Below are the headlines found on The Daily Trust Online Newspaper for today,  Thursday, 29 March, 2017.

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
The Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) has said the N13.5 million the National Assembly is paying each senator at the moment is alien to law.
The total monthly entitlement of each Senator as salary and allowances is N1,063,860, it said in a statement yesterday.

Senator Shehu Sani stirred up controversy three weeks ago when he revealed that each senator is paid N13.5 million monthly as “running cost” in addition to N750,000 monthly consolidated salary and allowances.
But RMAFC spokesperson, Ibrahim Mohammed, said  the actual entitlement of a senator consisted of the basic salary of N168,866:70; motor vehicle fuelling and maintenance allowance, N126,650:00; personal assistant pay N42,216:66; domestic staff 126,650:00 and entertainment, N50,660:00.
Other benefits include: utilities, N50,660:00; newspapers/periodicals N25,330:00; wardrobe allowance, N42,216,66:00; house maintenance, N8,443.33:00 and constituency allowance, N422,166:66.
“The Law on Salaries and Allowances of Public Office Holders is very clear. As such, only the management of the National Assembly Service Commission can explain the N13.5 million running cost allegedly being enjoyed by each Senator. The Act only covers salary and allowances, not running cost” he said.
The statement added that auditing does not fall within the purview of the Commission and  that any payments enjoyed by any political, or public office holders outside those provided in the remuneration Act of 2008 is not known to the Commission and the Chief Accounting Officer of the Agencies concerned should explain it. 
The commission therefore urged the general public to visit its website for details of the present Remuneration package for Political, Public and Judicial Office holders in Nigeria to avoid misinformation and misrepresentation of facts.
How running cost rose  from N3.4m to N13.5m
A source in the Senate told our correspondent senators used to receive about N3.4m as running cost monthly between 1999 and 2003.
“At the beginning of this democracy it was N10m quarterly and many Senators were not aware of it. I can remember vividly I was the one that drew the attention of my senator to it during one of the Sallah celebration when he was broke.
“The procedure then was that each senator would apply before it would be released to that person.  For months, my senator was not aware of it until I told him,” he said. 
He said over the years the senators succeeded in tripling the running cost as their annual budget increases.
The budget of the National Assembly rose from N115bn in 2016  to N125bn in last year’s budget.
“You know as their budget increased so also their running cost. In fact, there was a time they collected N60m quarterly, that is N20m monthly,” he said.
The source, a senior staff of the National Assembly said: “The N13.5m quoted by Senator Sani is not static. It goes up and down depending on what the National Assembly gets at the end of the monthly Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting. I know there was a month they got N9m.”
Budget details released by National Assembly 
On May 11 last year, the leadership of the National Assembly released the details of their budget for the first time since 1999 following public pressure.
From the 2017 budget, which was N125bn, 109 Senators and 360 members of the House earmarked N11.5bn for travel and transport; refreshment - N1.3bn; legislative activities - N21.4bn; vehicles - N6.6bn and consultancy - N5.88bn.
Others are publicity and advertisements - N3bn; fuel and lubricant - N2.1bn and security equipment - N1.5bn. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has opposed the hearing of the suit by aggrieved members of the party over the tenure elongation for the National Working Committee (NWC) led by John Odigie Oyegun before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
The members led by Ademorin Kuye and Are Mutiu (Lagos); Sani Mayanchi (Zamfara); and Machu Tokwat (Kaduna) had earlier sought an ex parte order directing the NWC members to show cause why the court should not bar them from parading themselves as national officers of the party effective June 30.

Those joined as respondents in the suit included the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC, the party’s national chairman, Oyegun and the National Organising Secretary, Senator Osita Izunaso.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, counsel to the applicants, Jibrin Okutepa (SAN) asked the court to allow the matter to be heard since President Muhammadu Buhari had at the National Executive Council (NEC) of the party on Tuesday, March 27, admitted that the tenure elongation was illegal.
However, defence lawyers, Akin Olujimi (SAN); Joseph Daudu (SAN); James Onoja (SAN) and Idris Yakubu, asked the court to adjourn the matter to enable them respond to the originating processes just served on them.
Daudu, who is counsel to the APC, argued that Order 7 Rule 1 provided for 30 days from the date of filing the suit for a reply. He therefore asked the court to discountenance Okutepa’s submission.
Responding to the president’s comment, Daudu said whatever view thereof was Buhari’s personal opinion and carried no weight until the party met and deliberated on the matter. 
“As far as President Buhari’s view is concerned, it carries no weight until the party meet and decide and deliberated on it. As far as the party is concerned he is an ordinary member like others,” he said.
After listening to the argument of counsel, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba assured that the court would give fair hearing to all parties in the matter. He ordered the filing and service of processes before the court and adjourned till April 16 for hearing.

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris has removed the Kogi State Commissioner of Police (CP) Ali Janga after six suspects escaped from detention, including two that indicted Senator Dino Malaye.
Police spokesman, ACP Jimoh Moshood in a statement yesterday said the two suspects; Kabiru Seidu and Nuhu Salisu indicted Senator Melaye and Mohammed Audu in a case of conspiracy and unlawful possession of prohibited firearm already filed at the Federal High Court, Lokoja. He said the case came up in court yesterday.

Moshood said the Commander FSARS in the State, the Divisional Police Officer ‘A’ Division, Lokoja and other officers implicated in the escape for negligence, dereliction of duty and gross misconduct in the escape of the six suspects have also been transferred out of the state and are facing disciplinary action. 
“Thirteen other police officers are currently being detained and investigated for their roles in the escape.
“CP Esa Sunday Ogbu, Commissioner of Police, Federal Operations, Force Headquarters, Abuja, has been directed by the IGP to immediately proceed and take over as the new Commissioner of Police, Kogi State Police Command,” he said.
Moshood also said the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team and Special Tactical Squad, Personnel of the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department have already arrived in Kogi State to work with the police personnel in the state for immediate re-arrest of the escaped suspects.
He said they are also to carry out detail investigation into the escape and bring all those involved to justice.  

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
Distressing news came from the nation’s accident-prone oil sector last week when Minister of State for Petroleum Ibe Kachikwu said the Federal Government has no money to repair the country’s four refineries. Speaking soon after last week’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, Kachikwu said the situation has left government with no other option other than Public Private Partnership [PPP] model to raise money to revive the refineries. This, he said, “will involve a process.”
 Kachikwu also dismissed hopes that the envisaged modular refineries will help to bridge the supply gap in the country’s petroleum products market. Rather he placed his hopes on the eventual revival of the existing four refineries and the up-coming Dangote Refinery with an estimated capacity of 600,000 barrels a day. Kachikwu’s statement further underlined the twists and turns that have been government policy towards repair and maintenance of the refineries, which has cost this country dearly. At the tail end of his administration in 2007, President Obasanjo actually sold them off to the private sector, only for President Yar’adua to reverse the sale and consider other models, which never worked. 

With most or all of the refineries in a comatose state, this country depends entirely on imported refined oil, hiccups in which ensure that we stumble from one fuel scarcity regime to another. Interestingly, days after Kachikwu spoke, Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation [NNPC] Dr Maikanti Baru said the era of fuel scarcity in the country is gone for good. He said NNPC had learnt a great lesson during the recent fuel scarcity in the country. To assure that there will be no more fuel crises is puzzling considering that the four refineries are down and the minister said they cannot be revived anytime soon. That means we will continue to be totally dependent on import refined fuel with all the uncertainty, international price volatility, wrangling over un-appropriated subsidy and withdrawal of all private sector operators from fuel importation.
The question of what to do with the country’s refineries has been a sore point for both the government and the Nigerian public. Several options including privatization and out rightly selling them off to private sector interests have all been considered and none sailed through. This latest option of PPP seems to enjoy strong appeal to the government given the gusto with which the Minister of State Kachikwu is advocating it. If that is the option adopted by government, Nigerians will be looking forward to see positive traction in that policy very soon. With PPP we also expect petroleum products to be available to Nigerians under conditions of affordability and sustainability. Anything short of that will translate into another failed attempt to resolve pump point scarcity of petroleum products.

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
The Plateau State chapter of Youth Sports Federation of Nigeria (YSFON) has said President Muhammadu Buhari must seek for a second term in order to implement the roadmap he designed for the integration of the country. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has appealed to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to ensure that vote buying at polling units is stopped during elections. 
Thu, 29 Mar 2018
The National Coordinator of the Buhari Campaign Organisation (BCO) has warned contestants for political office to desist from juxtaposing their photos with the photo of President Muhammadu Buhari on their campaign posters. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
Mr Dipo Olorunrinu, (PDP Amuwo-Odofin Constituency I), Lagos State House of Assembly has urged the party to give former Vice-President Atiku Abukakar a chance to run for the 2019 Presidential election. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said yesterday that no amount of blackmail from any quarters will force the National Assembly to abandon zonal intervention also known as constituency projects.

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
A Karmo Grade 1 Area Court, Abuja, yesterday sentenced a 21-year-old labourer, Kabiru Jacob, to five months imprisonment for stealing a laptop. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
Great Dynamic Cooperative Society is to roll out a N20 million economic empowerment loan scheme for its members. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
The women chapter of the Islamic Development Foundation Abuja (IDFA) is to establish a hospital in Gwagwalada, Abuja. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
Protesters who were angry over the demolition of Gosa market on Airport road yesterday attacked officials of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council and the Department of Development Control of the FCTA. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
Two persons have died while three others sustained injuries in a car accident on Sunday afternoon at Gada Biyu village, on the Abuja-Lokoja road. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
coy to begin fish rearing project for localsThe Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, has explained why his people supported the revival of the Sunti Sugar Estate by Flour Mills of Nigeria in Mokwa Local Government Area of the state. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
Soil pH is the measure of acidity or alkalinity of a soil. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
The Federal Government and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are implementing an agricultural value chain development project focusing on rice and cassava in six states. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
The Cross River State government has set up a rice lab called Rice City Laboratory in Calabar, the state capital. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
Shareholders of Oando Plc under the auspices of Trusted Shareholders Association of Nigeria (TSAN) and Proactive Shareholders Association of Nigeria (PROSAN) have called on the National Assembly through its committee on capital market to invite the acting director general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Abdul Zubair, to explain why the forensic audit on Oando discontinued since the sack of the former Director General, Munir Gwarzo. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
A delegation from the World Bank visited the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in Abuja on a fact finding mission in relation to the Nigeria Quality Infrastructure (NQI) project for the banks possible intervention in the project. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
The Federal Government has disclosed that it is targeting N5 billion from fines to be paid by companies flouting weight and measures standards in the country in 2018. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
The leather industry is a resource base for Nigeria. 

Thu, 29 Mar 2018
The African Centre for Leadership Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) and the Nigeria Natural Resource Charter (NNRC) have urged the National Assembly to legislate on the enabling laws for the Excess Crude Account (ECA) as it was done for the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
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