Today's Headlines: National Assembly Is Broke - Reps; Buhari Inaugurates NDDC Permanent Headquarters

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Police Declare Govt Official Wanted Over Child Trafficking

The Police in Anambra State has declared an Anambra State government official, Mrs Sabina Izuora wanted, over alleged involvement in child trafficking.

Mrs Izuora was alleged to have sold three children, who were recently rescued from a home in Onitsha, where a woman and her mother who operate a ministry was said to have locked them up, waiting to pound them in a mortar for ritual purposes.

The state police command’s spokesperson, CSP Haruna Mohammed who disclosed this during the parade of suspects said, “The Anambra State Police Command has declared Mrs Sabina Izuora wanted in connection with alleged cases of child trafficking, stealing, forgery and perjury.

“The Command enjoins Ndi Anambra and the general public to apprehend or report at the nearest police station or call police emergency numbers whenever they see her. Mrs Sabina Izuorah ‘f’ was formerly a staff of Social welfare Dept Awka South LGA but recently transferred to Social Welfare Department Ihiala LGA.

CBN Reopens Coronavirus Loan Portal

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is receiving applications for its N50 billion targeted credit facility (TCF) aimed at supporting households and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The stimulus package, set up by the apex bank in March 2020, is disbursed through the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Microfinance Bank.

Announcing the portal reopening in a tweet on Monday, NIRSAL Microfinance Bank (NMFB) said applicants must be households and MSMEs with verifiable evidence of livelihood adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Enterprises with bankable plans to take advantage of opportunities arising from the COVID-19 pandemic are also eligible to apply.

National Assembly Is Broke - Reps

The House of Representatives has said the National Assembly is underfunded to function efficiently and effectively as a national parliament.

The House decried that the paucity of funds has made the working environment not conducive for lawmakers while they have not been able to carry out their legislative activities to the best of their ability.

The lamentation came from Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Benjamin Kalu, at his weekly media conference on Thursday.

The National Assembly had a budget of N139.5bn in 2018, N125bn in 2019 and N128bn (N125bn proposed, N3bn added) in 2020. While the sum of N125bn was proposed for the National Assembly in 2021, it along with its affiliates got about N134bn.

Kalu was asked if it was true that the House reduced the number of days lawmakers sit for plenary per week – from three days to one and recently two – to cut costs. He said it was for safety reasons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Buhari Inaugurates NDDC Permanent Headquarters

President Mohammadu Buhari has on Thursday in Abuja virtually commissioned the Port Harcourt, Rivers state sited permanent headquarters of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) ending 25 years delay on the project.

Performing the inauguration from the State House, Aso Rock Villa, the President traced the transition in the project execution from defunct Oil Mineral Producing Areas Development Commission (OMPADEC) in 1996, and left abandoned after series of design modifications.

He said, “In 2015, as part of our Administration’s cardinal objectives to kill corruption, some critical reforms were embarked upon, part of which was a holistic reform of the NDDC for greater service delivery for the people of the region.

“To achieve this, I reassigned supervision of the NDDC to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs for administrative efficiency. Second, was the appointment of Forensic Auditors to review operations of the Commission from inception to 2019 and ensure that appropriations made to the NDDC are commensurate with what is on the ground.

“I, therefore, commend the Minister for providing the required leadership that saw to the completion of this edifice. Today, we are handing over to the people of Niger Delta, a befitting Head Office for present and future use. Consequently, huge yearly rentals would now be saved and deployed to other areas of need in the region.

“I commend management and staff of the NDDC for staying the course and keying into the Reform Agenda of our Administration. I note the cordial relationship between the NDDC and the National Assembly and hope this relationship will be strengthened further for benefit of the Niger Delta region.”

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