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Buhari Approves New Salary Package for Police Officers

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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a new salary package for police personnel.

Mr Buhari also assured that his administration will continue to give attention to the welfare and operational needs of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) with a view to restoring its lost primacy in the internal security framework of the country.

Mr Buhari said this during an audience in the State House, Abuja, with members of the Nigeria Police Service Commission and the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force on a “Thank You” visit.

The visit followed his approval of Rank Salary Structure Adjustment, by which salary, allowances and pension of police officers will be increased.

Mr Buhari regretted that the inability of the police in their constitutional role as the frontline force in the prevention of crime had led to military involvement in the maintenance of law and order throughout the country.

According to the president, “From Taraba to Sokoto, to the South-south, people don’t feel secure until they see the military. I am pleased to make the increase in salary and allowances in the hope that it will increase the performance index of the police and strengthen Nigeria’s internal security system.”

Mr Buhari observed that the more efficient the police is, the more confident the government and citizens will be.

According to him, “The military should be reserved for higher tasks. The police should be able to cope well with the challenges of armed robbery, kidnapping for ransom and such crimes. In every town and village, there is the presence of the police. From all these places, they should be able to forward first-class intelligence to you on which to act.

“There is a need to amplify the question of more men of the police, especially given the condition we are in–emergency in the North-east, pervasive insecurity and abduction for ransom and banditry in many parts of the country. I congratulate you on the success you recorded against criminals taxing people and stopping them from their farms. We are expecting more from you,” the president told the team.

A Commissioner in the Nigeria Police Service Commission, Clara Ogunbiyi, a retired judge, who represented the chairman, Musiliu Smith, had informed the President that the Rank Salary Structure Adjustment would enhance police welfare and morale.

The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, also assured that the police would redouble efforts to ensure free, fair and credible elections throughout the country next year.

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God Will Soon Expose Those Who Rigged Me Out of Senate – Akpabio

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Godswill Akpabio, senator who represented Akwa Ibom north-west district in the 8th assembly, says God will soon expose those who “fraudulently orchestrated” his loss in the last national assembly election.

Speaking at Ukana, Essien Udim local government area of the state while empowering some of his constituents, Akpabio accused Mike Igini, resident electoral commissioner of the state, of denying him of the mandate freely given to him.

He described Igini as the “most compromised electoral officer in Nigeria and should not be allowed to hold public office”.

He insisted that he did not lose the election, and urged his people not to be dismayed by the temporary setback.

“Please nobody should have any headache, nobody should cry because there is no need. You know your senator cannot lose election because we were all there,” he said.

“But many of them thought they can go and write whatever they like and even cancel what you won. I have never in my life experienced a resident electoral commissioner like Mike Igini and my message to him is that his hypocrisy will be exposed.

“There is no way you can come into Akwa Ibom and commit that kind of electoral fraud you committed then you go back to Channels Television and sit down and talk as if you are a pope.

“Very soon the world will know all the materials we are recovering every day will expose you.

“Just yesterday, the police arrested people carrying materials from where they voted and were trying to sneak into INEC. The other day, they arrested someone with card readers. He was frantically calling and trying to say that they were used for training three months after election so that they will continue to manipulate.”

Akpabio said he intends to join President Muhammadu Buhari to sanitise the nation’s electoral system.

”For me, it is important as a former governor and elder statesman to join the President to sanitize the electoral process so that we will ensure that votes count in future elections,” he said.

”There is no need for Nigeria to continue taking one step forward and five steps backward.”

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Nigeria Still as Corrupt as Before – Transparency International

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Nigeria is still perceived as a country deep in corruption without clear policies to address the menace, Transparency International said on Tuesday.

The anti-corruption campaigner released its 2018 Corruptions Perceptions Index (CPI) Tuesday, finding Nigeria has “neither improved nor progressed in the perception of corruption in the public administration in 2018.”

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Transparency International Chapter in Nigeria, said in a Tuesday morning statement to PREMIUM TIMES that “Nigeria scored 27 out of 100 points in the 2018 CPI, maintaining the same score as in the 2017 CPI.”

In the country comparison, Nigeria ranks 144 out of 180 countries this year as opposed to 148 out of 180 countries in the 2017 CPI, the group added. Nigeria is thus still perceived as highly corrupt, and although the ranking shows that Nigeria moved up four (4) places, it only means that four other countries have scored worse while Nigeria stagnated.

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) aggregates data from a number of different sources that provide perceptions by the business community and country experts of the level of corruption in the public sector.

The report may receive another knock from the Nigerian government, which often castigated past reports of the organisation. President Muhammadu Buhari dismissed the 2017 findings of Transparency International, suggesting that the group’s findings were politically-motivated to deface his administration.

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The president said his administration has done creditably well in stamping out corruption in the country, especially through its much publicised anti-corruption drive that has seen several politicians associated with the last administration of Goodluck Jonathan arrested.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, however, took a different approach to the 2017 report, which was released in February 2018, saying the government had taken it in good faith and would work to improve on its corruption perception by adopting some of the recommendations.

Transparency International, however, rejected allegations of bias in compiling its report, saying it follows strict aggregation standards which had earned it tremendous credibility amongst countries across the world in its 25 years.

In the case of Nigeria, the composite score consists of sources which include:

1. African Development Bank Perception Survey,

2. Bertelsmann Foundation Transformation Index,

3. Economist Intelligence Unit Country Ratings,

4. PRS International Country Risk Guide,

5. World Bank Corruption Perception Assessment,

6. the World Economic Forum Executive Opinion Survey;

7. World Justice Project Rule of Law Index and

8. Varieties of Democracy Project.

“All are impartial, well-respected, statistically significant and evidence-based sources,” the group said.

Transparency International in its 2017 report identified public procurement fraud as constituting a large chunk of corruption in public service and recommended immediate constitution of public procurement council as one of the ways to address the menace.

Some top administration officials responded by promising to establish the council promptly as recommended by the Public Procurement Act 2007. Over a year on, however, the council has not been constituted, and procurement remained enmeshed in suspected fraud.

In December 2017, shortly before Transparency International published its report, PREMIUM TIMES reported that Mr Buhari has followed his predecessors in violating the procurement law by failing to constitute the council and allowing non-transparent contracts to pass through.

The presidency, in a statement by Garba Shehu, replied at the time, claiming the committee was being constituted and would kick off within weeks, a claim that turned out false.

Transparency International’s Nigerian arm, CISLAC, strongly believed that eliminating corruption from public service would propel Nigeria’s economic standing amongst the rest of the world.

In its latest statement, CISLAC repeated some of its past antidotes for corruption as follows:

– Strengthening the institutions responsible for maintaining checks and balances over political power, and ensuring their ability to operate without intimidation.

– Closing the implementation gap between anti-corruption legislation, practice and enforcement.

– Supporting civil society organisations which enhance political engagement and public oversight over government spending, particularly at the state and local level.

– Supporting a free and independent media, ensuring the safety of journalists and their ability to work without intimidation or harassment.

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Ganduje Donates N10 Million to EFCC, ICPC for Anti-Corruption Event

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The Kano State governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has donated N10 million to the organizers of the National Anti-Corruption Marathon.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Crimes, ICPC, Athletic Federation of Nigeria, AFN and other stakeholders organized the first National Anti-Corruption Marathon, in honour of President Muhammadu Buhari, for his fight against corruption.

Announcing the donation when he received members of the main organizing committee in Abuja, Mr Ganduje promised that the Kano State Public Complaints and Anti Corruption Commission would collaborate with the organizers, as an official partner, to ensure success of the event.

He said his administration not only engaged in sensitizing the citizenry on the evils of corruption but also reorganized and strengthened its anti-corruption agency to offer optimal professional services.

“Before now, people find it difficult to access the services of the agency but we established offices across the 44 local government areas so that the services can be available to the common man”, the governor stressed.

“We also facilitated the recruitment of additional personnel and subjected them to training by professional agencies like EFCC and ICPC so that they can deliver.

“We also ensured cooperation with these agencies and that attracted international organizations to support us in reinforcing our anti-corruption system.”

The governor stated that as a result of the renewed professional and vigour of the state anti-corruption agency, highly placed individuals such as Permanent Secretaries in the state civil service and a commissioner were removed and prosecuted for involvement in corrupt practices.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation, Jacob Onu, told the governor that the organizers intend to “use the image and popularity of marathon races to create massive awareness and bring together all segments of the Nigerian population in support of Mr. President’s fight on corruption in all facets of national life”.

“This will strengthen unity among the citizens of this country and also satisfy the desire to exploit and harness the abundant talent in our youth for national integration,” Mr Onu said.

He added that the campaign was aimed raising national consciousness on the scourge and danger of corruption to the country and humanity in general.

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