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By: Manny Ita

The Ogun State House of Assembly has passed a resolution calling on the National Electricity Regulation Commission (NERC) to advise the Federal Government on the provision of alternative service providers to the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company for efficient service delivery to the people of the State.

The passage of the resolution followed a motion for the adoption of the report moved by the Deputy Speaker,  Olakunle Oluomo, seconded by the Minority Leader,  Olawale Alausa and supported by the Whole House through a voice vote at the plenary presided over by Speaker Suraju Ishola Adekunbi at the Assembly Complex,  Oke-Mosan Abeokuta.

Earlier in his report on the Resolution titled H.R. No. 033/2018, Oluomo remarked that the passage of the resolution by the Assembly was in line with the recommendations made by stakeholders at the Public hearing organized recently by the Assembly on the erratic power supply to electricity consumers in the State, adding that the distribution companies could not deliver acceptable services to it consumers in the State.

The resolution enjoined NERC to compel the DISCOs to stop the issuance of estimated billings to all customers, enlighten electricity consumers on their right to appeal any exorbitant bills and be allowed to pay only for the services rendered by the companies. It equally challenge the DISCOS to put in place necessary machinery to discourage illegal connection of electricity by consumers.

It also added that the DISCOs must work within the ambit of the extant establishing law, procure transformers, electricity poles, all electrical accessories and energize transformers as stipulated by law,  while calling for the stoppage of disconnection of electricity to consumers without adequate notice, stressing the need to ensure the enumeration and upgrading of all facilities as well as conducting accurate census of customer size with a view to rendering  quality service to consumers.

In the same vein, the Assembly also adopted the years 2013 and 2014 State Auditor General’s reports conducted by the Public Account Committee led by Adejuwon Olufowobi, last year. The adoption of the report followed a motion moved by Olufowobi, seconded by Tunde Sanusi and supported by the whole House through a voice vote shortly after the former read the report before members at the plenary.

Upon the adoption of the report, the Assembly tasked all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government and officials to ensure strict compliance with the financial rules and regulations as well as putting in place necessary mechanism for effective and efficient internal audit control.

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Election shift: I’m deeply disappointed with INEC —Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep disappointment over the postponement of the presidential and National Assembly polls by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The President lamented that, despite giving all the necessary support to the electoral umpire, the exercise was postponed just hours to voting and after Nigerians had taken the pains to travel to vote.

“I am deeply disappointed that despite the long notice given and our preparations both locally and internationally, the Independent National Electoral Commission postponed the presidential and National Assembly elections within hours of its commencement,” Buhari said in a statement he signed on Saturday morning in Daura, Katsina State.

However, he asked INEC to ensure the safety of election materials already distributed and appealed to Nigerians to remain law abiding.

Buhari also stated that he had decided to relocate to Abuja from Daura to ensure that the meeting INEC called to hold with stakeholders was successfully.

His statement reads further, “We now urge INEC to ensure not only that materials already distributed are safe and do not get into wrong hands, but that everything is done to avoid the lapses that resulted in this unfortunate postponement, and ensure a free and fair election on the rescheduled dates.

“While I reaffirm my strong commitment to the independence, neutrality of the electoral umpire and the sanctity of the electoral process and ballot, I urge all political stakeholders and Nigerians to continue to rally round INEC at this trying national moment in our democratic journey.

“I, therefore, appeal to all Nigerians to refrain from all civil disorder and remain peaceful, patriotic and united to ensure that no force or conspiracy derail our democratic development.”

Source: Punch Newspaper

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President Buhari’s statement on postponement of elections by INEC

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STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT BUHARI ON THE POSTPONEMENT OF GENERAL ELECTIONS BY INEC

I am deeply disappointed that despite the long notice given and our preparations both locally and internationally, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) postponed the Presidential and National Assembly elections within hours of its commencement.

Many Nigerians have traveled to various locations to exercise their right to vote, and international observers are gathered.

INEC themselves have given assurances, day after day and almost hour after hour that they are in complete readiness for the elections. We and all our citizens believed them.

This administration has ensured that we do not interfere in any way with the work of INEC except to ensure that all funds were released to the commission.

We now urge INEC to ensure not only that materials already distributed are safe and do not get into wrong hands, but that everything is done to avoid the lapses that resulted in this unfortunate postponement, and ensure a free and fair election on the rescheduled dates.

While I reaffirm my strong commitment to the independence, neutrality of the electoral umpire and the sanctity of the electoral process and ballot, I urge all political stakeholders and Nigerians to continue to rally round INEC at this trying national moment in our democratic journey.

I, therefore, appeal to all Nigerians to refrain from all civil disorder and remain peaceful, patriotic and united to ensure that no force or conspiracy derail our democratic development.

I have decided to move back to Abuja to ensure that the 14.00 hrs meeting called by INEC with all stakeholders is successful.

Muhammadu Buhari

Daura, February 16, 2019

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Election postponement: I’m disappointed….Balarabe Musa

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Former Kaduna State Governor, Balarabe Musa, on Saturday expressed disappointment over the postponement of the general elections, but declared that INEC was never prepared for the exercise in the first place.

INEC had announced the postponement a few hours to the kickoff of the February 16 presidential and National Assembly polls.

Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, while announcing the postponement in Abuja, attributed the step to “overwhelming logistics and operational challenges.”

The Commission fixed February 23 and March 9 as new dates for the presidential and National Assembly elections; and the governorship and state Assembly polls respectively.

But Musa, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna on Saturday, said he was disappointed, but not surprised, at the development.

“I am not surprised because INEC was never ready for the exercise, given the level of its preparations.

“INEC had serious funding challenges; what was appropriated to the Commission by the National Assembly was not adequate and everyone knew it.

“We are not even sure if the approved amount was released to the electoral body by the Federal Government.

“The logistics and operational challenges are glaring. There are also serious security challenges that may affect the agency in the course of the elections.

“The security services are facing the same funding crises and most of them are living in fear.

“You can also see the serious challenges being faced by the Judiciary, who are supposed to play a major role in the election process,” Musa said.

“So, I must say that I am disappointed; but, again, as I said, I am not surprised. I hope that all the stakeholders will take the necessary measures to help INEC address the issues before February 23, the new date for the presidential polls, because the President can only hand over power to an elected person.”

Musa called on Nigerians to remain calm as they prepare towards the new dates for the polls.

(NAN)

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