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Thursday, 27 July 2017

REFLECTIONS ON A COMMISSION FOR THE DIASPORA, By Colins Nweke







Talks of a Nigerian Diaspora Commission began more than 10 years ago. Some of us felt then that a full-fledged Ministry for Diaspora Affairs was more deserving but we do not mind making a start with a Commission. Our friends on the opposite side declared us bunkers and would have nothing of that sort. The Oronsanye Civil Service Report that recommended the scraping of 102 redundant agencies would conveniently arm them with extra arguments. As rebuttal we would remind our opponents that the Civil Service Reforms recommendation was all about plugging waste and operating smart. If that meant, as we were sure it did, developing or sharpening the instrument to empower a constituency that annually reeks an average of USD 30 Billion into Nigeria oil dependent economy; so be it. The highs and lows in the evolution graph of the Diaspora Commission debates over the last decade were shaped by these conflicting thoughts. When an injury heals, its pains go with it. This adage captures the mood of the Diaspora when on 30 June 2017; Acting President finally assented to the Nigerian Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) Bill.

Diaspora Commission as a hard but logical priority choice. In my tenure as Chief Executive of the European arm of Nigeria’s official Diaspora body, Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) from 2004 – 2006 and serving in its Board of Trustees as General Secretary between 2007 and 2009 and Board Chairman from 2011 to 2013, two main activities took centre-stage in my work. These were the agitation for the realization of the Diaspora Commission Bill and making the case for Out-of-Country voting for Nigerians in Diaspora. With the Diaspora Commission now a reality, I am sure you can hear me think: one down, one to go!  As with all policy work, my office quickly identified the strategic partners needed to set the ball rolling on Out-of-Country Voting or Diaspora Voting and Diaspora Bill. A Bill is essentially a legislative matter. It was no brainer therefore that our natural ally for the Diaspora Commission Bill would be the National Assembly, particularly the House of Representatives. The 2005 National Political Reforms Conference offered no better platform to launch our case for Diaspora Voting. Our Delegates to the national parley wasted no time in taking up the case for Diaspora Voting resting on the preparatory work and initial research provided by the Headquarter of NIDO Europe under my leadership as Chief Executive. By 2009 the building blocks or legislative framework for the Diaspora Commission Bill were in place. In tandem we had commenced initial work on a national policy on Diaspora affairs and after meeting several brick walls in its realization, we thought it makes all the sense in the world to choose our fights carefully. From 2 February 2010 when a public hearing was held in the National Assembly, ably coordinated and hosted by the House Committee on Diaspora Affairs to 30 June 2017 when the Presidency assented to the Bill, a lot of water had passed under the bridge.
Bride of the moment. The Diaspora Commission Bill is, and rightfully so, the bride of the moment. Accordingly I am impatient to share some reflections and perhaps some anecdotes on the Bill. Before I do, let me briefly justify my position. We had tried to take on the Bill, Diaspora Policy and Diaspora Voting in addition to numerous other knotty national development issues. These are perfectly doable items to simultaneously take on though sometimes, it does feel like we have bitten more than we could chew. When we met numerous brick walls, we naturally put up the brave face and tinkered on but we seemed to be failing in all fronts. Re-strategizing, it made sense to prioritize, the outcome of which was the decision to channel more energy, if not most of the energies, to Diaspora Bill. Here was the reasoning: the Diaspora Commission will be an omissible anchor of all matters Diaspora.

An excellent, yet imperfect Bill. Do we have a perfect Bill? Certainly not! But perhaps a perfect Bill does not exist. Most important thing today is that we have a Bill, one that took into consideration certain anomalies that the Diaspora pinpointed from the onset. Looking at the Bill as assented to by the Presidency and the initial draft presented by the House Committee on Diaspora Affairs, on which early debates were based, there are huge similarities. Ironical isn’t it? Not really. It tells us a few things. Firstly, the House Committee leadership knew what a sound Diaspora Commission Bill ought to look like and initially delivered one. Secondly it exposes the vulnerability of the same House Committee leadership to undue influence by powerful Diaspora lobby. One clear evidence of this is: the initial draft Establishment Bill as put forth by the House Committee on Diaspora recognized the place of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) in providing policy coherence in the Diaspora for the work of the proposed Commission. The pre-NIDO era lacked coherence. It was characterized by thousands of community, professional, religious, ethnic and cultural organisations of Nigerians in Diaspora, fighting, like children in a disjointed polygamous family, to dominate the space. As can be expected, the law of the jungle applied. This is because NIDO stands on its way in exerting undue control over Diaspora affairs. The other issue, closely complimentary to this is the disproportionate representation of Nigerian Diaspora on the Governing Board of the Commission. The Diaspora disagreed on quite a lot but an issue that organized Diaspora worldwide saw eye-to-eye on as the enemy to fight to a standstill was the buildup of powerful lobby in the Diaspora and returnee Diaspora, largely undermining the draft Establishment Bill and skillfully manipulating its seemingly naïve authors. Its purpose? To kill NIDO. Thirdly, it revealed that NIDO leadership has the ability and the gusto to take on its own fight and defend the interest of its constituency despite the perceived disarray of its rank and file. Despite the powerful lobby NIDO succeeded in bringing back its status as the lead Diaspora partner in the implementation of the Diaspora Commission and equal representation of the Diaspora on the Governing Board.

A lean or an obese Diaspora Commission? Going forward, the Diaspora Commission is not a done deal. Indeed the assent of the Presidency to the Bill marks the beginning of the real work. The devil is in the details, as they say. One of such details is the correction of a few obvious details. Number one is the recognition and representation of NIDO Africa in the Bill and ultimately in the Commission. Secondly and related to that is the anomaly of having only 3 Diaspora representatives in a Governing Board of 17 members. A legislator recently reminded me of the saying that we should be careful what we wish for. After all, he teased me, we simply acceded to your request of equal representation. I knew then that he was joking because he couldn’t possibly confuse a request for fair distribution of seats to blatantly short changing the core constituency of a Bill. Need anyone be reminded that the full interests and broad perspectives of the Diaspora will be credibly served by an arrangement where at least 8 out of the 17 seats are occupied by the Diaspora? Furthermore, a look at the proposed staffing of the Commission will convince management experts that Nigeria needs a Master Class on Lean Management Concept. I am not sure that a Commission needs staff strength of 141 employees. This certainly needs a review prior to commencement of operations as wastefulness both in manpower and financially must be a thing of the past. Talking of financials, a lean structure will also mean that the total projected cost for first year of operation of the Commission estimated at nearly NGN 660 Million could be reduced significantly. The 17 Governing Board members are meant to be paid salaries on part-time basis. Nigeria could try a model of sitting allowance whereby the proposed part-time salary arrangement is replaced with payment on the basis of the actual work that you do in terms of Board sittings. If you do not show up for Board meetings, you do not get paid.

Strategic, purposeful leadership is key to success. The Chief Executive of the Diaspora Commission has an obligation to deliver and he or she can be rest assured that the Diaspora will not have the business as usual mentality. We are aware that what we may term as good practices in the parts of the world where the Diaspora lives and work, may not necessarily be applicable in the Nigerian context but a core part of it would work if adapted to the Nigerian idiosyncrasies. That the head of a Commission anywhere in the world works out a First Year Strategic Plan gleaned from the Establishment Act, infused with the conclusions of a basic needs analysis has nothing to do with Nigeria, Japan or Britain but has all to do with purposeful leadership and sound management. There are signs that if the Diaspora could succeed in sending the emerging Diaspora oligarchs on retreat in terms of stopping them from hijacking the Diaspora Commission through an Establishment Bill tilted in their favour, I am certain that the required scrutiny will be brought to bear on whoever emerges head of the Commission (Chairman & Director-General) as well as the Board. I guess the clear message is, if you do not plan to deliver on the Diaspora Commission mandate, better reconsider your candidacy for the Governing Board because the Diaspora is willing and supremely capable of taking you to task.

*Collins Nweke is Founder of Global Village Consult Belgium, brand owners of Nigeria Human Capital. He had served variously as Chief Executive, General Secretary and Board Chairman between 2004 and 2013 of the Board of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Europe. Collins is a Municipal Legislator at Ostend City Council Belgium where he is serving a second term as elected Councillor. 

 

Monday, 24 July 2017

Respect Nigeria’s Constitution, territorial integrity, Germany tells Igbo, others

The German Ambassador to Nigeria, Bernhard Schlagheck, says his country will support a more united and prosperous Nigeria devoid of wrangling.


Mr. Schlagheck spoke during an interactive session with the leadership of the Enugu State Chapter of Ohaneze Ndigbo, the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, in Enugu on Monday.


The ambassador also said the Federal Republic of Germany had confidence in Nigeria’s ability to deal decently with the call for the restructuring of the country for a more equitable nation.
He, therefore, advised all parties to respect the constitution and territorial integrity of the country.
“We are very much interested in seeing a decent constitutional process and plead with all stakeholders to respect the Nigerian Constitution and territorial integrity.


“I am quite confident that the Nigerian people and their representatives in the parliament will take appropriate steps to make the restructuring process successful for the people of Nigeria.
“Let all stakeholders abide by the constitution and bring in what they have to say in the discussion process and make Nigeria better, prosperous and more successful.”


Mr. Schlagheck said his country was concerned about the effects of the agitations in parts of the country on future elections.
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel 

Photo: hungarytoday.hu
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel
Responding, Chiedozie Ogbonnia, the president of the state chapter of Ohaneze Ndigbo, said the agitations from the South-East arose out of the feeling of marginalisation.
Mr. Ogbonnia said the main purpose for the agitation was to secure a better condition for the people of the area in a united Nigeria.


He said the clamour for the restructuring of the country had become a national discourse and imperative to give all sections of the country equal sense of belonging.
According to him, it is the hope of all Nigerians that all issues relating to the restructuring of the country are sorted out before the 2019 general elections.


Mr. Ogbonnia said the zone was working with other regions of the country to ensure a process that would keep intact the unity of the country.


He said the current administration at the Federal level was a product of the yearnings for change by Nigerians, adding that much needed to be done to keep the people together.
“The type of federation we run in Nigeria is not like others elsewhere in the world. We have to do away with the feelings of injustice in the country,” Mr. Ogbonnia said.





Aare Ona Kakanfo! The Untold Story of How MKO Abiola Was Nearly Prevented From Becoming the Generalissimo

 


"...As if by telepathy, the crowd outside heard the ruling immediately! Shouts of joy erupted. Drummers who must have been hiding their gangan drums under their agbada sprang out. Sekere came out. Agogo was not to be left behind. Chief Afe Babalola was pulled out of his car, The Balogun was placed squarely on the roof of the car. Women danced, men jumped. I’m not sure but one of the songs on that day must have been “Ajekun Iya ni o je”. I have to confirm this from Chief. May God preserve his life."

By Onigegewura.


Where were you in 1987? That was the year Oba Yesufu Oloyede Asanike, Olubadan of Ibadan made history. Olubadan installed Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola as the Bashorun of Ibadan. It was a prestigious title befitting of a distinguished personality in the mould of MKO Abiola.


That was the title of the legendary Bashorun Oluyole who was the paramount chief of Ibadan in 1850. It was also the title of Bashorun Ogunmola who reigned between 1865 and 1867. It was therefore historic that exactly 120 years after the death of Ogunmola, MKO Abiola became the fourth person to be conferred with the prestigious title.


It was indeed a befitting honour for someone who had amassed chieftaincy titles from almost every town in Nigeria. As of the time of his installation in 1987, MKO Abiola was reputed to have over 150 chieftaincy titles. He was the Bobajiro of Ode-Remo. He was the Bada Musulumi of Gbagura Egba.


As he drove out of the palace of Oba Asanike that fateful day with his son by his side, MKO must have thought that he had reached the peak of traditional chieftaincy in Nigeria.


He was just settling down in his Ikeja home when he was informed that he had a call. Who was on the line? He asked before collecting the phone. It was the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III.
MKO snatched the phone. “Iku Baba Yeye, Igbakeji Orisa! Kabiyesi!” The newly installed Bashorun paid his homage to the foremost traditional ruler. Alaafin must be calling to congratulate me, MKO thought. Kabiyesi was however not calling to congratulate the business magnate.


“We have decided that you are to be conferred with the title of Aare Ona Kakanfo!” Kabiyesi informed him.


The phone nearly dropped from the hand of Bashorun. Aare Ona Kakanfo! The Generalissimo of Yoruba race! The Field Marshall for all descendants of Oduduwa! The portfolio held by Afonja, the founder of Ilorin! The title of Aare Obadoke Latosa of Ibadan – the scourge of Efunsetan Aniwura! The position held by the last premier of Western Region, Ladoke Akintola of Ogbomoso! Ha!


For a single person to be Bashorun and Aare was unheard of. It was the ultimate! Traditionally, Bashorun is the Prime Minister. Aare is the Field Marshall. When Bashorun Gaa moved against Alaafin Abiodun around 1770, it was Oyalabi from Ajase (now Republic of Benin), the Aare Ona Kakanfo that came to the powerful monarch’s rescue. Now, Abiola was going to be both the Prime Minister and the Field Marshall!


Alaafin had spoken. MKO Abiola had no choice. The news spread like wildfire. Congratulatory messages poured in from all over the globe. Aare Ona Kakanfo was not just another title. It was the title. It was the father of all traditional titles. Father ke? No, it was the Grandfather of All Titles. If it were to be a national honour, it would be the equivalent of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic!


Everybody in and outside Yorubaland was ecstatic at the choice of Abiola as the 14th Aare Ona Kakanfo. Well, almost everybody.
It happened that the Ashipa of Oyo, Chief Amuda Olorunosebi was not pleased with the choice of Bashorun MKO Abiola as the Aare. Ashipa was one of the prominent chiefs of Alaafin. He objected to the choice of the flamboyant publisher, an Egba man, as Aare Ona Kakanfo. He went to Kabiyesi to protest. Iku Baba Yeye was adamant that MKO was eminently qualified to be the Aare Ona Kakanfo.


The Ashipa went back to his quarters at Isale Oyo. As MKO Abiola and the Alaafin were preparing for the installation of Bashorun, Chief Amuda was consulting with his lawyers. This was however unknown to the Alaafin. It was assumed that the Ashipa had been convinced to support Abiola’s candidacy.


Abiola was no ordinary person by any standard. He was larger than life. He was flamboyance personified. He was determined to make the chieftaincy installation as grand as possible. He invited all his contacts from all over the world. All the military governors were invited. A special invitation was delivered to the President, Ibrahim Babangida, who was a close friend of the Bashorun. African Heads of States cleared their schedules in order to honour MKO. Nigerian Embassies were issuing visas on daily basis. It was going to be a grand occasion.


Then the unthinkable happened! It started as a rumour. It was days to the installation.
‘Eti Oba nile, eti Oba l’oko, eniyan lo n je be.’ The ear of a king is everywhere. Iku Baba Yeye was in his palace when he heard from the grapevine that a case had been filed to stop the occasion! “Ewo! Sango o ni je! Abiodun o ni je! Aole o ni je!” Kabiyesi went on to invoke the names of his predecessors on the royal throne of Alaafin!


It was around noon when the phone rang in Ibadan. It was from the Palace, Oyo Alaafin. Chief Afe Babalola, the famous legal practitioner, picked the phone. After exchange of homage and royal blessings, Alaafin informed Afiwajoye of Ado Ekiti that Ashipa had filed a suit against the installation of MKO Abiola. Not only that, a motion ex parte for interim injunction had also been filed. It was apparent that Ashipa was not ready to gamble with his chance.


Though Kabiyesi did not say it, Chief Afe knew the urgency involved. Installation was on Saturday. The call came in on Tuesday.
Less than thirty minutes after the call, Chief Afe was almost at Oyo. The legendary lawyer covered the 57 kilometres between Oyo and Ibadan as if he was on a chariot. He proceeded to court where he met the court registrar. Of course, the registrar knew Chief Babalola. It is doubtful if there is anyone in the Judiciary who does not know the Mayegun of Modakeke. Mayegun paid the requisite fees and conducted a search of the court’s file. It was there! Alaafin’s information was correct!
Iduro ko si, ìbèreè ko si fun eni ti o gbe odó mi. A person who swallows a pestle can neither stand nor sit comfortably. 

Installation was on Saturday. The search was conducted on Tuesday! The motion ex parte was to be heard the following day, Wednesday.


Time was of the essence! Chief Afe turned his car around, off to Emmanuel Chambers, Ibadan. Before the car reached Fiditi, he had mentally finished composing the processes. He was nodding as the cases and other relevant authorities began to surface in his mind.


By the time he reached his office, the mental process was complete. In a minute the Counter-Affidavit was ready. There was no need for a Written Address. Professor Yemi Osinbajo was then a Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the Federation. It would be years later before he introduced Written Address as the Lagos State Attorney General. The counter-affidavit was filed and served on counsel to the Ashipa.
On Wednesday, the court was full. Chief M. L. Lagunju, Ashipa’s counsel was in court. He adjusted his wig and checked his books. He smiled. It was a Motion Exparte. It won’t be contested. He checked his time. Then there was some commotion at the entrance of the court.


Chief Lagunju blinked! He blinked again! Walking in majestically was the Afiwajoye of Ado-Ekiti, the Balogun of Mobaland, the Mayegun of Modakeke, Chief Afe Babalola in flesh! He was followed by a host of other lawyers, each armed with bags of legal authorities enough to open a law library. Chief Lagunju didn’t know when he said: “The game is up!”


On the dot of 9 O’clock, the Court began sitting. The trial judge was a royalty himself. Justice Aderemi’s father was the late Ooni of Ife, Oba Sir Tadenikawo Adesoji Aderemi, the first Governor of Western Region. The case was called.


The plaintiff’s counsel sought to move his application. The learned counsel informed the court that it was an ex parte application and therefore the other party had no right of audience.


His Lordship turned to Chief Afe Babalola. The court was as silent as a ghost town. Young lawyers craned their necks to hear what the Legend was going to say. They have been taught in law school that Ex Parte Motion was for only one party. Some of them must have been wondering what magic the Mayegun of Modakeke was going to perform.


Chief Afe Babalola brought out the White Book. Oh! Sorry, you don’t know the White Book? The White Book is an important book for lawyers. It contains the sources of law relating to the practice and procedures of the High Court. Ask your lawyer friend to show you a copy. He won’t charge you, unless you open it.


The Legal Colossus was on his feet. He was vibrating like a trumpet, but his voice was as soft as velvet. He began to reel out authorities after authorities to the effect that a defendant who became aware, anyhow, that a party had gone to court and was about to obtain an order ex-parte that would affect him, had a right to appear in court and to insist on being heard.
His Lordship – a brilliant Judge from the Source of Yoruba Race – was nodding as he scribbled down the authorities being cited by the Legendary Advocate. His Lordship was not the only one writing. Most lawyers in court were writing furiously. One old man turned to his friend and whispered: “I don’t mind selling my house, Mufu, my son must become a lawyer like this man. Look at the way he is speaking English as if he is chanting oriki Sango!”


“There is merit in the case of the Defendants. I agree with Chief Afe Babalola, the Defendants deserve to be given the right to be heard. Case is hereby adjourned to tomorrow for arguments on the Motion on Notice.” His Lordship rose.
It is doubtful if the parties involved in the case slept that night. Whilst the lawyers checked and re-checked the authorities, the litigants were in anxiety mode. Chief MKO Abiola’s invited guests had started arriving from their various bases. Musicians engaged for entertainment had begun to set up their instruments in Oyo and Ikeja. Caterers had booked all the cows in Ilorin, Oyo and Ibadan. Local drummers had cancelled all engagements. The royal poet, Lanrewaju Adepoju had finished composing his masterpiece. All roads led to Oyo Alaafin.


If the court was filled to the brim on Wednesday, it was spilling over on Thursday. Litigants, journalists, lawyers, in fact everybody was in court that day. Chief Lagunju stood up. The learned counsel knew what was at stake. He argued his application expertly. He guessed the likely issues that Chief Afe would raise. He addressed each comprehensively. It was advocacy at its best.


Then the Balogun of Mobaland stood up. Like a surgeon, Chief Afe surgically cut through the issues deftly. He was not going to take any prisoner. After cutting through the issues, the authorities followed. From Halsbury’s Law of England to Commonwealth Law Reports, from decisions of House of Lords to decisions of Court of Appeal, from WACA to White Book, and then finally to the Supreme Court. The authorities were flowing like water from Asejire Dam. There was no stopping the deluge.


“In the light of the copious authorities cited by the learned counsel for the plaintiff and the defendants, the Court will be adjourning to……” There was pin-drop silence in Court. The installation was only two days away. “…Friday” Ha! Palpable relief went through the court.


On Friday, Chief Afe Babalola’s phone began to ring from dawn. “Chief, E ma lo gba ruling yin l’Oyo loni o. Please send your junior o.” Clients, friends and well wishers who witnessed or heard of the tension soaked session in court on Thursday were justifiably apprehensive. But Chief Afe was not the Balogun of Mobaland for nothing. A General must not be afraid of the warfront. Off to Oyo.


Chief Afe had hardly left Ibadan when he started seeing policemen at strategic junctions on the road to Oyo. As they approached Fiditi, the number of policemen increased. By the time they got to Jobele, it was as if the Police College had moved its campus there. In the forest, on top of trees, in the bushes, and on top of buildings, the police were everywhere.


The Courtroom itself was no exception. More than fifty police officers joined lawyers and litigants in the courtroom. If you were not wearing a wig and you were not a party to the case, you would have to stay outside.


Court!


Justice Aderemi went straight to the business of the day. “RULING” His Lordship began. Time stood still as His Lordship went on to review the facts of the application and the authorities cited by the counsel for the parties. “In the final analysis…” Counsel and cops in the court became tense.

 “This application fails and is hereby dismissed.”


As if by telepathy, the crowd outside heard the ruling immediately! Shouts of joy erupted. Drummers who must have been hiding their gangan drums under their agbada sprang out. Sekere came out. Agogo was not to be left behind. Chief Afe Babalola was pulled out of his car, The Balogun was placed squarely on the roof of the car. Women danced, men jumped. I’m not sure but one of the songs on that day must have been “Ajekun Iya ni o je”. I have to confirm this from Chief. May God preserve his life.


Alaafin was waiting in the Palace with his Council Members. For a moment, the Sango of our time, Iku Baba Yeye was close to tears. It was an emotional moment. MKO Abiola was called. The Bashorun shouted: “Allahu Akbar! Alhamdulillah.”


On Saturday, January 14, 1988, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III installed Bashorun Moshood Kashimawo Abiola as the 14th Aare Ona Kakanfo. The famous Yoruba Poet, Lanrewaju Moshood Adepoju was then called to the podium. In his deep and flawless Yoruba, Adepoju movingly rendered traditional poetry tracing the history of the title and the qualities of the new Aare Ona Kakanfo.


Abiola smiled.


It was indeed a glorious day for the husband of Simbiat Atinuke.


In recognition of his service to the Crown and the Law, Alaafin later conferred Chief Afe Babalola with the prestigious title of Aare Bamofin of Oyo Empire.


Thank you for your time.


Onigegewura©


(Adapted from Impossibility Made Possible by Chief Afe Babalola, with additional materials researched from publicly available sources. Images sourced from the internet)


Onigegewura is a legal practitioner and an amateur historian

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Osinbajo writes Reps, wants N135.6 billion moved among budgets of various ministries

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, has written to the House of Representatives requesting approval for “virement’’ of N135.6 billion to fund some critical projects in the 2017 budget.

The request was made in a letter dated July 18, 2017, which was read to members of the House by its Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, at plenary on Thursday in Abuja.

The acting president drew the attention of the House to discussions and agreements between the executive and legislature before the 2017 Appropriation Bill was signed into law.

Part of the agreement was that the executive should submit a “virement proposal’’ to move some funds from within the budget to other critical items in the budget.

Some of the ministries affected by the request are Power, Works and Housing; Transportation; and Agriculture and Rural Development.

They also include Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Education, Federal Capital Territory Administration and Ministry of Health.

Details of the request showed that N46 billion is to be vired within projects of Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and N66 billion within projects of Ministry of Transportation.

Sources of the virement are N33.25 billion from Ministry of Transportation, N3.18 billion from Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and N14.13 billion from Office of the Secretary to the Government of Federation.

Also, N5 billion is to be moved from Office of the National Security Adviser, N5.01 billion from Ministry of Science and Technology and N5.41 billion from Ministry of Trade and Investment.

The sum of N1 billion is to be collected within projects of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, N7.70 billion from Ministry of Interior and N80.50 million within Ministry of Trade and Investment.

Similarly, N3.15 billion is to be sourced from Ministry of Defence, N770 million from Ministry of Education, N1.7 billion from Federal Capital Territory Administration and N1.3 billion from Ministry of Trade and Investment.

Ministry of Health is expected to release N1 billion, N735.04 million from office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and N1.09 billion from Ministry of Labour and Employment.

Accordingly, the letter indicated that N729 million would be sourced from Ministry of Information and Culture, N734 million from Ministry of Communication and Technology and N2.39 billion from Ministry of Water Resources.

It also indicated that N1 billion would be derived from Ministry of Mines and Steel Development and N241 million from Ministry of Environment.

The communication from the acting president stated that the specific appropriated items to be vired to were contained in schedule 1, while appropriated items from which to vire the amount required were contained in schedule 2.

Mr. Osinbajo, therefore, called on the House to urgently consider the request in order to support collective efforts to improve the well-being of Nigerians.

Mr. Dogara referred the request to the Committee on Appropriation for necessary action.

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