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Gov Masari presents N341bn 2022 budget to Katsina Assembly

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Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, presented the 2021 budget proposal of N340,951,912,557.00 to lawmakers at Katsina State House of Assembly on Wednesday.

According to Governor Masari, the proposal, tagged “Budget of Economic Resilience” is designed to complete ongoing projects and initiate other capital projects that can be completed within the life of his administration.

During the presentation, Masari said: “Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members of the State House of Assembly, other invited guests, the total budget for the 2022 fiscal year is in the sum of N340,951,912,557.00 with 69.85% Capital Expenditure and 30.40% Recurrent Expenditure. In aggregate terms, the 2022 Budget is higher than that of the 2021 revised budget by N48,064,131,214.00”

However, Masari noted that the “2022 recurrent revenue has increased by 8.60% over that of 2021 Revised Budget. Similarly, the recurrent expenditure in the 2022 Budget has increased by 8.63% which indicates that in real terms the revenue has increased by about 8.60% over that of 2021 fiscal year.”

He further said that the 2022 budget is structured with a total recurrent expenditure of N102,800,756,244.00 which is equivalent to 30.15% of the total budget and capital expenditure of N238,151,156,313.00 which is 69.85% of the total budget.

The Governor projected that the total required amount to finance the 2022 budget is the sum of N175,105,396,188.00 which comprises of N61,664,771,966.00 as Internally Generated Revenues from the State Board of Internal Revenue and other MDAs.

Concerning the revenue through the Federation Account, Masari puts the estimated sum at N100,940,624,222.00 with an Opening Balance of N12,500,000,000.00.

Masari further highlighted the efforts of the state government and achievements of his administration “despite the numerous challenges the State Government is facing especially in terms of low revenue earning and security challenges in some parts of the State.”

Masari said: “We are all aware, implementation of the 2021 Budget has been largely affected by the security challenges across the State. Funds that were supposed to be utilized by the State Government to execute meaningful projects and programmes were committed to funding security operations in the State.

However, notwithstanding, he said, “the State Government has recorded progress in funding the on-going projects and executing new projects and programmes.”

He stressed that the 2022 proposed budget, has “a plan of action for the 2022 financial year that will ensure completion of the developmental projects of critical sectors in the State, especially Roads and Infrastructures, Water Supply, Health, Education, Agriculture, and Environment. The 2022 Budget is therefore tagged as “Budget of Economic Resilience”.

Reacting to the 2022 proposed budget, the Speaker Katsina House of Assembly, Hon. Tasiu Maigari assured the Governor that the Assembly would perform its constitutional role in ensuring the passage of the budget to enable the people of the state to continue enjoying the dividends of democracy under Masari’s administration.

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COVID-19: We’re monitoring emerging evidence on Omicron variant – NCDC

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Ifedayo Adetifa

The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), has said it is monitoring emerging evidence on Omicron variant and its implications, to inform Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Director General, NCDC, Dr. Ifedayo Adetifa, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday in Abuja.

Omicron was first identified from testing done on Nov. 9, 2021, in Botswana on travellers from West Africa.

It was reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO) on identification of cases among a cluster of young unvaccinated people in South Africa on Nov. 24, 2021.

While this variant has so far not been detected in Nigeria, a number of cases have now been reported in the UK, Israel, Botswana, Hong-Kong, Germany, Belgium, Italy and many more countries.

WHO has also urged countries to enhance their surveillance and virus sequencing efforts to increase their understanding of the circulating variants.

Reacting, Adetifa said that the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and NCDC are aware of reports of a new COVID-19 variant – the B.1.1.529 lineage.

“The FMOH and NCDC are monitoring emerging evidence on this new variant and its implication, to inform Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Given the high number of mutations present in the Omicron variant and the exponential rise in COVID-19 cases observed in South Africa, this virus is considered highly transmissible and may also present an increased risk of reinfection compared to other VOCs,” he added.

He, however, said the fears about the variant’s ability to evade protective immune responses and/or its being vaccine resistant were only theoretical so far.

“This virus can still be detected with existing Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests. The WHO and researchers across the world are working at speed to gain understanding of the likely impact of this variant on the severity of COVID-19 and on the potency of existing vaccines and therapeutics,” he added.

The NCDC boss added that the agency would continues to ensure daily review of surveillance data and uses this to inform public health decision making.

He, therefore, urged all States to ensure that sample collection and testing are accessible, so that travellers, people with symptoms or who have been exposed to COVID-19 cases get tested promptly.

COVID-19: South Africa condemns ‘punishment’ over Omicron variant detection

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EPL: Man United abusing Cristiano Ronaldo, making him average player – Michael Owen

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Michael Owen has said that Manchester United’s use of Cristiano Ronaldo borders on ‘abuse’, adding that they want to turn the 5-time ballon d’Or winner into an average player.

Ronaldo was only introduced late into the second half in United’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The Portugal international has scored ten goals in 15 appearances for the Red Devils so far this season.

And Owen noted that the former Real Madrid forward is often left to run the side’s attack and says the lack of support he gets is ‘abusive’.

Asked whether he’d like to play in United’s team, Owen told Premier League Productions: “No you can’t! We were at Old Trafford for the City game the other day and all of a sudden it’s just exactly the same they leave Cristiano Ronaldo up front on his own. That’s almost abuse!

“Having someone that good in your team and then playing everyone defensively and saying ‘That’s alright we’ll just hope he nicks a goal’ he’ll end up being average.

“If you leave him and all these good players or just two of them playing and everyone else defending they’ll start putting in bad performances because they’ve got nobody to pass to, they’ve got no options, they’re chipping the ball form 50 yards away. They need other players to come up and help them.

“It’s almost abusing the good players they’ve got and that’s the last thing you’ve got to do. If anything, expose the rubbish! Find ways of getting world class players in your team, get Pogba, get Fernandes, get Ronaldo, get them as best as you can.

“If you let a few goals in because Bailly’s not great or Wan-Bissaka or whoever it may be then fine you can replace them but at the minute because they’re nervous and scared they just bulk up with sitting midfielders and more defenders and abuse the great players up front leaving half of them on the bench and one or two to play, they’ve got no chance!”

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Lagos EndSARS panel illegal, can’t probe military, police – Keyamo

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Festus Keyamo

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has described the Lagos State EndSARS panel as “illegal”.

Keyamo also claimed it was not within their jurisdiction to investigate Federal Government institutions and officers of the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army.

The minister stated this while appearing on Sunday Politics on Channels Television.

The panel had stated in its report that at least nine persons were killed on October 20, 2020, when soldiers and policemen stormed the Lekki tollgate to disperse #EndSARS protesters and described the incident as a “massacre in context.”

However, Keyamo was asked why the President Muhammadu Buhari called for constitution of panels across the states to investigate cases of human rights abuses while the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, would later dismiss the report by the Lagos panel.

He said, “I will not answer this question as a sitting minister. I will answer this question as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria – a member of the Inner Bar, and so I am entitled to my opinion. This is not the Federal Government’s position. From me, that panel was an illegal panel. It was totally illegal.

“All lawyers who are listening to me should go back and read the Tribunals of Enquiry Act of Lagos State. It says that the governor will have the powers to inquire into the conduct of any person – underline any person – and chieftaincy matters and any other matter that will promote the good of the public.

“However, ‘any person’ there was defined in Section 21 to mean public officers of the state. It is defined to mean somebody within the public service of Lagos State or of the local government as the case may be.

“Then, the phrase was used at the end of Section 1 that says ‘any matter’…that they can inquire into any matter. People now think that to inquire into any matter, it means that you can just be at large.

“However, if you look at Section 21 again, it says that it has to be within the legislative competence of Lagos State. In other words, it is only people over whom the Lagos State has control that they can inquire into their conduct. If you don’t have control over me, you cannot inquire into my conduct.

“Policemen, the Armed Forces, military; they are not under or officers of Lagos State, they are officers of the Federal Government. By virtue of the Constitution, it is only the Federal Government that can control the conduct of policemen and the military. Lagos State cannot be in control; they cannot legislate too, regarding police and military matters; they are on the Exclusive Legislative List.”

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