Fashola fires the National assembly: “You’ve stark, worrisome knowledge”

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Mr Babatinde Fashola
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Monday hit back at members of the National Assembly, as he argued that the lawmakers had “stark and worrisome knowledge” about the budget of his ministry before altering several of its allocations in the 2017 Appropriation Act.

Fashola, who expressed deep concern over the recourse of the National Assembly’s spokespersons to name-calling regarding his observations on the 2017 budget, also stated that there was no concession agreement for the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge, as well as other road projects across the country.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello, the minister said he was worried that the National Assembly failed to address the fundamental points about development-hindering cuts in the allocations to several vital projects of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, as well as those of other ministries.

Fashola had while acknowledging that the legislators could contribute to budget-making in a recent interview, disagreed with the practice where the legislative arm of government unilaterally alters the budget after putting members of the executive through budget defence sessions and committee hearings to the extent that some of the projects proposed would have become materially altered.

The minister had observed that it amounted to a waste of taxpayers’ money and an unnecessary distortion of orderly planning and development for lawmakers to unilaterally insert items not under the exclusive or concurrent lists of the constitution like boreholes and streetlights after putting government Ministries, Departments and Agencies through the process of budget defence.

With specific regard to the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, Fashola listed the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Bodo-Bonny road, the Kano-Maiduguri road, the Second Niger Bridge and the long-drawn Mambilla hydropower project, among others, as projects that the National Assembly materially altered their allocations in favour of boreholes and primary health care centres, which were never discussed during the ministerial budget defence.

In their responses, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Abdullahi Usman; and the House of Representatives spokesperson, Abdulrazak Namdas, accused the minister of spreading half-truths and making fallacious statements.

They argued that Fashola should have known that the National Assembly only interfered with projects that had concession agreements and private sector funding components.

They also accused the minister of wanting to hold on to such projects in order that he would continue to award contracts.

However, while dismissing the allegations, Fashola said it was sad that the lawmakers would resort to name-calling without understanding the facts of what they were getting into.

Taking the projects, which the lawmakers chose to focus individually, the minister insisted that there was no subsisting concession agreement on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

He noted that what the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission had as a financing agreement from a consortium of banks was like a loan that would have to be paid back through budgetary provisions.

According to him, there was no fallacy or half-truth in the allegation that the allocation to the road was reduced, adding that the lawmakers admitted this and sought to rationalise it by a concession or financing arrangement that had failed to build the road since 2006.

The biggest momentum seen on the road was in 2016, the minister said.

In the case of the Second Niger Bridge, where one of the spokespersons of the National Assembly alleged that the fund provided in the 2016 budget was not spent and had to be returned, Fashola explained that this showed very stark and worrisome gaps in the knowledge of the spokesperson about the budget process he was addressing.

According to him, a budget is not cash, but an approval of estimates of expenditure to be financed by cash by the Ministry of Finance.

“The Ministry of Finance has not yet released any cash for the Second Niger Bridge, so no money was returned,” he stated.

He added that three phases of early works of piling and foundation were approved and financed by the previous government in the hope that a concession would finally be made, but this had yet to happen because the concessionaires had not been able to raise finance.

Fashola’s statement read in part, “The continuation of early works IV could not start in May 2016 when the budget was passed because of high water level in the River Niger in the rainy season. The contract was only approved by the Federal Executive Council in the first quarter of 2017 and the contractor is awaiting payment.”

Dismissing the allegation that his ministry was holding on to projects that could be funded through Public Private Partnership so that he could award contracts, Fashola said from day one of his assumption of office, he made it clear that his priority would be to finish as many of the several hundreds of projects that the ministry inherited, which had not been funded for close to three years.

He said if the spokesperson was in tune with the Public Procurement Law, he would realise that the minister had no unilateral power to award such contracts whose values run into billions of naira.

He observed that all the new projects presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval were either federal roads requested by state governments or those put in the budget by the legislators to service their constituencies.

Fashola said the focus on contracts by the spokesperson was probably a Freudian slip that revealed his mind-set and interests, when indeed he should be focused on developmental projects that would strengthen the economy.

Also responding to the issues that the budget for the Mambilla Power Project was slashed because it contained N17bn for Environmental Impact Assessment, the minister said there was indeed a wrong description of that particular expenditure head, which could have happened during the classification of so many thousands of heads in the budget estimates.

According to him, what was described as a budget head for the EIA was actually the nation’s counterpart funding to the China EXIM Bank loan to fund the building of the Mambilla power plant.

He added that this was brought to his attention only after it had been slashed and that if the intention was not to slash arbitrarily, it should have been brought to his attention earlier in order for him to offer explanation.

“At a joint meeting convened at the instance of the budget minister when I complained that the budget was slashed, the issue of the EIA was brought to my attention and I explained what it was meant for,” Fashola said.

On the N20bn provision in the ministry’s budget, which the lawmakers alleged that the minister failed to provide the details, Fashola said the spokesperson was hiding behind a finger.

He said it was a very basic principle of good planning to make provisions for unforeseen contingencies, adding that in the 2016 budget, a similar provision enabled the ministry to respond to the failures of the Tamburawa Bridge in Sokoto, the Ijora Bridge in Lagos and the Gada Hudu Bridge in Koto Karfe along the Abuja-Lokoja Expressway.

He added, “Similarly, the ministry was able to pay N1bn to the contractor handling the Suleja to Minna road. The recent failures caused by flooding along the Tegina-Mokwa-Jebba road and Tatabu in Niger State could not have been provided because they were not foreseen and there may be more. This is what good planning is about,” Fashola said.

Credit Punch

Mourinho is bereaved as he arrives in Portugal ahead of the funeral of his father Flex (pics)

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has arrived in Portugal ahead of his father’s funeral on Tuesday.

 

 

 

Mourinho was pictured attending a service in Setubal with friends and family on Monday in the wake of the tragic news.

Jose Manuel Mourinho Felix, who had been suffering from ill health for several months, died at the age of 79 in Setubal on Sunday and will be buried on Tuesday.

As a footballer, Mourinho Felix played first for Vitoria Setubal and then for Belenenses, making 274 appearances in the Portuguese league between 1955 and 1974.

He achieved one international cap for Portugal, appearing as a late substitute in a match against the Republic of Ireland in the 1972 Brazil Independence Cup.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After hanging up his gloves, Mourinho Felix became a coach with a number of Portuguese clubs including Uniao Leiria, Amora, Rio Ave, Belenenses and Vitoria.

Jose Mourinho, who visited his ailing father regularly over the past few months, took to Instagram on Monday to share a touching black-and-white image of himself as a young boy with his father following his passing.

The country’s football federation sent ‘the most heartfelt condolences to Jose Mourinho and the rest of the bereaved family.’ United also extended their condolences on their official website.

 

 

 

 

Credit All Football

Hushpuppi Reveals Why Women Are Not Seen Around Him (pics)

Instagram big boy, Hushpuppi who has always been seen alone in most photos he shares on social media platforms, replied an interesting question asked by a follower.

His follower asked why he’s always alone while on expensive vacations and lavish hangouts. Replying this, Hushpuppi who wrote in pidgin, asked “Woman dey when I dey run away from Immigration officials for Malyasia?”.

Here’s what he wrote;

Meet this pretty Nigerian lady that says “I have traded my soul to the devil for money” (pics)

A Nigerian Lady based in South Africa who threatened  to throw a baby she found at her doorsteps, has said she has sold her soul to the Devil.

In a shocking update on her Facebook wall, the lady identified as Diane Emily Kamsi, From Anambra state, attacked Nigerians who have one way or the other, preached to her.

She captioned a post;

STUPID JOBLESS POOR HUNGRY NIGERIANS ,,I SOLD MY SOUL TO SATAN SO WHAT ??IT’S MY LIFE AND SOUL SO I DECIDE ON WHICH MASTER TO TRADE IT WITH ..
I DON’T WANT NO HEAVEN WITHOUT MONEY
HAIL SATAN . NDI ASIRI DOT COM

More of her photos;


Nollywood Actor, Actor Victor Eze Is Dead (pic)

Nollywood actor Victor Eze is reportedly dead.

According to CKN Nigeria, the veteran actor died after a brief illness, and this sad news comes just weeks after the demise of actress Moji Olaiya who died in Canada after giving birth. Recall that her body was recently brought home for burial.

It is unclear what ailed the veteran actor, but CKN Nigeria adds that his death has been confirmed by the former President of Actors Guild of Nigeria, Mr Segun Arinze.

Victor Eze was a highly respected stage actor and dancer. He was famous for his roles in numerous movies and dance productions, but most especially for his role as Alika in epic series, Fuji House of Commotion.

5 Signs Your Husband Is Cheating On You

Hopefully, this can give wives insight on their husbands who are unfaithful, so.

The following are the signs:

1. He stops eating your food: when your hubby no longer find your food interesting, even when it’s sweet, then there is a problem. He probably stops by at the mistress house to have his fill first.

2. No longer bothers you for sex: if you have a hubby that used to bother you for sex every night but suddenly stops, don’t be happy about that. Something is wrong. Men’s sexual urge don’t just die down like that.

3. Comes home late: when he starts coming home late regularlyunder the excuse of a board meeting, know something is fishy. He probably has been introduced to something suspicious.

4. Undergoes clandestine activities: another clue is that, he will start doing some secret things. You noticed is phone has a code, he makes secret calls at night etc.

5. He becomes more loving: a naive cheater is usually guilty when he has committed the act. Hence, you notice him more loving and caring than before; probably as a retribution/atonement for their adulterous act.

Credit Nairaland

Top 5 Foods That Cleanse The Liver: How To Detox the Liver (pics)

beetroot liver
Beet roots and juice

The liver is one hard working organ. It performs many functions, from detoxifying the blood, breaking down hormones, and storing essential nutrients.

We tend to overlook the importance of cleansing the liver. It’s not surprising to me. After all, it’s an internal organ. But do you really want to wait to be diagnosed with a liver disease before you start caring for your liver?

Why cleanse the liver?

Cleansing the liver will not only lower your risk of liver related ailments. The impaired liver function could be the cause of many other health issues like constipation, high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, poor appetite, excessive sweating, and even depression.

You can also lose weight when you cleanse the liver. A well functioning liver can promote bile production which in turn can aid the body in fat metabolization. Thus, you can shed unwanted pounds faster when you go on a liver detox.

You will also feel younger and more energetic when you cleanse the liver.

The good news is that there are several liver-cleansing foods that you can incorporate into your diet. These are five of the best foods that you should eat more of if you want your liver to be at its optimum state:

 

garlic liver
  1. Garlic

Yes, it has a pungent smell that turns off a lot of people. But there’s no denying that garlic is one super food that has many health benefits like cleansing the liver.

Garlic has allicin, a sulfur compound that converts to allicin. This is a powerful antioxidant that alongside the mineral selenium, acts as a cleansing agent of the liver. Allicin also aids in optimizing the function of the immune system, which in turn can lighten the load of the liver.

Garlic’s ability to lower cholesterol levels can also have a positive impact on the liver. A 2002 study published in the Journal of Nutrition noted that garlic can contribute to the reduction of elevated triglycerides that are formed in the liver.

It’s easy to incorporate garlic into your diet because it is an ingredient in many recipes. However, I suggest you use fresh raw garlic instead of processed garlic as you can get more nutrients from it.

You can also eat 2-3 raw garlic cloves daily. Just be sure to brush your teeth afterward.

 

Grapefruit liver
  1. Grapefruit

Packed with vitamin C and glutathione, grapefruit can also contribute to the cleansing of the liver. Glutathione, in particular, has been found to have an ability to increase the production of liver detoxifying enzymes. A grapefruit contains more than 70 micrograms of glutathione.

Studies have also shown that grapefruit has a special type of pectin that can lower the levels of a fat that can clog the liver.

Grapefruit oil has also been linked to cleansing the liver as well. A 2007 study published in the Alternative Medicine Review cited that grapefruit contains D-limonene that can break down and dissolve gallstones.

beetroot liver
Beet roots and juice
  1. Beets

Like grapefruits, beets contain high levels of pectin. Pectin can flush out fats and toxins from the liver, preventing these from being reabsorbed by the body.

Beets can also promote the good function of the liver by thinning the bile. When this happens, bile can move better through the liver.

There are many ways to incorporate beets into your diet. You can cut off the leaves and then steam the bulb. Don’t remove the skin as it contains many important nutrients. You can also roast or bake beets.

You should also eat the greens as these are packed with nutrients. You can simply steam it before eating. I also know that beets are commonly grated raw for salads.

Or you might want to try making a beet root liver detox drink. You will simply combine one large beetroot with three carrots, one jicama, one fresh turmeric root and one fresh ginger in a juicer. Puree until smooth.

 

Tumeric liver
  1. Turmeric

A close relative of ginger, many of us know turmeric as the yellow root that is a staple of Indian cuisine. Many people love turmeric not only because it gives a unique flavor to their recipes, but it also has a lot of health benefits like cleansing the liver.

Turmeric is particularly effective in improving the ability of the human body to digest fats. This can lessen the workload of the liver. It also contains a compound called curcumin that can facilitate the excretion of glutathione, which can regenerate damaged cells in the liver.

You can add turmeric in your daily cooking to avail of its liver-cleansing abilities. Or you can simply mix half a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of water. After boiling it, you can drink this tea twice a day for 2 weeks.

 

Lemons liver
  1. Lemon and lime

Lemon and lime are rich in vitamin C. This is a vitamin that can remove toxic materials, and lessen the load on the liver. The said toxic materials may then be absorbed by water.

I usually drink freshly squeezed lemon juice every morning. This is an effective way of cleansing the liver.

Conclusion

Cleansing the liver can yield a lot of health benefits, from weight reduction to lower risks of certain ailments. You can start to cleanse your liver by taking more of the five foods I discussed above.

credit trentonline


 

50 Year-old Spinster Weds Heartrob In Abuja (pics)

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L-R: Groom and bride

It was a day of joy and bewilderment as a 50 year-old spinster, who was never married, finally hooked her heartrob at the weekend in Abuja at an event greeted with fanfare given its uniqueness.

The newest bride in town, Omolayo Oyeyemi Oyewole is an ordained Deaconess of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) of Fountain of Living Water Parish, Tudun Wada, FHA Lugbe, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.

The wedding solemnisation took place at RCCG Resurrection Parish, Babangida area of Lugbe in FCT where the groom, a practising RCCG Pastor, Mike Gbade Adetutu, exchanged vows with his bride.

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Couple with officiating pastors

Omolayo is said to have remained calm and exhibited high moral standards during her spinstership period despite her age, hence she was ordained a Deaconess. While Adetutu was a widower before their paths crossed.

According  to a member of Omolayo’s parish, Mrs Shade Areo, she described yesterday’s event as a “wonder wedding” made in heaven.

“To God be the glory after much waiting, God finally put smiles on the faces of Deaconess Omolayo. Indeed, God is Great!” she exclaimed.

Subjugation of Local governments in Lagos and the other states

By Obinna Osuagwu

Much of these other states are circumstantially different to Lagos. They are one-city states—yet too primitive and are predominantly rural. The centralization of governance in the states of Nigerians therefore takes a worse toll on them as it stifles the ability of the LGAs to even try out their potentials—minuscule as they are. In these states, there are not those GIVEN potentials as the viable seaport of Lagos for which the British could run Lagos as an independent colony—with a vibrant economy right from 1861—and which the Nigerian state would subsequently inherit as a Federal Capital territory.

In same vein, therefore much of Lagos’ potentials consist in its long term strategic seaport which was harnessed by the British and Nigerian state who owned them as an independent Colonial protectorate and Federal Capital respectively.

 Lagos therefore is tied to real enterprise driven on such potentials—not necessarily resource wealth. The city as a result readily becomes a destination for most capital in Nigeria. In short, activities drive Lagos and not resource.

For the other states, they are largely agrarian—and endowed with Resource Wealth—including earth resources. Therefore, there is need to harness these potentials actively. Whereas the fact of the overly centralization of state governance in Nigeria has not allowed for the dynamics of governance critically needed for the peoples apply the local governance of their states on all fronts to vent harness the thick forests, ocean fronts, rivers and lakes in these states which are largely rural, the Federal Government’s Exclusive Rights over mining of the resource wealth within them, which could have constituted yet another great potential for them to take a quantum leap in urbanization, has posed a huge hindrance to their ability to conquer these vast areas and improve their better living thus generating the activity levels that could make them become vibrant activity-driven economies.

With the powers conferred on the state level of governance over the LGAs by the fiats of the 1999 Constitution, common politics has engendered much of advantage-taking of these constitutional provisions by politicians at the state level and their accomplices/beneficiaries to bring active local governance to a near impossibility.

Centralized administration of states has entailed that State governors and their legislators take advantage of the constitutionally prostrate nature of Local Government Councils to make state-governing laws for their political convenience thus completely subjugating Local Councils to the state level of governance—which invariably implies a subjugation and overrunning of the people.

In many states, the “Joint Allocations” clause of the 1999 constitution has been traditionally seized to retain all funds allocated to the LGAs at the state center—and only doling out the amounts they think the LGAs critically need for their administration. The rest of the funds is subsequently used to conveniently run centralized state economies.

Most State Houses of Assembly have made laws that empower state parliamentarians to suspend elected LGA chairmen—even indefinitely. In many states, laws have been made that enable state governors to call for council elections whenever they would, while administering the local councils by selected party faithful dubbed Local Council Caretaker chairmen.

Also, it is commonplace for governors to take over any viable sources of revenues available to LGAs to the state level—even arbitrarily. All these, have been done given the inadequacies of the 1999 Constitution and have been applied by state level politicians—especially the governors—to the political exigency of protecting their power bases!

Given such centralized governance, state governance has simply amounted to capital city governance, while the rest to these states have remained rural. For the citizenry and politicians hailing from these rural LGAs, it seems just enough to live in the state capital, satisfied that they have LGAs on which basis they could become Assemblymen, receive some monthly stipends, have a permanently secure job at the Local Council and derive other fringe benefits and responsibilities which are statutory while bearing minimal responsibility.

Hence, true to the Nigerian system, a balance of all interests is created thus ensuring the anomalies of waste, ineffectiveness and low functionality that breeds poverty continues unabated.