country was massive and required huge funding.

He said that the Federal Government, through the National Planning Commission, once came up with a need of N30 trillion for infrastructure provision in the next 30 years.

Oyinloye said that the current reality was that government could no longer develop the infrastructure alone and needed the partnership of the private sector.

“Government has the responsibility to provide infrastructure, but does not have enough resources to do it.

“Government money can never be enough to develop the infrastructure.

“The government is doing everything within its reach to engage the private sector in the legal regulatory area to ease doing business so that private sector can come in and close the gap.

“This is important as the crude oil price continues to drop at the international market.

“This means that the government must deliberately befriend the private sector to close the gap in infrastructure funding,” he said.

Oyinloye said that the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) was now the best option available to develop the infrastructure in the country in view of declining crude oil earnings.

He said that there were ways to structure deals to ensure iron-cast protection of private investors in PPP.

The bank chief executive said that once private investors were sure of the safety of their investments, they would be more willing to release their funds.

 

“The first principle in PPP is the principle of fairness and our job is to do that. Once a project is bankable, you can always find financiers,” he said.

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