- Bayelsa Proposes N221 billion Budget, Gets N14.5bn Excess Refund
The Bayelsa State government yesterday disclosed that it had received N14.5 billion excess deductions refund from the federal government initially meant for the repayment of the Paris and London Club debts.
Also, the government presented a N221 billion 2017 appropriation bill before the State House of Assembly in Yenagoa.
Governor Seriake Dickson said the disclosure was to show accountability and to “dispel rumours, half-truths and outright falsehood that is usually dished out to confuse and incite the unsuspecting public”.
“The state government has received the sum of fourteen billion five hundred million naira (#14,500,000,000.00) only in respect of excess deduction from the state allocation by the federal government for the repayment of Paris and London club debt.
“In accordance with the agreement reached for receipt of this refund, we have directed accordingly that 50% of the money received be used to pay pensions and full salaries for the month of October and November 2016 as soon as possible”, the government said.
Meanwhile, the governor yesterday presented the 2017 fiscal year budget estimate of N221 billion to the State House of Assembly for consideration and passage, as against the N191.5 billion of the previous year.
Presenting the appropriation bill christened, “Budget of Repositioning For Consolidation,” Governor Dickson said the estimate comprises a recurrent expenditure of N136.9 billion, while capital expenditure is N84.3 billion.
According to the Governor, the budget is expected to be funded, through statutory allocation estimated at N191 billion, Value Added Tax N6.9 billion, internally generated revenue of N15 billion and capital receipts of N8.07 billion.
On sectoral allocations, Governor Dickson announced that N26.9 billion was for the Ministry of works and Infrastructure, which got the lion share, followed by Education with N13.5 billion, health N5.9 billion, while Agriculture and Natural Resources got N4.024 billion.
Power Ministry was allocated N3.4 billion, Budget and Economic Planning N3.3 billion, Housing and Urban Development N3billion, Sports Development N2.5 billion, while Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs was earmarked N2.3 billion.
Dickson, who said the budget was intended to complete all the on-going projects, allocated N2 billion to the Ministry of Lands and Survey, Transport N1.9, Finance N1.7 billion, Trade, Industry and Investment N0.739 billion, Information N0.631 billion and Water Resources N0.500 billion.
He noted that the budget was targeted at achieving increased IGR, through taxation, re-organisation of the public service, commercialisation of the government-owned agencies and funding of tertiary institutions.
Shedding more light on the critical components of the 2017 budget, Dickson noted that though the estimate was higher than that of the previous year, the government would adopt various methodologies to shore up its revenue base, through the collection of appropriate levies such as personal income, property and consumption taxes.
As part of efforts to ensure effective implementation of the budget, he said mechanisms were being re-designed to block all leakages and wastages by operating a single account, where all state revenues would be channeled to.
On rural development, he noted that, the government would commit part of the budget to address critical needs of the rural areas, pointing out that every ward would benefit, at least a health centre, in the coming year.
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
US Congress Declares Joe Biden as The 46th President of The United States After Trump Mob Left
The joint congress of the United States on Thursday, January 7, 2021 certified Joe Biden as the 46th President of the United States following President Trump’s mob action that disrupted the congress joint proceeding on Wednesday.
After ordering his followers to disrupt proceedings on Wednesday, President Trump later announced that there will be an orderly transition on January 20.
“Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th,” Trump said in a statement issued by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Dan Scavino.
“I have always said we would continue our fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it’s only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!” Trump added.
While the certification was just a mere formality as Biden had secured enough electoral college votes (270) required to clinch the world’s most powerful seat, the refusal of Donald Trump to accept the results of the November 2020 election made the session a keenly watched, especially after Trump mob disrupted a joint session of the Senate.
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