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Presidential committee begins probe of arms procurement

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The Presidential Committee set up to investigate the procurement of arms and ammunition by the military from 2007 till date yesterday held its preliminary session in Abuja.

The 13-member committee met behind closed doors at the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd) located within the Three Arms Zone in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Although the meeting was not open to media coverage for security reasons, a military source said what took place yesterday was a preliminary brief session.

It was gathered that the session “considered in general terms some memoranda and other documentary evidence” that may help it establish whether funds appropriated for the defence sector have been judiciously utilised and in line with the annual budgets in the last few years. “You know this is a highly sensitive investigation and it is not open to the media for obvious reasons.

But all I can tell you is that the committee held a preliminary meeting to define the scope of its assignment and take it from there,” the source said. President Muhammadu Buhari had last month directed the NSA to convene an investigative committee on the procurement of hardware and ammunition in the Armed Forces in the past eight years.

The committee’s mandate, according to the Presidency, was to review the various transactions in the procurement of military hardwares, ascertain if there were irregularities and make recommendations for streamlining such procurement processes in the future.

The Presidential Committee is headed by AVM J.O.N. Ode (rtd.) who serves as its President while Brig.-Gen. Y.I. Shalangwa is the Secretary. Other members included R/Adm J.A. Aikhomu (rtd.), R/Adm E. Ogbor (rtd.), Brig.-Gen. L. Adekagun (rtd.), Brig.-Gen. M. Aminu-Kano (rtd.), Brig.-Gen. N. Rimtip (rtd.), Cdre T.D. Ikoli, Air Cdre U. Mohammed (rtd.), Air Cdre I. Shafi’i, Col A.A. Ariyibi, Gp Capt C.A. Oriaku (rtd.) and Mr. Ibrahim Magu, an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The establishment of the investigative panel was in line with President Buhari’s determination to stamp out corruption and irregularities in the military particularly given the series of challenges that the Armed Forces had faced in the course of ongoing counter-insurgency operations in the North- Eastern flanks of the country.

The committee will specifically investigate allegations of nonadherence to correct equipment procurement procedures and the exclusion of relevant logistics branches from arms procurement under past administrations, which, very often resulted in the acquisition of sub-standard and unserviceable equipment.

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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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