I will not sign 2013 budget – Jonathan tells Reps

President Goodluck Jonathan has told the leadership of the National Assembly that he will not sign the 2013 budget.

The leadership of the Senate, that of House of Representatives and officials of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government (MDAs) will meet at 2pm today to reconcile faulty and bogus allocations in the budget.

The meeting will hold at the Senate complex. The N4.987 trillion budget was passed by both chambers of the federal legislature on December 19, 2012. It was transmitted to the President for assent on January 14, this year.

However, despite the early passage, President Jonathan has declined to sign the Appropriation. Confirming that there are issues with the budget, Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamilla, said the President has picked a hole in the bill as passed by the National Assembly. He said the President has communicated to the leadership of the National Assembly on some grey areas causing his delay in signing it. A member of the House, who does not want his name mentioned, said that the President rejected the bill and returned it to the National Assembly because of the pegging of oil benchmark at $79 by the legislature. The executive had proposed $75, but that was rejected by the lawmakers.

He said the President was not happy over the zero allocation given to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the budget by the National Assembly. The latter had hinged the zero allocation to SEC on the continued stay in office of the Director-General, Ms. Arunma Oteh . The House had passed a resolution asking the President to sack her, but the recommendation is yet to be implemented. Another grey area, according to the lawmaker, is the N63 billion added to the original budget proposed by Jonathan. The Presidency equally rejected some aspects of the capital project vote particularly the National Assembly Constituency project. In view of the alleged poor-implementation of the capital projects in the 2012 budget, the National Assembly had rolled over the non-implemented aspects of the capital projects, especially the constituency projects into 2013.

The move was turned down by the President who described it as illegal. The National Assembly had approved N4,987,220,425,601 as the 2013 budget. It comprised N387,976,000,000 for statutory transfer; N591,764,000,000 to service debts N2,386,024,770,349 for recurrent (non-debt)expenditure while the balance of N1,621,455,655,252 is for contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure. The figure passed by the two chambers was N63 billion more than N4.924 trillion original proposal presented to the joint session of the federal legislature by the President last October. On how the leadership of the National Assembly is taking the refusal to sign the budget bill, the lawmaker said the issues being raised by the President are being handled by the two chambers. He said:”This budget wahala ‘problem’ has come again.

The President has returned the 2013 budget that we passed before we went for Christmas break. Although the thing is yet to be made known officially to members, those who have seen it said SEC and benchmark issues were among the grey areas. Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriation, John Enoh, dismissed speculation that the budget has been rejected, saying the bill is still valid. He said: “All I know is that the budget cannot be returned through the window” The principal officers of the House held a marathon meeting on the matter yesterday. The House leadership met today to find a solution to the problem but we are yet to agree on the right step to take”, he said.

SOURCE: DAILY SUN

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Nollywood Actress, Yetunde Akilapa arrested for stealing

Nollywood actress,Yetunde Akilapa, was on Thursday sent to Kirikiri Prison, Apapa, Lagos for allegedly being in possession of 100 master keys.

Miss Akilapa was on Wednesday detained at the Alade Divisional Police headquarters in Somolu, Lagos following a complaint lodged by a complainant, accusing the actress of stealing the 100 master keys found on her.

According to a statement written by her at the police headquarters, it was not the first time the suspect would be accused of stealing.

She said: “There was a day she came home to see my relative and when I opened her bag after she went to the toilet I found a phone that was later found to have been stolen. We seized the phone from her and returned it to the owner despite her denying that she did not steal the phone.”

When the case came up at the Magistrate’s Court in Somolu on Thursday, the police prosecutor, Inspector Anyanwu, told the court that Miss Akilapa was arrested by a mob that accused her of conspiracy and stealing of bunches of keys.

The offence, according to the prosecutor, is punishable under section 383, 516 and 517 criminal code of Lagos state.

In her response to the charge during the court session, the accused, who claimed to be trained by popular actor Abbey Lanre, said:  “I have featured in about five films including Aiyelaba.

“I produced Bunmi Akata which I use a bunch of 100 keys to act. I am also a makeup artist.

“On the day I was arrested, a woman named Mama Ayoola, called me and said that I should bring weaveon for her. I did not know Mama Ayoola was not living at that compound. When I got there, I asked a girl about Mama Ayoola and she directed me to knock on the next door.

“ An Igbo man peeped from the door and said Mama Ayo was not living there. And as I was about going out, the mob pounced on me, searched my bags and found the hundred keys with the weaveon. They later handed me over to the policemen at Alade Divisional headquarters.”

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and the magistrate, Justice Mrs. E.A. Adekomaya, granted her bail in the sum of N14,000 with two sureties who must own a landed property in Lagos, with evidence of paying tax to Lagos state government.

The case was adjourned till 12 March, 2013, while the defendant was moved to Kirikiri prison in Apapa, Lagos pending when she could perfect her bail conditions

NCC affirms new interconnect rate under way

Operators in the Nigerian telecommunications industry will soon get a new interconnect rate, Director of Public Affairs at the Nigerian Communications Commission, Mr. Tony Ojobo, has said.

If this information is a piece to go by, Ojobo, confirmed this in a telephone interview with our correspondent, also disclosed that consultants on the new rates had reached advanced stages in determining the new rate that will apply in the industry soon.

Interconnect rate represents the cost of terminating a call on another network. In other words, it is the rate that a network operator that originates a call pays to the operator on whose network the call is terminated.

The interconnect rate is important in telecommunications because it helps in defining tariffs for calls that involve at least two networks. Operators recover at least the cost of interconnection for calls on other networks.

New interconnect rate for the industry became imperative following the expiration of the current interconnect rate in December 2012.

The current rate, which came into operation in 2009, has been N8.20 per minute. Continue reading

Banky W Seeks Wizkid’s Mum’s Intervention As Contract Saga Rages

Wizkid and Banky W

Information reaching us confirms that spirited efforts to get Ayo Balogun popularly known as Wizkid, to retrace his steps back to the label that gave him the platform to become the superstar he is today, has shifted to his mum.

According to reports we are monitoring, Banky W supposedly went to Wizkid’s mum seeking her intervention in the crisis as it was becoming clearer that they (EME) were losing their hottest prospect yet.

Banky was said to have reminded her of how he helped propel Wizzy’s career to greatness and being a mother, she reasoned in that direction.

“You know women, she felt compassion for Banky and promised to talk to her son,” a source privy to the trouble-shooting meeting squealed.

Banky, also has not failed in dousing the media speculation that his prodigy has left EME as he described such reports as ‘nothing but rumours’. Continue reading

Channels TV loses Head of Sport, Joe Ighile

Channels TV Head of Sports, Joe Ighile, collapsed on Friday night while presenting the 9′ O Clock live sports programme. After introducing the programme, Joe told the crew that he was feeling uncomfortable and asked to take a break.

He stepped out of the studio for some fresh air and collapsed a few minutes later.

He was immediately rushed to the hospital where he was latter confirmed dead.

Until his sudden demise, Ighile, 47 was Channels TV Head of Sports, he joined the organization in 2003.

We gathered that the 48-year-old graduate of the then Bendel State University, now Edo State University, Ekpoma, where he studied English and Literature just returned from South Africa where he had been covering the on-going 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Finally! 2face Idibia’s Baby Mama, Sunmbo Ajaba NOW ‘Legally Married’ to Pastor Adeoye of Royal Christian Center

Mother of Innocent ‘Tuface’ Idibia’s two kids, Sumbo Ajala has finally tied the knot with Pastor Adeoye of Royal Christian Center legally.

According to sources within the church, their court wedding took place in South Africa.

The Pastor on Sunday announced that the white wedding will take place soon and in addition only 50 guests will grace their white wedding. 20 from Sunmbo’s family, 20 from his own family while 10 will be from the church.
Sources in the know said Sumbo is most of the time seen driving the Pastor’s FX 35 Infiniti Jeep , a development that has caused a bit of division in the church.
Some church members who are not pleased with the development have pulled away from the church.