The Senate, on Tuesday, asked the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), to sack service chiefs as a result of their failure to secure Nigerians.
The Senate decision, which is the third it would pass this year, followed a motion by Senator Kashim Shettima on the recent killing of 43 rice farmers in Borno State by the Boko Haram insurgents.
The Senate asked Buhari to replace the security chiefs with new ones “immediately”.
The red chamber also asked Buhari to restructure and remodel the nation’s security architecture.
Apart from that, the chamber demanded a probe into the allegations of corruption and financial leakage levelled against some top hierarchy of the military.
The Senate asked Buhari to aggressively negotiate with the nation’s neighbouring countries for multinational cooperation in order to strengthen the war against insurgency.
It directed the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, NEMA and NEDC to provide succour and psychological support for the families of the victims.
FIRSTBANK DEEPENS FINANCIAL INCLUSION WITH LARGEST AGENT BANKING NETWORK, EMPOWERS SMES
At present, there are over 86,000 banking agents across 772 out of the 774 local government areas in Nigeria, a demonstration of FirstBank’s commitment to deepening financial inclusion and ensuring the unbanked are adequately catered for.
In an interview with BusinessDay, Adesola Adeduntan, FirstBank’s CEO, noted that over N9.6 trillion had been processed through the bank’s agent network.
As he explained, FirstMonie agents have supported several government and NGOs’ cash transfers to the poorest of the poor in the rural areas. Additionally, selected FirstMonie agents in the rural communities are equipped with BVN enrolment devices; as such they are able to enrol and open accounts for rural dwellers that hitherto may not have had the opportunity to be included in the formal financial services system.
The bank’s commitment to providing access to finance for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) was also highlighted by the CEO, who hinged this on “their potential to impact the economy”.
He discussed the bank’s value adding solutions that have created a functional ecosystem for SMEs to thrive. The ecosystem includes propositions such as connection of the SMEs to talents and resources/cutting edge tools, access to business finance and market, capacity building opportunities and policy advocacy.
These are all aggregated on its SMEConnect platform as value adding products and services for easy access and at rates (prices) that are competitive and mostly discounted. The SMEConnect is a digital platform that allows the SMEs connect to FirstBank’s offerings from the comfort of their locations anywhere in the world.
This, according to Adeduntan, has been well received by the SME community as we engage across the country.
Culled from BusinessDay
2023: Jonah Jang Spits Fire Over Northern Zoning Arrangement
Former Governor of Plateau State, Senator Jonah Jang has faulted zoning arrangement between North and South and called for a review by political parties to reflect the reality on the ground in Nigeria, saying the far North has been unfair to the Middle Belt.
He added that the far North has never seen the Middle Belt as an integral part of the North even as he said appointment and removal of Service Chiefs are prerogative of the president.
Speaking with newsmen in Jos, Jang said zoning of the presidency by political parties has always been among the major tribes in the country while the minorities are sidelined and never have much say in the selection process.
“I am not a believer of rotation and I will tell you why before I answer your question, there is nothing like rotation in the 1999 Constitution as amended but political parties do it for convenience. But if you look at it anytime the presidency comes to the North because most parties have adopted North and South arrangement.
“If rotation is what Nigerians want, then the political parties must review it. When I was running for the presidency I went to see one of the top leaders in this country, it has always been rotation among the major tribes except Jonathan that got it because of the death of the late President Yaradua, I call it an accident because even to allow him to act before the death of President Yaradua was a war.
“What I was told by that leader was that as good as I may be, he could not see how a Christian minority can win the election in Nigeria, this is the first time I am saying this out because the time has come for us to speak out. So if we are going to continue with the rotation of presidency it has to be among the North, Middle Belt and the South, otherwise, no Middle Belter minority can rule this country, it is like the chapter for the minority to rule this country is closed if restructuring is not done.
“If political parties do not review this rotation arrangement, the Middle Belt cannot be joined with the North, it is unacceptable to us. The North means North West, we are not part of the Northern rotation, we want the presidency in the Middle Belt if possible in 2023,” he said.
On the call for the removal of Service Chiefs, Senator Jang who said their appointments and removal is prerogative of President Mohammadu Buhari, however, stated that his major concern has been their continued stay in service which makes it difficult for the young ones to move up.
“I have no quarrel with Mr President if he decides to keep Service Chiefs as long as he wants. My only area of concern is that if people are due for retirement and they are not retired it becomes difficult for the young ones to move up.
“If Service Chiefs move out when they are due for retirement or they are changed in accordance with the prerogative of Mr President vacancies are created and adjustment is made and promotions are done. Today the Service Chiefs have not retired, they have not retired themselves, it means people are just being promoted to keep the place quiet.”
According to him, there were quite a lot of retired generals and senior military personnel that could offer useful advice to the federal government on how to curb insurgency ravaging the north and other criminal acts across the country but added that they were never consulted.
“We are not consulted, perhaps if they didn’t consult me because I have become a politician, there are many retired generals and senior military officers that have enough experience that can advise on the best way to tackle the insurgencies.”
Gunmen Abduct Lagos Varsity Deputy VC In Nasarawa, Demand N20m
The Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Anchor University, Lagos State, Prof. Johnson Fatokun, has been kidnapped. Anchor University is a faith-based institution in Ayobo, Lagos, owned by the Deeper Christian Life Ministry.
It was learnt that the victim left Lagos on Sunday to drop off his two children, who were schooling in the North.
He was said to be returning on Monday when his vehicle was attacked by the gunmen in Nasarawa en route to the airport to return to Lagos.
A Punch Metro source said the assailants were in police uniform.
The source said, “The professor had dropped his son at the Deeper Life High School in the morning. He also went to drop the daughter at a federal university in Jos.
“He was returning from Jos to Keffi, Nasarawa State, late in the evening when they encountered the gunmen on the road. The driver, however, manoeuvred his way and sped through them. The gunmen started chasing the vehicle and shooting.
“There was another set of kidnappers right in front of them. They succeeded in stopping the vehicle. They beat up the driver, who managed to escape. The professor begged them for mercy, because those people were angry. That was how they whisked him away.”
Our correspondent learnt that the kidnappers had been speaking with some leaders of the victim’s church in Nasarawa.
It was gathered that the gunmen demanded N20m as ransom.
“They are talking to his colleagues and some leaders in the church. The negotiation is ongoing. We hope he will be released soon and unhurt,” the source added.
An official of the school, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed the development.
He, however, said prayers were being offered for the safe release of the professor.
Fatokun is a professor of Computational Mathematics and Numerical Analysis, and was the pioneer Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, before joining the services of Anchor University in 2017.
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