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Lawmakers against electronic transmission of results in defence of Nigerians – Senate President

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President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has advanced reasons to justify the position taken by the Senate on the electronic transmission of election results.

The Senate, Thursday, while considering the Electoral Act 2010 (Amendment)  Bill 2021, voted that, “The Commission(INEC) may consider electronic transmission of results, provided the national coverage is adjudged to be adequate and secure by the National Communications Commission (NCC) and approved by the National Assembly.”

Lawan explained that the Upper Chamber voted the way it did in defence of about half of the Nigerian voters whose votes may not be counted with immediate deployment or application of electronic transmission of election results.

The Senate President spoke to journalists at the weekend while on a constituency visit to his Yobe North Senatorial District.

Asked to comment on the passage of the Electoral Act 2010 Amendment Bill, Lawan said: “I’m happy that we have been able to pass the amendment even though some people are complaining of what we have passed in the Senate and probably what the House of Representatives has also passed. 

“When the majority of Senators voted against immediate application or deployment of electronic transmission of results from the polling units, to the ward, to the local government, states and federal, they didn’t say they do not believe in electronic transmission (of election results).

“All of us in the Senate, 109 of us, believe that at one point, our electoral process must deploy electronic transmission so that it eases and enhances the electoral process and give it more credibility and integrity.

“But you see, when you have not reached that stage where you could deploy the electronic transmission from every part of the country, then you have to be very careful. And no matter what anybody may say, you cannot have about 50 percent of Nigerian voters not participating or not getting their votes counted in elections and say it doesn’t matter, that we have to start the electronic transmission. 

“We know the evils of not transmitting results electronically but compare the evils of electronically transmitting just half of the electoral votes from Nigerians and say you have elected a President with 50 percent only. 

“And others have voted but their results or their votes could not be electronically transmitted. This is disenfranchising Nigerians and we are not going to support this kind of thing because essentially, we are supposed to be fair to every part of Nigeria and when we voted, every part of Nigeria voted for and against(the amendment).

“What I mean here is that, you have Senators from northern part of Nigeria who voted for electronic transmission. Maybe that is their belief or their environment is ready for electronic transmission. And you have Senators from southern part of Nigeria who voted against immediate deployment of electronic transmission but they support that the electronic transmission of results should be allowed after certain conditions are met and the conditions are simple. 

“The National Communication Commission(NCC) had provided the technical information that only NCC could give – that only about 50 percent of the Nigerian environment, the polling units, in the country could possibly have their results electronically transmitted. 

“So what happens to the other 50 percent. So we believe that all of us in the Senate were aiming at the same target but chose to go through different routes and that is why in my concluded remarks in the Senate after the debate and voting, I said there was no Victor, no Vanquish because we all meant well”. 

He faulted some media reports that insinuated that only the APC Senators voted against immediate application of the electronic transmission of results. He said the votes cast on either sides of the subject matter cut across party lines and regional divides. 

“In this respect, it was not just APC. I have seen it reported in the media that only APC Senators voted against the immediate deployment of electronic transmission.

“There are PDP Senators who voted against that but it appears that some people want to target at APC Senators. There were PDP Senators who voted against immediate deployment. I’m using the word ‘immediate’ with an emphasis,” he explained.


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NIPSS,dRPC Finance ministry, inaugurates TWG to monitor Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Intervention programmes

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Participants at the TWG inauguration event in Abuja comprising representatives of MDAs and CSOs in a group picture on Tuesday, 21st September 2021
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The National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies in collaboration with the development Research and Project Center and the federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning on Tuesday inaugurates a Technical Working Group (TWG) to monitor and evaluate budgetary implementations for Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) programmes and policies.

The TWG led by Dr Zakari Lawal (mni), which is part of initiatives of the Bill and Melinda Gates’ Partnership for Advancing Women’s Economic Development, PAWED, aims at entrenching accountability in women’s economic advancement policies and programmes and the monitoring group is comprised of 10 MDAs from across Nigeria.

The event which held at the Bolton White hotels, Abuja had in attendance officials and representatives of the federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning, National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies(NIPSS), dPRC, MDAs and representives of women associations as well as representatives of Christian women and Muslim women associations

The the terms of reference for the technical working group which was spelt out at the event has as parts of the objectives of the group, the provisions of support in the areas of development and implementation of the pilot monitoring and evaluation framework and to track and rate women’s empowerment project/policies/ interventions at both the national and sub national levels.

The TWG will also support the advocacy for and the dissemination of the WEE Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, support NIPSS, FMFBNP and dRPC WEE outreach and will function under the guidance and oversight of the NIPSS, FMFBNP and dRPC.

In the his address, the DG NIPSS, Brigadier C.J. Udaya, represented by Dr Nasrideen Usman, said that the TWG is constituted to foster the accountability components of the NIPSS strategies and asked that there be more clarity especially in terms of the roles and responsibilities of each stakeholders and, that it should be well articulated and clearly stated so that every stakeholders like the NIPSS, dRPC TWG and the CBN will know what is expected of them and also guide the implementation of the initiative.

He said the TWG is expected to make recommendations to the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), the development Research and Projects Center (dRPC) and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMFBNP) on the development of advocacy strategies for the affective implementation of WEE policies.

He further added that the monitoring group would also support NIPSS, FMFBNP & dRPC WEE outreach and engagement activities; submit reports of its activities to NIPSS, FMFBNP & dRPC WEE at regular intervals; and carry out other ad hoc duties as requested by NIPSS, FMFBNP & the dRPC.

He remarked that ‘with women constituting over 44.82% of the labour force in Nigeria, empowering this segment of our population is not only key to achieving economic independence, but also, it is critical in sustaining the nation’s overall economic development’ therefore, the nation stands to gain as it will go a long way in address some of its economic challenges when women are economically and adequately empowered

He concluded by imploring the 20 committee members drawn from the CBN, the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Finance, budget and National planning and other MDAs, to work hard in order to ensure transparency in the implementation of women’s economic empowerment in the country.

In his goodwill speech, Dr Zakari Lawal (mni) Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, stressed the need for strengthening the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for women’s economic empowerment in the country and gave assurance of the federal government readiness to set in mechanisms to promote transparency in the allocation and implementation of policies in the country.

He expressed gratitude to all the stakeholders and MDAs involved with the the project and urged the would be leaders of TWG to take their responsibilities with all seriousness.

At the end of the inaugural event , Princess Adeshola Ogunleye and Mrs Mary Madu Haman emerged the chair and co-chairpersons respectively .

The TWG will be training participants in techniques and skills for tracking budget allocation and implementation on Wednesday and Thursday at the Bolton White Hotel in Abuja.


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Shocker! Kidnappers detain pregnant woman till child birth, keep new baby, set mother free

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A pregnant woman, has allegedly been set free and her baby taking away by kidnappers, after detaining her till the birth of her child, introducing a shocking but gory dimension to what has now become a sort of epidemic in parts of Africa.

Reports coming from Ghana, said the woman, who was identified as Josephine Panyin Mensah, was seized and taken away from her home in Takoradi, when her pregnancy was already due at nine months, but that her abductors only allowed her to go, after she gave birth and her baby taken away.

According to the source, the kidnappers who were interested in the unborn baby bolted with the baby after she had been delivered, adding that family sources indicated that the distraught woman is currently receiving treatment at the Effiankwanta Teaching Hospital.

The victim, was said to have gone missing on Thursday, September 16, after she went for a dawn walk in Takoradi, and that the police immediately swung into action leading a search party for her after a report was made to the by her husband, Michael Simmons.


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Breaking: Davido’s photographer dies

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Davido’s official photographer Fortunate Umunname Peter aka Fortune is dead.

He died three months after the hit maker’s close friend and associate, Habeeb Ademola Uthman aka as Obama DMW passed on.

Davido had also lost his bodyguard of six years, Ogbeide Tijani Olamilekan (Teejay) in 2020.

In 2017, Davido lost two friends and team members, Tagbo and DJ Olu.

Fortune was born and bred in Bariga, Lagos but hailed from Owerri.

He has been working with Davido since 2019.

He was born on July 10, 1997 and started off as a graphics designer before he moved to photography after his aunt, Dr. Harriet, got him his first camera which forced him to move back to Lagos from Owerri.

The exceptional photographer has made portfolios for Davido, Pogba, Popcaan, Lilbaby, Cassanova, Mayorkun, Wizkid, Jidenna, Tiwa Savage, Burna boy, Patoranking, Akon, DMW and many others.

His last Instagram post was on July 10 where he made a birthday post with a caption “Rolling stone +1”


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