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High cost of governance, big concern to FG – SGF



BOSS Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, has said that the Federal Government is committed to addressing the high cost of governance in Nigeria.

 Receiving the report of the draft white paper from the committee on the review of the federal government parastatals, agencies and commissions led by Ebele Ofunneamaka Okeke, former Nigerian head of Civil Service, Mustapha noted that the high cost of governance in Nigeria and revenue challenges being experienced in the midst of competing societal demands are of serious concern to the Federal Government.

He therefore expressed optimism about the reports from the Okeke-led Committee, noting that “I have no doubt in my mind that the knowledge, experience and expertise members brought to bear in cause of the assignment would guide the Federal Government in addressing the high cost of governance and other associated problems.”

While conveying the gratitude of the federal government to both the committee and the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, the SGF noted that the assignment was conducted with seriousness and passion, which expresses resilience in transforming the public service.

He therefore assured Nigerians that the Draft White Paper will be given all the necessary attention and that appropriate recommendations contained in the report will be taken.

It is pertinent to know that the six-week time line assignment led by Ebele Okeke, who also was the first female head of Civil Service was to review and draft a white paper on the Amal Pepple committee report on new Parastatals, Agencies and Commission created between 2012 and 2021.

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Mustapha recalled that President Buhari had interacted with the Association of Senior Civil Servants last week where he assured of the Government’s commitment to the improvement of the condition of the service to ensure efficiency.

You may also know that both the Okeke and Pepple-led committee came, sequel to other committees formed by the government as efforts to address the structural issues within the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies, MDAs.

Mustapha highlighted the genealogy of these committees to include the Bukar Goni Aji, Committee to review the Mohammed Adoke White Paper on the Steve Orosanye Report on Restructuring and Rationalization of Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies and Commission; Ma Amal Pepple, Committee to review new Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions created between 2012 and October, 2021; and the Ebele Okeke, Committee to Draft a White Paper on the Amal Pepple Committee Report on new Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions created between 2012 and 2021.

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Supreme Court to deliver judgement on Kogi APC guber primary Oct 23



• Usman Ododo and Smart Adeyemi
The Supreme Court, on Thursday, adjourned an appeal filed by Senator Smart Adeyemi against the judgments of the lower courts, on the Kogi APC Governorship primary election, to October 23, 2023, for judgment.

Adeyemi had filed a suit at the Federal High Court seeking to nullify the primary election of the All Progressive Congress, which produced Usman Ododo as the party’s flagbearer for the state’s governorship election slated for November 11.The case was dismissed by both the High Court and the Court of Appeal for lacking in merit.

The apex court, while hearing his appeal, on Thursday, told his lawyer, Musibau Adetumbi, SAN, that his client was appealing against concurrent findings of the High Court and the Court of Appeal, which stated that primary elections were held in Kogi State but that he had failed to challenge these concurrent findings.

However, the appellant’s counsel said he would go ahead to argue the appeal.

The Supreme Court therefore adjourned the appeal to October 23, 2023, for judgment.The representatives of the Independent National Electoral Commission, All Progressives Congress and Usman Ododo include Chief Anthony Adeniyi (SAN) Abdulwahab Mohammed (SAN) and M.Y. Abdullahi, SAN; respectively.

The Court of Appeal had, on August 18, 2023, held that the appeal argued by Adekunle Otitoju on behalf of Adeyemi was completely bereft of merit.

In a unanimous judgment of a 3-man panel of Justices of the Court, Adeyemi was said to have failed to establish all grievous criminal allegations made against the conduct of the primary election by APC and its leaders.

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50 poisoned at wedding party



No fewer than 50 people were poisoned at a wedding in Iraq’s northern province of Kirkuk due to spoiled food, local media reported.

According to the report, the incident occurred in the town of Hawija, west of Kirkuk, the capital city of the cognominal province.

The provincial health chief, Ziyad Khalaf, said some of the cases were mild while some were serious.

He added that all the patients have received the necessary medical treatment in the hospital.

The incident came a day after a deadly fire ripped through a wedding hall in a predominantly Christian town in Iraq’s northern province of Nineveh, killing 114 people and injuring more than 200. (Xinhua/NAN)

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Make a difference in Niger Delta, Ogbuku charges new directors



The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, has enjoined the newly promoted Directors of the Commission to make a difference in the discharge of their duties and take the Commission to greater heights.

Ogbuku, who gave the charge at the closing session of a two-week course on Leadership and Performance Management for directing staff of the NDDC in Abuja, said that the provision of quality services to the people of the Niger Delta was a collective responsibility and should be given priority.

According to him, the reason for sending the new Directors for training was to ensure they took the administrative knowledge acquired back to the Commission in order to make a difference for the overall benefit of the region.

He said: “We are supposed to be training and retraining our staff. This is just the beginning. I want the directors to take back the knowledge they have gained to others in the NDDC to better appreciate their roles and understand the expectations from them.

“We want to do things differently. We want to improve on our services. We want to take up challenges. We want to start with the staff first to ensure that all the staff are properly trained and they understand their roles.”

Ogbuku urged the directors to ensure they utilised the experiences gathered from the training to improve the administrative processes in NDDC to ensure that things were done differently.

He said further: “As new directors, you need to understand your roles and understand your boundaries. You also need to understand your strengths and understand when to use them and when not to.

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“You need to understand that you are public servants and not civil servants. So, these are some of the things we thought you ought to be equipped with.”

“Over the years we have seen a situation where the staff of the NDDC seem to act as politicians, but as directors who have been inducted into Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), I believe that you are not only going to be ambassadors of NDDC, you are also going to be worthy ambassadors of ASCON,” he said.

He stressed that his expectation was to work with directors who understood that they were career civil servants, and aspiring to get to their peak as professionals, not those who want to be nepotic or tribalistic.

Ogbuku noted that directors should be wary of their actions, adding that some of their actions could mislead their subordinates who are looking up to them as role models.

In her address, the Director General of ASCON, Mrs. Cecilia Gayya noted that training was essentially an activity that was designed to make an employee more efficient and productive in the performance of their functions.

She said that the focus of training was to ensure efficient and effective application of knowledge, skills and attitude for improved performance, noting: “The programme was carefully designed and implemented to provide the needed knowledge, skills and capacity to adequately and promptly discharge their responsibilities and thus, make meaningful contributions towards the attainment of the mission and vision of the NDDC.

“The conscientiousness with which you participated in this programme for the past two weeks is a testimony to your preparedness for the challenges ahead and thus gives us hope that this training will impact positively on your performance, especially as you rise higher in the strategic realm of the management of the Commission.

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