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2017 budget: Senate demands N1.4trn for constituency projects

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The Senate on Thursday passed a bill seeking to set aside 20 percent of the country’s annual budget for constituency projects for third reading.

Constituency projects will get N1.4 trillion out of the 7.3trillion 2017 budget estimates to be presented to the National Assembly if the bill is passed into law.

The bill which was sponsored by Senator Stella Oduah was titled ‘Constituency project bill 2016’.

Oduah said: “One of the unique features of our democratic journey so far is the concept of ‘Constituency Projects’. Available statistics show that 70 per cent of Nigerians live in the rural areas and the intention of the bill is to ensure that good governance is delivered to these crucial areas.

“The bill is also intended to correct the top-bottom approach of governance and replace it with the bottom top approach. Constituency project in recent time is one of the ways to attract federal presence to our people,” she said.

Chief Whip of the Senate, Olusola Adeyeye said the 20% should be based on capital project.

“This is not money given to Senators or Reps, it is money meant for specific projects. At the moment, it is N100billion for 109 Senatorial Districts and 360 Federal constituencies. That’s 1.5 percent of the Federal Budget,” he said.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki referred the bill to the committees on Finance and Appropriation for further legislative actions with a 4-week timeframe.

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War: China, India, Tajikistan, others to send troops to Russia

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China’s People’s Liberation Army will send troops to Russia to participate in the “East-2022” drills.

The East-2022 is also called the Vostok-2022 and this was disclosed by the Chinese Ministry of Defense on Wednesday, according to CNN.

“China’s participation in the exercise is aimed at deepening practical and friendly cooperation with the armies of the participating countries,” the ministry added.

It further explained that the Asian giants’ participation would enhance the level of strategic cooperation among countries involved.

The exercise would further strengthen the ability to respond to various security threats, according to the defense ministry.

It, however, added that the exercise is unrelated to the current international and regional situation.

Other nations to join in the exercise are India, Belarus, Tajikistan, Mongolia and other countries.

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Buhari approves three orthopedic hospitals in Edo, Plateau, Taraba

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of three additional orthopedic hospitals.

Health Minister, Osagie Ehanire, made the announcement on Wednesday at the inauguration of the Primary Health Care(PHC) Leadership Challenge at the State House.

The event was organised by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) in collaboration with development partners.

Ehanire disclosed that the President approved siting of the orthopedic hospital in three regions.

“North-East has one; the North-Central has one and the South-South has one; in Benin, Jos and Jalingo respectively”, NAN quoted him saying.

Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed said N471.9 billion had been disbursed to states under the $1.5billion World Bank-Assisted States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme.

She added that all the 36 states had fully domesticated the fiscal reforms in their public financial management system.

Buhari approves three orthopedic hospitals in Edo, Plateau, Taraba

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BREAKING: Electricity workers call off strike

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National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has called off its nationwide strike.

The decision followed an emergency meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige on Wednesday.

The minister’s spokesman Olajide Oshundun, announced that Ngige intervened in the industrial action.

NUEE Secretary General, Joe Ajaero, assured that electricity would be restored across the country tonight.

The workers shut down all Transmission Companies of Nigeria (TCN) offices earlier today.

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