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Senate Begins Screening Of New Ministerial Nominees

Senate Begins Screening Of New Ministerial Nominees

Lawmakers in the Senate chamber of the National Assembly have commenced the screening of the ministerial nominees recently appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The screening of the nominees is ongoing at a plenary presided over by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan.

With less than a year to the end of his administration, President Buhari recently asked the lawmakers to confirm seven nominees as ministers to join his cabinet.

The nominees were appointed from four south-east states, as well as one state each in the north-west, south-west, and south-south regions.

They include Henry Ikechukwu – Abia State, Umana Okon Umana – Akwa-Ibom State, Ekuma Joseph – Ebonyi State, Goodluck Nana Obia – Imo State, Umar Ibrahim Yakub – Kano State, Ademola Adewole Adegorioye – Ondo State, and Odo Udi – Rivers State.

The nominees were appointed from four south-east states, as well as one state each in the north-west, south-west, and south-south regions.

They include Henry Ikechukwu – Abia State, Umana Okon Umana – Akwa-Ibom State, Ekuma Joseph – Ebonyi State, Goodluck Nana Obia – Imo State, Umar Ibrahim Yakub – Kano State, Ademola Adewole Adegorioye – Ondo State, and Odo Udi – Rivers State.

4:42 pm: The Senate has screened the sixth and seventh nominees Ademola Adewole Adegoroye from Ondo State and Odum Odi from Rivers State.


3:45 pm: The fifth nominee is Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub from Kano State. He is also a former federal lawmaker and presently the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on National Assembly Matters( House of Reps).

He was also asked to take a bow and go.


2:55 pm: The fourth nominee, Goodluck Opiah, was asked to take a bow and go, a privilege and Senate tradition for former lawmakers in the state or federal legislature.


2:42 pm: The third nominee Ekumankama Joseph is being screened.

While responding to a question on how to resolve the impasse between the FG and ASUU, he said there’s a need for both sides to reach a compromise.

He explained that ASUU has been sticking to its guns but there are several issues demanding government funds, so both sides need to compromise. He urged the Senate to make adequate budgetary provisions in the 2023 budget to address some of the issues raised by the striking lecturers.


2:05 pm: Okon Umana takes a bow to exit the floor of the chamber.


2:02 pm: “I want to say that even the Free Zones platform is a veritable platform for this. The Free Zone is a platform that can drive production because when you produce for export, you earn foreign exchange,” Umana said on how to boost the nation’s foreign exchange.

“So we have to look at whatever is inhibiting production and address that but I think that the key is production.”


1:48 pm: “As it is customary, I will like to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for this nomination. Before I continue, I also thank Senator Albert Bassy Akpan for this very brilliant testimony,” said Senator Omo-Agege.


1:45 pm: Before Umana responded, Senator Albert Bassey Akpan gave some testimony. He said he has known the nominee for about 22 years and that his appointment is apt.


1:37 pm: “What do you think we should do to add more foreign exchange, especially in the area that you have worked so that we reduce our level of borrowing because we borrow because we don’t have enough but I believe the potentials are there?” the Senate President asked the nominee.


1:31 pm: Okon Umana, reads his profile before the Distinguished members of the Senate.


1:23 pm: The next nominee being screened is Okon Umana from Akwa Ibom State. He says he is the Managing Director of the Oil and Gas Free Zone.


1:16 pm: The Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, however, reminded his colleagues that there is no requirement for a ministerial nominee to possess an NYSC discharge certificate.

Senator Lawan, on his part, said being a member of a political party has no bearing on a ministerial appointment and the President has the right to appoint anyone as minister regardless of political affiliation.


1:11 pm: The lawmakers asked the nominee questions on his capacity to drive industrial development in the country, given the short timeframe before a new administration comes on board in 2023.

They also interrogated his participation in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme and his membership of a political party.


12:49 pm: Mr Ikoh addressed the Senate. He said he is an industrialist and a manufacturer. He added that he is the immediate past Commissioner for Industry in Abia State.

The nominee promised to hit the ground running in a bid to contribute his own quota to national development. He also vowed to serve the nation diligently if confirmed as a minister.


12:44 pm: The Senate President informed his colleagues that all seven nominees would be screened today.


12:43 pm: Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh from Abia State is the first nominee to take the stage for his screening.


12:40 pm: The nominees were ushered into the Senate chamber for their screening.

Details later…

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Supreme Court Dismisses Suit Challenging Adeleke’s Candidacy

The Supreme Court has affirmed Ademola Adeleke as the authentic candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the just concluded Osun State Governorship Election.

This has laid to rest the suit filed by Dotun Babayemi, a governorship aspirant of the party who sought the invalidation of Adeleke’s victory.

In a judgement delivered by Justice Amina Augie, the five-member panel held that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit after counsel for the appellant, Adebayo Adelodun, withdrew the earlier notice of appeal that was filed within time.

At the resumed hearing, Adelodun, who represented the appellant and Babayemi informed the court that he sought to withdraw the earlier notice of appeal to replace it with the fresh application he filed.

But the panel held that Section 285(11) of the constitution stipulated that an appeal on a pre-election matter must be filed within 14 days from the day of the decision, and that having filed the second appeal out of time, the apex court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Justice Augie, therefore, dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

Babayemi had asked the court to invalidate the primary election that produced the governor-elect, citing non-compliance with a court order.

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400 Staff To Lose Jobs As BBC Goes Digital

The British Broadcasting Corporation BBC world service has on Thursday disclosed that about 400 of its staff will lose their jobs as part of a cost-cutting programme and move to digital platforms,

The BBC said its international services needed to make savings of £28.5 million ($31 million) as part of wider reductions of £500 million.

In July it detailed plans to merge BBC World News television and its domestic UK equivalent into a single channel to launch in April next year.

BBC World Service currently operates in 40 languages around the world with a weekly audience of some 364 million people.

But the corporation said audience habits were changing and more people were accessing news online, which along with a freeze on BBC funding and increased operating costs meant a move to “digital-first” made financial sense.

BBC World Service director Liliane Landor said there was a “compelling case” for expanding digital services, as audiences had more than doubled since 2018.

“The way audiences are accessing news and content is changing and the challenge of reaching and engaging people around the world with quality, trusted journalism is growing,” she added.

 

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Environment

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian: Cities flooded and power cut as storm crosses Florida

Hurricane Ian made landfall at around 15:10 local time (19:10 GMT) on Wednesday, smashing into the coast with wind speeds of up to 241km/h (150mph).

Dramatic scenes saw a hospital roof blown off, cars submerged and trees ripped out of the ground.

The category four hurricane was later downgraded to a tropical storm.

However, Floridians were warned that the most dangerous 24 hours lay ahead and the mayor of Tampa urged people to shelter in place through the night into Thursday morning.

“We are going to get the majority of the rain and the higher winds starting about 20:00, and they are going to last throughout the night,” Jane Castor said during a Wednesday evening briefing.

In a message posted on Facebook, the Weather Prediction Center told residents in the Central Florida Peninsula to expect “widespread life-threatening, catastrophic flash and urban flooding” continuing into Friday morning, with potentially up to 76cm (30ins) of rain falling locally.

Residents were ordered to leave their homes, but many have decided to remain and seek shelter indoors.

Mark Pritchett, who lives in the city of Venice, some 95km (60 miles) south of Tampa, described the “terrifying” moment he stepped outside his home as the hurricane made its way across the Gulf of Mexico.

“Rain shooting like needles. My street is a river,” he said in a text message to the Associated Press news agency.

In Lee County – the south-west region where Ian made landfall – police were prevented from responding to reports of looting at a petrol station because of the storm damage.

As a result, a curfew has been declared “until further notice”.

Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais said that the Fort Myers community had “been – to some extent – decimated”. According to news agency AFP, some neighbourhoods in the city of 80,000 had been left resembling lakes.

State Governor Ron DeSantis described Ian as the “biggest flood event” south-west Florida had ever seen, and announced that 7,000 National Guard troops are ready to lead rescue operations in flood zones.

President Joe Biden will receive a briefing on Thursday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Ian is now continuing to move north through Florida. Jacksonville International Airport, based in north-east Florida, cancelled all flights scheduled for Thursday.

The storm is forecast to emerge into the Atlantic by Thursday morning.

It is expected to reach Georgia and South Carolina on Friday. Virginia has also joined Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Florida by declaring a state of emergency.

Cuba’s western coast was hit by Hurricane Ian on Tuesday. Power has now been restored in some areas after the island was plunged into a total blackout. Two people are understood to have been killed in Cuba and more than 20 Cuban migrants are believed to be missing at sea.

Predicted path of Hurricane Ian. Updated 27 September

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