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Devote N5.5bn June Allocation to Pay Salaries, Fayemi Tells Fayose

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  • Devote N5.5bn June Allocation to Pay Salaries, Fayemi Tells Fayose

The Ekiti State governor-elect, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has asked the outgoing Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, to devote the June 2018 federal allocation of N5.52 billion to the payment of salaries and other entitlements of workers.

A statement by Fayemi’s Media Director, Wole Olujobi, said that henceforth, Fayose must make accountability and human face critical factors in the policies of his administration.

He said the usual practice by the governor to collect federal allocations and call stakeholders meetings to deceive Ekiti people on the sharing formula between the state and local governments is no longer acceptable.

Urging Fayose to make accountability and transparency a cardinal policy of his administration in the run-up to the October 16, 2018 handover date, the statement said: “Information available to us suggests that Fayose at the weekend called all the directors in the state service to a meeting in the new Governor’s Lodge, pleading with them not to release sensitive information to the opposition, including non-disclosure of the state’s finances.

“But we want to say that the state has received N5.52b fresh June federal allocation and we demand that the money be spent to pay salary, and should not be subjected to the circus of lies and deceits that often accompanied the sharing of the allocations in the past whereby local governments were given their shares in the morning and in the night they would be coerced to return the money to the governor’s office while local governments workers remained unpaid for nine months.

“Fresh reports on the status of the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR) have indicated that between October 16, 2014 to date, the state has a revenue profile of N34,560,000,000 kept in secret accounts in one old generation bank account and another new generation account, yet there is nothing to suggest that the money was spent for the benefit of Ekiti people.

“At the State Water Corporation where opaque financial management has left the system in ruins, Ondo State had paid its counterpart fund of 40m for the upgrading of Egbe Dam, but Ekiti State Government has refused to honour its obligation to the project, even as the money paid by Ondo State cannot be traced to any government’s account.

“At Ero Dam, despite releasing N1b on paper out of N1.4b budgeted for the dam’s expansion, there is no sign of work going on there as we speak while in the same Water Corporation, two multi-million naira serviceable trucks were taken to Afao-Ekiti country home of the governor several months ago under pretext that they were being taken
there for repairs and up till now, the trucks are still not in the service of the Water Corporation.”

Meanwhile, workers have issued a 14-day ultimatum to Governor Fayose to pay all arrears of salaries and pensions of
retirees.

The workers acting under the aegis of Ekiti State Organised Labour, said the Fayose government must clear all arrears of workers’ entitlements before a new government takes office on October 16.

Their demands also include payment of over seven months deduction, payment of nine month arrears to local government workers and primary school teachers.

They also advocated the payment of 11 months and six months pensions to local government pensioners and state government pensioners respectively.

Also, the Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP), Ekiti State chapter, has warned civil servants in the state not to be part of alleged altering of official documents in a desperate attempt by Fayose to cover up some of the shoddy deals embarked upon by his administration.

The caution was contained in a release signed by the state Publicity Secretary of CNPP in Ekiti State, Olu Akomolafe, and made available to newsmen in Ado Ekiti on Sunday.

“It is now in public domain, the on-going alteration of government official documents by the government of Fayose after his party lost the July 14, 2018 governorship election in Ekiti State. All the desperate moves being evolved by the outgoing governor and his few cohorts are not hidden at all.

“Official documents from various ministries, agencies and parastatals are being inter-changed to make governance become cumbersome, equivocal and inexplicable to the incoming administration, hence hoarding or non-availability of necessary official documents needed to know how government activities were carried out in the four years of the present government in the state,” Akomolafe said.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Russia and North Korea Revive Military Pact, Heightening Tensions with US

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have revived a Cold War-era military pact.

The agreement, signed on Wednesday during Putin’s first visit to North Korea in 24 years, commits the two nations to provide immediate military assistance to each other if either is attacked.

This development is likely to exacerbate tensions with the United States and its allies.

The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Treaty, as the pact is officially named, represents the most powerful treaty signed between the two countries, according to Kim.

“This treaty elevates our ties to an alliance,” he declared during the signing ceremony. The deal stipulates that if either nation is invaded by an armed force, the other will provide military and other assistance “with all the means at its disposal,” in line with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter and the laws of both nations.

Putin’s visit to Pyongyang and the signing of the pact come on the heels of Kim’s trip to Russia in September, an event that has already resulted in a notable increase in arms transfers between the two countries, as confirmed by satellite imagery.

Despite the mounting evidence, both Moscow and Pyongyang have denied any such exchanges.

The renewed military alliance marks a significant escalation in the strategic partnership between Russia and North Korea, which had been relatively dormant since the end of the Cold War.

Analysts suggest that this move is a clear message of defiance to Western powers, particularly the United States, which has been involved in ongoing disputes with both nations over various geopolitical issues.

“The Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Treaty is for defensive purposes,” Kim stated, but experts warn that the alliance increases the risks for the US and its partners in responding to provocations from Moscow and Pyongyang. The treaty not only includes mutual defense commitments but also outlines plans to enhance cooperation in trade and investment, further solidifying the bilateral relationship.

Russian officials emphasized that the pact is a natural progression of the countries’ shared interests.

“This treaty is a testament to the deepening strategic and military cooperation between Russia and North Korea,” said Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister. “It is essential for maintaining regional stability and countering external threats.”

The US and its allies have expressed grave concerns over the implications of this agreement. “This treaty significantly alters the security landscape in East Asia,” stated a senior US State Department official. “It underscores the need for vigilance and reinforces the importance of our alliances in the region.”

Military analysts are closely watching the developments, noting that the alliance could embolden both nations to take more aggressive stances on the international stage.

“With this treaty, North Korea gains a powerful ally, while Russia secures a foothold in East Asia,” said Alexander Gabuev, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center. “It is a strategic maneuver that complicates the geopolitical calculus for the US and its partners.”

The reactivation of the military pact also comes at a time when Russia is deeply involved in the conflict in Ukraine, where it faces significant opposition from Western nations.

North Korea’s unreserved support for Putin’s actions in Ukraine, as articulated by Kim, further aligns the two nations against common adversaries.

As the international community grapples with the potential ramifications of this treaty, it is clear that the renewed alliance between Russia and North Korea represents a formidable challenge to the current global order.

The coming months will likely see increased diplomatic activity as nations reassess their strategies in light of this development.

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Cyril Ramaphosa Begins New Term Under Coalition Government

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Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in for another term as South Africa’s president on Wednesday, the beginning of a new era under a coalition government.

The ceremony held at the Nelson Mandela Amphitheater in the Union Buildings saw Ramaphosa take the oath of office before Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

The event was attended by prominent dignitaries, including Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, Democratic Republic of Congo leader Felix Tshisekedi, and Zimbabwe’s Emmerson Mnangagwa, and was marked by a 21-gun salute and an air force flyover.

Ramaphosa’s reappointment comes three weeks after elections saw his party, the African National Congress (ANC), lose its parliamentary majority for the first time since the end of apartheid.

The ANC secured just over 40% of the vote on May 29, with millions of former supporters either backing a splinter party led by ex-leader Jacob Zuma or abstaining due to dissatisfaction over high levels of poverty, unemployment, and crime.

In his inauguration address, Ramaphosa emphasized the resilience of South African democracy and the need for unity.

“The resilience of our democracy has once more been tested, and the people have spoken loudly that they choose peace and democracy over conflict,” he said. “The voters of South Africa did not give any single political party the full mandate to govern our country alone. They have directed us to work together to address their plight and realize their aspirations.”

The ANC’s unprecedented electoral outcome necessitated a power-sharing agreement with long-time rivals. The main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) and four other parties have agreed to join a government of national unity, supporting Ramaphosa’s leadership in exchange for cabinet and parliamentary positions.

This coalition is expected to prioritize economic growth, investment attraction, structural reforms, and sustainable management of state finances.

The rand strengthened to a level stronger than 18 per dollar for the first time in over ten months, and Johannesburg’s benchmark equity index reached a record high on Wednesday.

Market optimism is driven by the inclusion of business-friendly parties in the government, anticipated to bolster Ramaphosa’s reform agenda aimed at addressing power shortages, logistical challenges, and other economic impediments.

Despite criticism in his previous term for his consultative approach, which opponents labeled as indecisive, Ramaphosa reaffirmed his commitment to inclusive governance.

“Those who would like a president that is dictatorial, who is adventurous, who is reckless, will not find that in me,” he stated last month. “In me they will find a president who wants to consult. All these processes have often been seen as, ‘he is weak, he is not decisive.’ I am decisive, but I want to take people along with.”

The new coalition government faces significant challenges, including negotiating policy differences and accommodating politically powerful figures within the ANC and its partners.

The DA has already expressed concerns over the ANC’s uncosted national health insurance plan and its foreign policy stance.

Susan Booysen, director of research at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection, noted the complexities ahead. “South Africa is really moving into this with minimal on-the-ground preparation and justification,” she said. “The devil is going to be in the exact detail. Once cabinet is announced, some basic agreement will have to be reached on policy positions and on what the red-line issues will be.”

As Ramaphosa begins his new term, the nation watches closely, hopeful that this coalition government can navigate the intricate landscape of South African politics and bring about the much-needed reforms and stability.

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Fubara Appoints and Swears in Caretaker Chairmen for All 23 Rivers State LGAs

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Siminalayi Fubara

Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State has appointed and sworn in new caretaker chairmen for all 23 local government areas.

This significant action followed swiftly after the House of Assembly, led by factional Speaker Victor Jumbo, screened and confirmed the nominees earlier in the day.

The process began on Tuesday when Governor Fubara submitted the list of nominees to the state House of Assembly.

According to a statement by the Clerk of the House, G.M. Gillis-West, the nominees were summoned for an early morning screening at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

The rapid succession of events underscores the urgency of the appointments amid ongoing political unrest in the state.

The political crisis intensified as former council chairmen, whose terms had expired, refused to vacate their offices.

This defiance prompted the need for a swift and firm resolution to ensure continuity and stability in local governance.

The swearing-in ceremony took place under tight security at the Executive Council Chambers of the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Governor Fubara administered the oath of office to the first batch of eleven caretaker chairmen, with subsequent batches following promptly.

The newly appointed caretaker chairmen are:

  • Abua/Odua LGA: Madigai Dickson
  • Ahoada East LGA: Happy Benneth
  • Ahoada West LGA: Mr. Daddy John Green
  • Akuku Toru LGA: Otonye Briggs
  • Andoni LGA: Reginald Ekaan
  • Asari Toru LGA: Orolosoma Amachree
  • Bonny LGA: Alabota Anengi Barasua
  • Degema LGA: Anthony Soberekon
  • Eleme LGA: Brain Gokpa
  • Emouha LGA: David Omereji
  • Etche LGA: John Otamiri
  • Gokana LGA: Kenneth Kpeden
  • Ikwerre LGA: Darlington Orji
  • Khana LGA: Marvin Yobana
  • Obio/Akpor LGA: Emmanuel Dogwo
  • Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA: Vincent Anyanwu
  • Ogu/Bolo LGA: Margaret Ezenwa
  • Okrika LGA: Chizoba Onyebuchi
  • Omuma LGA: Cynthia Amadi
  • Opobo/Nkoro LGA: Solomon Dokubo
  • Oyigbo LGA: Chima Nwafor
  • Port Harcourt LGA: Isaac Udochukwu
  • Tai LGA: Ruth Michael

Governor Fubara expressed confidence in the capabilities of the newly appointed chairmen and emphasized the importance of their roles in maintaining stability and driving development at the grassroots level.

He urged them to prioritize the needs of their communities and work diligently towards improving the quality of life for all residents of Rivers State.

The appointment of the caretaker chairmen is expected to quell the political tensions that have recently plagued the state, ensuring that local governance continues smoothly and efficiently.

As Rivers State navigates this transitional period, the administration remains committed to fostering a stable and prosperous environment for its citizens.

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