The Taraba House of Assembly has appropriated 6.5 million USD (about N2.3 billion), which was granted Taraba alongside other selected states by Transparency International for prudent management of resources.
The Chairman, House Committee on Information, Alhaji Bashir Mohammed, made this known to newsmen on Tuesday in Jalingo.
He said the amount, which was not part of the 2020 budget estimates would be utilised by the Taraba Government in the execution of some people-oriented projects and programmes.
The chairman also disclosed that the emergency session of the assembly has given approval to Governor Darius Ishaku’s request to access a N2.5 billion loan from Access Bank Plc as part of measures to fight the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
Mohammed (APC-Nguroje Constituency) said the assembly had deliberated and approved the governor’s executive request at an emergency sitting on 11/5/2020.
Mohammed, who is also the Minority Leader of the house, explained that the loan would be drawn from the N100 billion COVID-19 facility provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to help state governments in the fight against the spread of the pandemic.
According to him, the loan will have a one-year moratorium and is repayable in 10 years with an interest rate of 4.5 percent, instead of the usual 20 to 21 percent interest charged by banks on conventional loans.
By Nick Dugba.
The World Bank frowns at the Taraba state Agency for Community and Social Development Project Law No. 7, 2009 and views it as insufficient.
It was stated in a letter from the Office of the Executive Governor, Taraba state to the Taraba state House of Assembly, seeking for the amendment of the Law.
The letter titled “Re: Amendment of Bill of Taraba state Agency for Community and Social Development Project”, says that “the Law was a veritable tool for the World Bank to reach out to our people at the grassroots leading to the transformation of the social status of our rural areas”. It also stated that the tenure of the General Manager of the agency in the Principal Law was five years only without renewal which the World Bank frowns at.
“Since the World Bank is the only financier, for now, a two-term tenure of the General Manager’s office is proposed to stabilise the agency”, the letter read.
During the plenary session presided over by Speaker, Peter Abel Diah on Monday, several members supported the Bill.
Contributing on the floor of the House, Edward Baraya, PDP, Karim 2, said in order to make the agency function well, there was need for an amendment of the Law.
Also, Mark Useni, PDP, Takum 2, was of the view that the problem with programs and policies was sustainability and that a single tenure was not likely to guarantee sustainability.
The Bill was therefore referred to the House committee on Finance and Appropriation for further deliberations after it has passed second reading.
By, Nick Dugba
Taraba State House of Assembly had, Tuesday, debated on the Taraba State Local Government Law Amendment Bill 2000, which was sent to it for passage by Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku.
The House had received an Executive Bill earlier on which seeks to amend the principal law by reducing the tenure of local government Chairmen and Councilors in the state from three to two years, which was considered for first reading.
In a plenary held Tuesday, and presided over by Speaker of the House, Abel Peter Diah, considered the Bill for second reading and was subsequently debated upon.
Leading the debate, Majority Leader of the House, Joseph Albasu Kunini, stated that due to exigencies, the tenure of local governments was reduced to two years.
According to Mark Useni, PDP, Takum 2, the amendment was in the spirit of the constitution, while his counterpart representing Takum 1, Hosea Ibi, stated that due to the peculiarities in the state, the two years was okay and that the short tenure was enough for any Chairman to deliver.
Also, Josiah Aji, PDP, Wukari 1 and Mohammed Abdulkarim, PDP, Ibi, who spoke in their capacity as former Chairmen, argued that the brief tenure was not an excuse for any Chairman not to perform citing past administrations who distinguished themselves under a short period.
According to Aji, everything bows down to preparedness and that the short tenure was supposed to ginger any Chairman desirous to serve.
However, Charles Maijankai, PDP, Karim 1 constituency, opposed the Bill on the basis of tenure, saying the House should amend a law that would ‘stand the test of time’ as members of the House could be beneficiaries of the Law they are amending. According to Maijankai, two years was inadequate for a Chairman to deliver.
He said, due to the economic crunch, it would be unwise to conduct local government elections at short intervals considering the huge funding involved.
In a similar vein, the Taraba state Independent Electoral Commission Amendment Law , 2015, passed through second reading, but was not debated upon because the subject therein was similar to the Local Government Law considered earlier on.
The House agreed in that respect, and both Laws were then referred to the Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs for further deliberations and were given one week to submit its report.
In another development, the House has considered the Debt Management Office Establishment Bill 2016, sponsored by the Speaker, Abel Peter Diah.
The Bill was laid before the House and then referred to the Business and Rules Committee for further deliberations and consideration of the general principles on the next legislative day.
Meanwhile, the House has proceeded on recess and would resume on 4th October 2016.