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EndSARS: Mike Okiro Urges Tinubu To Declare October 20 National Freedom Day



Former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, rtd, has urged President Bola Tinubu, to declare October 20th each year, as National Freedom Day in honour of the collective struggles of Nigeria’s for justice.

Okiro, who is currently the Board Chairman of JusticeNOW International, otherwise known as NigeriaFIRST Foundation, made the appeal at a press conference he addressed to mark the 3rd anniversary of the EndSARS Memorial 2023/36th monthly Extra-Ordinary Zoom Session of The Diplomatic, Diaspora And National Strategic Stakeholders Forum.

The former IGP equally commended President, Tinubu for what he described as his strategic appointments of young persons to serve as Ministers for Humanitarian And Poverty Alleviation, Minister for Youth Development, Minister for Interior as well as several others into the Presidency.

Okiro, said by giving approval for the proposal for the National Freedom Day, the President would be proving to the whole world that he was never against the EndSARS protest at the Lekki Toll Gate, as it was widely speculated in some quarters in Nigeria and abroad

The ex-IGP said, “Your Excellency, in your noble capacity as the Head of the Government of Nigeria, the full responsibility and powers now rest on your shoulders to do something remarkable to change the narratives of the #EndSARS for the better because this generation cannot forget the memories of October 20, 2020.


“As a body committed to the NigeriaFIRST advocacy, which seeks national Interest, patrotism and peaceful co-existence, we are therefore officially and publicly appealing, for the third time, thus using the instrumentality of your Excellency’s Renewed Hope to appeal for your Excellency’s Presidential Declaration of October 20th as National Freedom Day- to remember our collective struggles of our youths for justice.

“Your Excellency Mr. President, it will please you to know that the Institunalisation of October 20th as National Freedom Day (National Holiday) would be one of Your Excellency’s greatest legacy ever.

“It will show your true appreciation of your love for the youths as this development would serve as a sign of respect to the souls of departed at Lekki Toll Gate otherwise known as struggles for social justice.

“Already, one of our Organization’s advocacy for the EndSARS has been clearly witnessed which is your Excellency’s maximum engagement of youths and young People the governance structures of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“We therefore use this opportunity to thank your Excellency for the strategic appointments of a truly young persons to serve as Hon. Ministers for Humanitarian And Poverty Alleviation as well as Minister for Youth Development and the Minister for Interior and several others in the Presidency.


“This is a great sign your excellency will approve this national proposal (October 20) to further prove your excellency was never against the EndSARS Protest at the Lekki Toll Gate as it was widely speculated by some quarters in Nigeria and abroad.”

While appreciating the efforts of the Organization’s Speaker and International President, Comrade Vik-Morrow in this diaspora strategic engagements, Okiro lauded Nigerian/African Diaspora stakeholders for their support over the years.


President Tinubu Seeks Senate Approval For Fresh $8.6billion, €100million Loans



The president made the request through a letter to the Senate, read during the plenary by the Senate President, GodsWill Akpabio, on Tuesday, noting that the fund was to execute critical projects in different sectors.

The President Bola Tinubu-led administration has sought the approval of the Nigerian Senate for $8.6billion and €100million borrowing plan.

The president made the request through a letter to the Senate, read during the plenary by the Senate President, GodsWill Akpabio, on Tuesday, noting that the fund was to execute critical projects in different sectors.

The request was said to be part of the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan approved by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, according to the letter.

Tinubu explained that the projects to be funded with the loan cuts across different sectors of the economy, and were selected based on economic evaluation and the expected contribution to the country’s development.


The letter reads in part;, “I write in respect of the above subject and to submit the attached the federal government 2022-2024 external borrowing plan for consideration and early approval of the National Assembly to ensure prompt implementation of the projects.

“The Senate may wish to note that the past administration approved a 2022-2024 borrowing plan by the federal executive council (FEC) held on May 15, 2023.

“The project cuts across all sectors, with specific emphasis on infrastructure, agriculture, health, water supply, roads, security, and employment generation as well as financial management reforms.

“Consequently, the required approval is in the sum of $8,699,168,559 and €100 million.

“I would like to underscore the fact that the projects and programmes in the borrowing plan were selected based on economic evaluations as well as the expected contribution to the social economic development of the country, including employment generation, and skills acquisition.


“Given the nature of these facilities, and the need to return the country to normalcy it has become necessary for the Senate to consider and approve the 2022- 2024 external abridged borrowing plan to enable the government deliver its responsibility to Nigerians.”

In August, the National Assembly approved President Tinubu’s request for over $800 million loan to finance the National Social Safety Network Programme.

The National Assembly had also approved the 2022 Supplementary Appropriations Act of N819 million “for the provision of Palliatives to Nigerians to cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal”.

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5,000 Federal Civil Servants May Not Get November, December Salaries



There is anxiety among federal civil servants as about 5,000 of them may not get November and December salaries.

The National President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Dr Tommy Okon, who disclosed this in Abuja, urged the Federal Government to resolve the issues swiftly.

He explained that out of the 17,000 who were delisted from the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) in October 2023 are on course to receive their salaries, only those who had earlier completed their verification exercise but were mistakenly delisted have had their salaries restored.

According to him, 5,000 civil servants still have discrepancies on their date of first appointment and date of birth. A total of 2,772 have been verified and forwarded to IPPIS for payment because there were no issues.”

While advising affected civil servants to constantly check the Head of Service of the Federation website for regular updates so as not to be caught unawares, he hinted that six teams are working to ensure that the exercise is completed on time.


“It is advisable for a public servant to develop the habit of checking the HOS Website for regular updates. We have confirmed that the salary for November 2023 is concluded. Therefore, those affected will not get their salaries for November,” Okon stated.

However, he assured that some of the affected workers might likely get their salaries for December, including the arrears from September.

Okon appealed to the Federal Government through the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation to expedite action to ensure that December salaries are not delayed while urging members of the union to exercise patience as everything is being done within the ambit of the laws to ensure that the issues are resolved expeditiously.

On the recent promotions examination for Directors aspiring to the office of the Permanent Secretaries, Dr Okon said such examinations will increase the efficiency of civil service being the engine room of government policies.

Indeed, the Public Service Rule (PSR) states that the selection shall be through a competitive examination process including but not limited to written examination, test of ICT proficiency and oral interview and Resource persons from the Civil/Public Service and Private institutions may be involved in the selection process.


Okon added: “It is expected that when you rise in your career as a director, you have gotten to the pinnacle of your career. Hence, the position of Permanent Secretary is another kettle of fish, which requires greater responsibility and a broader scope of competence. We are yet to understand how government projects and activities are to be driven effectively without having in place the best hands and brains.”

He lamented that over time, the Civil Service has suffered exponential decadence of its pool of highly skilled and knowledgeable officers, saying, “We cannot continue to pay lip service to the need to scale the quality of the civil servants especially those at the senior level who are expected to demonstrate impeccable character and capability to drive government projects and programmes.

“A situation where only 20 candidates out of 85 demonstrated the requisite knowledge and skill at the written examination and 18 candidates from that number made it to the final stage of the recently concluded selection exercise for the appointment of permanent secretaries leaves little to be imagined about the state of the quality of officers in the Civil Service.”

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