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TAPAN Demands INEC Chairman steps down over non Payment of Ad-hoc Staff:

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The Taxpayers Association of Nigeria (TAPAN), an Umbrella body of taxpayers were approached by the ad-hoc staff that worked in the Presidential and National Assembly elections of 16th February, 2019 who were not paid their stipends as stipulated. Few days from now will be 16th of February 2020 which is exactly one year these youth play their role in this engagement and up till now INEC is yet to play its own part of the bargain in giving them their entitlement. However, the core values of TAPAN as an association amongst others is to ensure that taxpayers’ money are duly appropriated and expended for this purpose.
During the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) whose function is to conduct elections as the electoral umpire of the nation recruited ad-hoc staff who help in the said election to coordinate all the Polling Units across the nation for the Presidential and National Assembly elections. The ad-hoc staff included both ex-corps members and serving corps members.
Also, there were 119, 973 (One Hundred and Ninety Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seventy-Three) Polling Units across the nation and each Polling Units was coordinated by 4 (four) officials; one serving Corp member and three Ex-corp members making it a total of 479,892 (Four Hundred and Seventy-Nine Thousand, Eight Hundred and Ninety-Two) ad-hoc staff engaged in this process.
As a prelude towards the said elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) organized a training for all the ad-hoc staff which lasted for two days and the ad-hoc staff for the said elections were entitled to N8,000.00 (Eight Thousand Naira) only which is to cover their logistics. At the end of the induction course, even-though the said amount was appropriated, was never paid to them including the sum of N15, 000.00 (Fifteen Thousand Naira) for coordinating the Polling Units for the said elections.
The entire ad-hoc staff mobilized to their various areas of primary assignments ready for the job, when at about 3:00 am on the election day, and about four hours to opening of the polls, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof. Mahmood Yakubu came on air and called for the postponement of the elections with reasons best known to him. Till date the ad-hoc staff have not been paid.
“Gentlemen of the press, the youth of this country have become endangered species, not only do they roam the street seeking for jobs but the ones done for the country entirely are yet to be paid. We need not to add that money for the exercise was duly appropriated by the National Assembly from taxpayers’ money, hence our involvement in this matter so therefore, TAPAN insist that Prof. Mahmood must resign with immediate effect and handover himself to the appropriate authorities for misappropriation of taxpayers’ money, breach of trust, rape of justice. And lack of administrative mastery and finesse.” Said Comr. Obinna Okafor, the president of Taxpayers’ Association of Nigeria (TAPAN)

The President of TAPAN, Comr. Obinna Okafor addressing the press during the press conference

“Public office is not for everybody, gentlemen of the press may I state emphatically without fear or contradiction that Taxpayers Association of Nigeria had once written to the Vice-president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (GCON) and our letter was replied within 14 (fourteen) working days, it shows efficient service delivery in public office, whereas we wrote 3 (three) different letters to INEC, two (2) from our attorney and one (1) from Taxpayers Association of Nigeria concerning this subject matter, yet, it was treated with reckless abandon and unheeded up-till today.” Said the TAPAN President, Comr. Obinna Okafor
According to Comr. Obinna Okafor, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu has failed to

understand that his activities as INEC chairman is predicated on Taxpayer’s money, yet he lacks capacity in simple administrative matters. He also lamented that INEC agreed with TAPAN that they are aware that some of their Ad-hoc staff died in the course of this assignment, some were raped, valuable items such as phone and money were forcefully taken by the village miscreants due to poor accommodation, yet nothing has been done as supposed.
Therefore, the Taxpayers Association of Nigeria (TAPAN) call on the attention of the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, President. Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) to kindly intervene urgently to this clarion call in order to restore confidence and trust of Nigerian youths, by ensuring that these INEC Ad-hoc staff are paid immediately and demands that Prof. Mahmood Yakubu step down with immediate effect.
“Mr. President, your name will be written in gold and chronicled as a listening president who has pacified fate of almost 500,000.00 (five hundred thousand) youths.” Said Comr. Obinna Okafor, the TAPAN President.
Conclusively, TAPAN has done her best to hold down the INEC Ad-hoc staff for so long believing that this commission will be reasonable enough to do the needful but from their survey as an organization they are made to understand that INEC body language is an invitation to nationwide protest that will not likely end until Prof. Mahmood steps down. We are all aware that almost 500,000.00 (five hundred thousand) youth are involved in this case, it is obvious that the outcome of the protest is better imagined than experienced and we hope INEC responds positively on this matter.

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2021 Children Golf Development Clinic begins Monday in Abuja

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By Gistflash News

July 23, 2021

The 2021 edition of the Children Golf Development Clinic, being organised by the Ladies Section of IBB International Golf and Country Club in Abuja, begins on Monday at the club.

The event’s Organising Committee Chairman, Joy Ikwue who is also the club’s Vice Lady Captain, disclosed this on Friday to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

“The two-week event tagged `Future Champions of Golf’ is being put together by the club’s Ladies Section and it is part of efforts to raise the level of the sport by the Executive Committee led by Lady Captain MaryRose Richard-Obioha,” she said.

Ikwue disclosed that top Nigerian professional golfers would also be available at the clinic which ends on Aug. 6 to offer life skills training to the children and youths.

“This is with a view of not only integrating them into the game but the society in general.

“Golf is a game of rules and in as much as there will be many rules for the children to learn, we will also want them to know about service to humanity, country and fellow golfers.”

Ikwue stated that more than 70 children and teenagers, whose ages range from five to 18, have so far registered and the organisers believed that more are still coming.

She added that the club’s ladies have traditionally always arranged this summer development clinic for over a decade now.

“The section has tried to sustain the developmental programme with the aim of discover potential young golfers.

“This is because the clinic is to catch them young and groom them so as to become assets for their parents and Nigeria as a whole.”

Ikwue however lamented the difficulties in getting sponsors as some of the letters sent out did not receive any response.

She nonetheless thanked the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, Rotary Club, as well as members of the club for their support.

NAN

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Workers’ welfare: FG to ensure implementation of projects

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By Gistflash News

July 22, 2021

The Federal Government on Thursday, expressed its commitment to the effective implementation of projects that would improve the welfare of civil servants in the country.

Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF), said this at the inauguration and handing over of erosion/flooding control, and road improvement work at Ama Pepple Public Servants’ Estate, FCT.

Yemi-Esan said that the project was one of the 7th ecological interventions, approved by President, Muhammadu Buhari, for 3rd and 4th quarters of 2019.

She said that the government had in pursuance of this goal, also implemented a project named the Federal Integrated Staff Housing (FISH) programme.

The HCSF explained that the FISH Programme was designed to provide quality and affordable housing for public servants, in line with the Federal Government’s Housing Policy.

According to her, the government is working assiduously to make the lives of public servants better.

“We are also working to provide critical infrastructure in estates built for civil servants under the FISH project.

“Necessary action has been taken to reposition the FISH programme. So, we are working very hard to ensure that public and civil servants live in comfortable homes.

“The Federal Government is determined to pursue and implement projects aimed at ensuring the wellbeing of citizens, and also looking for better opportunities for economic growth of the country,’’ she said.

Yemi-Esan, however, implored residents of the estate to cherish the project by desisting from indiscriminate dumping of refuse, in order to ensure its sustainability.

“Having successfully completed this project, the living standard of the residents will be enhanced. This will also reduce dangers of erosion and persistent flooding that had been experienced here in recent times.

“The execution of projects across the country also demonstrates the sincerity of purpose by the present administration towards entrenching justice, equity and fair play to all and sundry,’’ she said.

She commended Ecological Fund Office (EFO), the project contractor; Diamond Global Engineering Investment Ltd and the project consultant; Enplan Group Ltd, for their doggedness in ensuring speedy completion of the project.

Dr Habiba Lawal, the Permanent Secretary of EFO, said that the project was initiated through a request for an urgent intervention, forwarded to the EFO by the Chairman of the estate.

Lawal said that the request was to arrest the continued erosion, flooding and other ecological challenges, as well as to prevent further environmental degradation, loss of lives and properties in the estate.

She said that the completion of the project was made possible through the efforts of the project contractor and consultant, which worked tirelessly to ensure that minimal time in the project implementation was achieved.

Dr Gaga Ali, the Chairman of the estate, who spoke on behalf of the residents, thanked the Federal Government and EFO officials for their effort sin making sure that the project was duly implemented.

Ali appealed to the government to construct an access road to the estate, as according to him, each year residents repair the road, it deteriorates due to erosion.

Also, Alhaji Mohamed Bello, the Managing Director, Diamond Global Engineering Investment Ltd, said that the job was to be executed within six months, but was completed in four months.

Bello said that the project was executed during the rainy season, and that in spite of the horrible state of the road and the season, the contractors were able to ensure the delivery of a quality project.

NAN

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A’Ibom Govt to boost primary healthcare with N300m – Commissioner

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By Gistflash News

July 20, 2021

The Akwa Ibom Government is to inject more than N300 million into the state primary healthcare system to enhance service delivery to people in the rural areas.

Prof. Augustine Umoh, the Commissioner for Health, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Uyo on Tuesday.

Umoh also said that the state government had concluded plans to revive its primary healthcare system through the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund by paying its counterpart funding to access the fund.

He said the basic healthcare provision fund would help to get the primary healthcare system back on track to ensure effective healthcare delivery.

The commissioner said that the fund would also help to implement more equitable and efficient health care financing to provide essential services to the most vulnerable members of the state.

“The primary healthcare is receiving quite some boost right now because the state government has established the Akwa Ibom State Primary Healthcare Development Agency.

“To ensure it functions, government has released its counterpart funding so that it will be able to meet up with the requirement of the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund.

“We have commenced training for enumerators to be able to access our primary healthcare, provides criteria for us to meet up with the basic healthcare provision fund.

“This basic healthcare provision fund would help us to get our primary healthcare system back once activation is done at the shortest possible time.

“We will immediately inject over N300 million into the primary healthcare system and we believe this will give a significant boost to the primary healthcare in the state,’’ Umoh said.

The commissioner said the Ikot Ekpene General Hospital was undergoing rehabilitation for effective and efficient healthcare delivery system to the Akwa Ibom people.

“Government is going to provide appropriate equipment and personnel when the rehabilitation is completed.

“We have a 200-bed facility in the hospital and we have enough hands to deliver services. The state government is ready to employ  more health personnel, especially consultants,’’ he said.

On COVID-19, the commissioner said that the first phase of vaccination in the state had been concluded.

Umoh said the state received 69, 030 doses of Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine from the Federal Government for the first phase of the jab and appealed to the residents to continue to abide by the protocols.

NAN

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