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Project Nigeria’s Image, Uphold Standards That Bring Honour;- President Buhari Tells Ambassadors

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja urged Ambassadors-Designate, Consuls-General, Charge’ D’ Affaires Entitre to continually project the strengths of Nigeria, showcase priorities of the government and uphold standards that will bring honour to the country.

Speaking virtually from the State House at the Induction /Orientation Exercise For Ambassadors-Designate, Consuls-General and Charge’ D’ Affaires Entitre held at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) auditorium, the President told the diplomats to always be mindful of the policy direction of the government, particularly the nine priorities it had listed.

“You must not forget that you have been posted to your respective bilateral and multilateral Missions to represent and project Nigeria as a great and indivisible nation and a very attractive investment destination.

“In our effort to achieve realistic development oriented domestic and foreign policies, the government has identified nine (9) priority areas to guide our policy directions and thrust within the time frame of 2019-2023.

“These are: build a thriving and sustainable economy; enhance social inclusion and reduce poverty; enlarge agricultural output for food security and export; attain energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products; expand transport and other infrastructural development; expand business opportunities, entrepreneurship and industrialization; expand access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity of Nigerians,’’ he said.

The President also noted that the priorities include building a system to fight corruption, improve governance and create social cohesion and improve security for all. “I, therefore, urge all of you to be guided by these identified priority goals, as well as your various Station Charters which highlight specific mandates and guidelines on government’s expectation. We expect you to fight hard for Nigeria and for Nigerians abroad.

“You must strive to promote trade, human capacity development, foreign direct investment and other areas of cooperation with countries at national and multilateral levels to support our national growth and development.’’

President Buhari said national and global resources had continued to shrink, a situation compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that the government will continue to innovate and cope with a new norm in order to contain the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic.

He said the world must resolutely commit itself to global concerted actions to fight and defeat the common enemy together. According to the President, “Nigeria’s diplomacy must make sufficient contributions to common global challenges on how this health pandemic can be contained and eventually defeated.

“But we must not forget that traditional challenges of terrorism, violent extremism, climate change, poverty, population explosion, hunger and other manifestations of insecurity, including cybercrimes, drug abuse, child trafficking, irregular migration as well as the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, which have negatively impacted Nigeria and Africa remain part of our nation’s critical challenges.

“Finally, as Principal Representatives abroad, you must therefore intensify efforts to leverage on available opportunities, as well as your goodwill to help deliver prosperity to the millions of Nigerian citizens at home and the country you are posted.’’

The President urged the envoys to attend to all Nigerian citizens who visit the Missions with utmost dignity, respect and promptness, providing necessary assistance with courtesy, commitment and efficiency.

“As Ambassadors of our country, your comportment, carriage, conduct and ability to multitask must be exemplary. Humility and firmness are attributes that can earn you and your country respect and recognition. These attributes must remain with every one of you in the fulfillment of your duties,’’ he added.

In his remarks, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said the thrust of President Buhari’s foreign policy was clearly defined since 2015 as “neighbourliness, diplomacy and engagement’’, describing it as the ‘Buhari doctrine.’

The Minister told the diplomats that the President’s foreign policy focus was also similar to that adopted by President Joe Biden of the United States, with emphasis on promoting goodwill that attracts friends to the country, enhance security and bolster the economy.

“The result of the ‘Buhari doctrine’ is that Mr. President is in good terms with all countries of the world, and this will make your jobs easier,’’ he added.

*Source: Femi Adesina (Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity)

 

 


President Buhari Pledges To Support Lagos State Unleash Full Socio-Economic Potential

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday pledged that the Federal Government will support more massive investments in Lagos State to boost its economic potential as one of the world’s fastest growing megacities.

The President spoke in a video goodwill message to the Ehingbeti Lagos Economic Summit, themed ‘‘For a Greater Lagos: Setting the Tone for the Next Decade.’’President Buhari said his administration recognises Lagos as central to the economic fortunes of Nigeria and has in the last few years demonstrated commitment to supporting it unleash its full socio-economic potential.

”One of the significant ways in which our support has manifested to Lagos State is in the special federal funding that we approved in 2020 in acknowledgement of the State being an epicenter of the Coronavirus pandemic.

”The challenges of Lagos must therefore be very clearly seen as part of the challenges of Nigeria, and the Federal Government will support Lagos to overcome its challenges and to thrive socially and economically.

”The Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) is investing in the reconstruction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, while the Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Expressway is a flagship project of our Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme, also known as Executive Order 7 of 2019.

”It was also this administration which granted approval to the Lagos State Government to rebuild the International Airport Road, a major road that links the busiest airport in Sub-Saharan Africa to the continent’s fifth largest economy.

”The Federal Government is today completing the Standard Gauge Railway Line that will link Lagos to Ibadan in the first instance, and from there connect to Abuja and Kano, and bring ease and efficiency to what is Nigeria’s busiest transportation corridor.

”Just last month, this new Rail Line achieved a milestone extension into the Port Complex in Apapa, setting the stage for a long overdue decongestion in that area,” he said.

On the investment plan to revamp the National Theatre, the President told the 8th Economic Summit that his government had granted approval for the temporary transfer of the iconic federal asset on the Lagos landscape, to the Bankers Committee, which will invest in upgrading it and developing it into a world-class creative hub.

President Buhari expressed confidence that enterprising young people in Lagos will be the biggest beneficiaries of the National Theatre, when fully upgraded into a world-class hub.

”Speaking of young people, we are aware of just how central they are to the Lagos economy, and to Nigeria as a whole. In the creative arts, culture and technology sectors, we are determined to continue to open up opportunities by which they can achieve their dreams and aspirations; as well as thrive in a safe, secure and increasingly prosperous country,” he said.

The President highlighted various other initiatives of the Federal Government being implemented in Lagos, including the National Social Investment Programme, the Energizing Economies Programme, the Economic Sustainability Plan, among others.

Commending the Lagos State Government for its partnership and collaboration with the Federal Government on the human development programmes, President Buhari stressed the importance of understanding between national and subnational governments.

”Let me also acknowledge and salute the fact that we have a forward-looking administration in Lagos that is focused on infrastructure and improving the ease of doing business and the overall quality of life of Lagosians.

”The theme of this year’s Lagos Economic Summit invites us all to share our aspirations for a Megacity that boldly occupies its place in the global standing of Megacities.

”A Lagos that can keep up with its growing population in terms of housing, education, healthcare, security and jobs. A Lagos that is innovative and productive, and that ensures that its economic prosperity leaves no one behind.

”I enjoin all speakers and participants to go all out in the course of the next few days to think and contribute along these lines, and to come up with a practical masterplan for achieving this Lagos of our dreams,” he said.

*Source: Femi Adesina (Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity

 

 


Your Work Is Critical In Lifting 100 Million Nigerians Out Of Poverty; – President Buhari Charges Commission For Disabilities

Your Work Is Critical In Lifting 100 Million Nigerians Out Of Poverty; - President Buhari Charges Commission For Disabilities

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja charged National Commission for Persons with Disabilities to play its roles adequately in the realisation of the government objective of lifting 100million Nigerians out of poverty.

Speaking when he received members of the newly established body at the State House, President Buhari said,” I am enjoining you as a team of the commission, to realize that your work forms a critical aspect in achieving the objective of our Administration to removing 100 million Nigerians out of poverty. I am therefore looking forward to commissioning projects and programmes of high impact to the disabled community in line with this vision.

“Your appointments were no mistake as you were all selected after careful evaluation and assessment of your good conduct and contribution to the society and the disabled community in Nigeria. The task before you is enormous.

“You must work diligently towards ensuring that Government is able to touch the lives of our fellow citizens with special needs despite our limited resources.”

He assured that his administration will continue to give effect to treaties that give inclusivity to persons with disabilities: “Nigeria is a signatory and a state party to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which seeks to promote the inclusion of persons with special needs in all development efforts globally. Under my leadership, Government shall continue to give effect to all global, regional and sub-regional treaties that seek to improve the lives of our disadvantaged citizens.”

The President expressed joy that the Commission was finally in place having been an issue during his campaigns: “In December 2014, during my campaign for the President of this country under our great party, I met with the Community of Persons with Special Needs who showed unalloyed loyalty and support for our party and my candidature in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.

“I recall that the most pressing and priority request from the Community was the passage of the Disability Bill and the subsequent presidential assent which I promised them I shall do. I am happy to have fulfilled that promise.”

He commended some governors who had enacted laws on disability and enjoined others who had not to do the needful. “I thank the Governors of Plateau, Lagos and Nasarawa States for enacting disability laws and establishing Disability Rights Commissions in their states, I am calling on Governors of Yobe, Kano and Kogi States, to implement their laws while those states that are yet to do so should take necessary action to enable Federal Government efforts have the desired impact at the subnational levels,” said President Buhari

In her remarks, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development; Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq, who led the team, said she has continued to receive words from persons with disabilities, local and non-governmental organisations, and the international community commending the President for the establishment of the Commission.

She requested the President to direct that public buildings like airports, motor parks and schools be made accessible to persons with disabilities in Nigeria although it has been captured in the Act. She also requested for technologies to aid the persons with disabilities in their educational pursuits.

The Minister added that her Ministry had ensured that persons with disabilities had access to palliatives from her Ministry and are also included in its social investment programmes.

Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media & Publicity)

January 7, 2021

 


We’ll Push, Push Until You Win; – President Buhari Assures Okonojo-Iweala

By The World Satellite.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja assured Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance and Economy; Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that the country will explore every opportunity and deploy its entire energy to ensure that she becomes the Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Dr Okonjo-Iweala is one of two candidates contesting for the top position of the multilateral institution.

President Buhari, who received the former Managing Director (Operations) of the World Bank at the Presidential Villa, said she deserved more support to get the top job because of her profile and diligence in serving the country, and the world.

“I assure you that we will do all that we can to ensure that you emerge as the Director-General of WTO, not only because you are a Nigerian, but because you are a hardworking Nigerian. You deserve this,’’ he added.

The President assured Dr Okonjo-Iweala that he will make more phone calls, and send letters to some world leaders for more support. “I did the same for Dr Akinwunmi Adesina for President of the African Development Bank. Both of you served the country under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). You are both highly qualified. We will continue to support you. I will immediately make those calls,’’ the President told Dr Okonjo-Iweala.

In her remarks, Dr Okonjo-Iweala, a renowned development economist, thanked the President and his ministers, particularly the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment for supporting her staunchly.

“I feel very proud of Nigeria. I am getting so much support from you, Mr President, Chief of Staff, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investments. The ministers have been working around the clock to ensure that I succeed,’’ she said.

The former Minister of Finance also appreciated ECOWAS leaders for their endorsement, mentioning in particular the outstanding contributions of President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic and immediate past Chairman of ECOWAS as well as President Alhassan Quattara of Cote d’Ivoire.

She asked the President to “make one final push within the week to beat the Koreans and bring this to Nigeria by sending a few letters and placing telephone calls to some world leaders, and also thank others for their support.’’

“Mr President, put a smile on my face,’’ she said, “I am very proud of the country.’’

 


 

Disbanding Of SARS; First Step To Extensive Police Reforms – President Buhari

By The World Satellite.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Abuja declared that disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is the first step to extensive police reforms by his administration, A Statement by Femi Adesina; Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity revealed.

According to the statement, President Buhari made this declaration while Speaking at the launch of the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme (P-YES), aimed at creating 774,000 jobs across the Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the country wherein he also directed that all those responsible for misconduct or wrongful acts be brought to justice.

”I will like to use this opportunity to say a word on the recent genuine concerns and agitations by Nigerians about the excessive use of force and in some cases extra-judicial killings and wrongful conduct of the men of the Nigerian Police Force,’’ President Buhari said during the launch of the P-YES programme, attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmed Lawan, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State and Engineer Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State.

He continued: ”The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of our people.

”We will also ensure that all those responsible for misconduct or wrongful acts are brought to justice. We deeply regret the loss of life of the young man in Oyo State during the recent demonstrations. I have directed that the circumstances of his death should be thoroughly investigated.

”Meanwhile, it is important to recognise that the vast majority of men and women of the police force are hardworking and diligent in performing their duties. The few bad eggs should not be allowed to tarnish the image and reputation of the force.”

On the empowerment programme, the President while restating his administration’s commitment to youth development and poverty alleviation pledged that the Federal Government policies of social protection and people empowerment would continue on track, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 pandemic.

The President, who described P-YES as a cornerstone of his administration’s social and economic development strategies, said it was part of the overall policy of ensuring that 100 million Nigerians were lifted out of poverty in ten years.

”The P-YES is also part of the plan that we adopted in 2016 in which we empowered One hundred youths from each of the 774 Local Government Areas with the necessary tools to acquire skills and establish small businesses.

”Given the success of that initiative, we are now committed to creating 774,000 jobs across all the LGAs, through the P-YES programme,” he said.

President Buhari, who took a tour of P-YES tools and equipment displayed at the forecourt of Presidential Villa, expressed delight that the materials showcased represent the fruits of the initiatives embarked upon by his administration in 2016.

”All the tools, machines and equipment that are exhibited here, are products of the efforts of these empowered youth entrepreneurs. I note with particular pleasure that they were all fabricated in Nigeria by Nigerian youths using locally sourced materials. This is a wonderful and uplifting achievement.

”As an entrepreneurship empowerment project, the P-YES programme aims to address the needs of unskilled and less educated youth. It targets key areas of activities that are of practical importance and are essential to every aspect of our economy.

”These include areas such as agriculture and food processing, restaurant and catering, tailoring and fashion design, technical skills such as in the Information and Communications Technology sector, artisanship, welding, carpentry and joinery, other small businesses and activities associated with the micro-economic sector of this economy,” he said.

The President used the occasion to call on State Governments, Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to factor the P-YES into their programmes to assist the youth realise their potentials in their chosen fields.

He urged local and foreign private sector operators in Nigeria to also contribute their share to the expansion of this programme through channeling their corporate social responsibility efforts towards skills acquisition, creation of start-ups, and other intervention measures.

President Buhari declared that the expansion of the P-YES would now be vigorously pursued, adding that more resources will be committed to the achievement of its goals and objectives towards youth empowerment and entrepreneurship development.

The President commended the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on Youth and Students Affairs, under Hon. Nasiru Saidu Adhama, for driving the P-YES programme in accordance with the mandates prescribed for the office and the programme.

He expressed confidence that the programme being supervised by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation would make significant difference.

In his remarks, Hon Adhama assured the President that as achieved in the pilot phase of the programme the selection of beneficiaries in the full-scale P-YES scheme would be done with the utmost transparency and credibility, adding that equal opportunities will be observed in the delivery of equipment, tools and machines to all States and LGAs.

 

 


 

OCTOBER 1: President Buhari To Address The Nation From Eagle Square

As part of activities commemorating the 60th Independence Anniversary of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari will address the nation from the Eagle Square, Abuja, on Thursday, October 1, 2020.

The live address will commence after the Anniversary Parade beginning at 10am which will be covered by major television and radio stations especially the network services of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).

Please note that in view of the open-air live address, the traditional early morning October 1 Presidential Broadcast will not feature on Thursday.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

September 30, 2020

 


 

The Queen Of England Congratulates Nigeria On 60th Independence Anniversary

Her Majesty, The Queen of England, has sent a message of felicitation to President Muhammadu Buhari on the occasion of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary, October 1, 2020.

The message, conveyed by the British High Commission in Nigeria, goes thus: “It gives me great pleasure to offer my warmest congratulations on the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence, together with my best wishes for your country’s continued happiness and prosperity.

“The United Kingdom and Nigeria benefit from strong and enduring ties as Commonwealth partners through shared history and most importantly, our people. These are bonds that I hope and believe will flourish long into the future.”

Nigeria got her independence from Great Britain on October 1, 1960.


 

Guinea Bissau 47th Independence: President Buhari Pledges Nigeria’s Increased Support For Peace, Stability

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday pledged that Nigeria will continue to assist Guinea-Bissau in any way possible, saying ‘‘a peaceful and prosperous Guinea-Bissau is a win for West Africa and for Africa.’’

President Buhari joined the Heads of State and Government of Senegal, Mauritania and Burkina Faso to celebrate the 47th independence anniversary of Guinea Bissau at the 24 de Setembro National Stadium, Bissau.

Speaking at the event, President Buhari said he was proud of the support Nigeria provided to past electoral processes in the West African country’s commendable efforts to entrench democracy. ‘‘This support can only be increased under my tenure,’’ he said.

The President also placed on record Nigeria’s contribution of troops under the auspices of ECOWAS Mission in Guinea Bissau (ECOMIB), noting that they played an important role in maintaining peace and security.

Congratulating President Umaro Sissocco Embalo, the government and people of Guinea Bissau on the 47th Independence anniversary, the Nigerian leader said it was his sincere hope and prayer that Guinea-Bissau and its people will continue to grow in strength and prosperity.

He also expressed good wishes for greater achievements in the years ahead for the West African country.

President Buhari said:  ‘‘I feel delighted because this is my first official visit to Guinea Bissau since my assumption of office in 2015 and because I am here to join you , brotherly people of Guinea Bissau, as you celebrate this great day with renewed hope and aspiration.

‘‘I am truly grateful for the warm reception accorded me and my delegation, since our arrival in this city. As you mark your freedom as a nation “free forever’, let me seize this opportunity to salute all Bissau Guineans both at home as well as in the Diaspora, for the strides you have made as a country. Permit me to say Parabens! Congratulations!’’

President Buhari recounted that on September 10, 1974 Guinea Bissau declared its independence from Portugal, after a protracted struggle for freedom, which brought Portuguese colonization to an end.

‘‘It is fitting on this august occasion to remember your forebears and to celebrate them for the sacrifices they made for you to be free. The highest tribute we can pay them is to build on the gains of independence. It is my sincere prayer that your country will continue on the path of national cohesion, growth and unity,’’ he said.

On the return to democracy in the West African country, President Buhari noted that in the aftermath of the peaceful presidential elections in 2019, which ushered in the present administration of President Embalo, Guinea Bissau had a great opportunity to unleash the great economic potential of this country.

‘‘The international community attested to the fairness of the elections now endorsed by the Supreme Court of Guinea Bissau. I, therefore, congratulate you, the people of Guinea-Bissau for this achievement and urge you to sustain your unity of purpose,’’ he said.

The Nigerian leader also used the occasion to reflect on the excellent relations between Nigeria and Guinea, pledging that his administration will take it to a new height. ‘‘Relations between Nigeria and the Republic of Guinea Bissau which dates back to the country’s liberation struggle against Portugal have been extremely warm.

‘‘I am determined to carry this excellent relationship to the next level of fruitful cooperation and partnership, together with my brother Umaro Embalo,’’ he said.

On regional integration, President Buhari stressed the need for ECOWAS member countries to remain committed to realising the vision of its founding fathers.  ‘‘It is my desire that Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau as well as other member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will continue to provide the impetus in realizing the objectives and ideals of its Founding Fathers and to ensure security, peace and development of our region,’’ he said.

The President thanked President Embalo, the government and good people of the Republic of Guinea-Bissau for being a good host to Nigerians resident in the country, saying ‘‘colonial boundaries will never break the bond of kinship that binds us’’. Later in the capital city of Bissau, President Buhari commissioned a road named in his honour.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

September 24, 2020

 

 


 

SDGs 2030: Nigeria To Mobilise NYSC Members, 17 Iconic Leaders To Champion Implementation At Grassroots

 

SDGs 2030: Nigeria To Mobilise NYSC Members, 17 Iconic Leaders To Champion Implementation At Grassroots

Nigeria will engage the services of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members across the country and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Ambassadors to champion the implementation of SDGs 2030 at the grassroots, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.

A statement by Femi Adesina; Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity revealed that the President spoke Friday at the virtual inaugural SDGs Moment, convened by UN Secretary-General; Antonio Guterres, during the high-level week of the 75th UN General Assembly.

In his video message to the meeting, President Buhari provided an update on SDG progress in the country, setting out Nigeria’s vision for the next decade in fighting poverty, combating illicit financial flows and ensuring economic recovery amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

”Our National Assembly has established Committees on Sustainable Development Goals. The National Youth Service Corps Scheme is also ensuring that Nigerian graduates actively participate in SDGs implementation processes by serving as SDGs champions at the grassroots.

”Going forward, we will invigorate the Goal achievement process at the grassroots by engaging the services of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals Ambassadors we appointed to support our efforts at the national level. ‘We will also encourage more sub-national authorities to appoint and train SDGs Champions,” he said.

Re-affirming Nigeria’s commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other Internationally Agreed Development Goals, President Buhari told the meeting that anti-corruption institutions have been strengthened to enable the administration effectively combat illicit financial flows and recover proceeds.

Acknowledging that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic had threatened to derail the progress in achieving SDGs, the President said Nigeria is addressing the threat by re-dedicating efforts towards economic diversification, focusing on agriculture and the mining sectors.

According to him: ”Nigeria has made good strides in SDGs domestication processes, as we have commenced the re-alignment of the National Statistical System with the requirements and indicators of the SDGs.

”We have developed a novel home-grown ‘Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Model, as an analytical framework for assessing how policy making can better address the indivisible nature of the Sustainable Development Goals.

”Nigeria has also set up a Model Private Sector Advisory Group and an SDGs Donors’ Forum with a view to engaging critical stakeholders towards the attainment of the SDGs”.

The President recalled that Nigeria presented its second Voluntary National Review on SDGs to the UN High-Level Political Forum in July 2020. According to the President, ”the second Voluntary National Review highlighted our efforts to meet SDGs targets on the critical issues of poverty and an inclusive economy; health and well-being; education and gender equality; enabling environment of peace and security; and partnerships.”

He noted that these targets were based on current development priorities, as captured in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020), as well as the Medium Term National Development Plan (2020-2025).

President Buahri also used the occasion of his address to pledge Nigeria’s commitment to mainstreaming the SDGs into subsequent development plans. Setting out Nigeria’s vision for the Decade of Action, the President pledged that the country will implement unique initiatives such as the re-aligned National Statistical System to effectively track and monitor the implementation of the SDGs on annual basis.

”The Nigeria Integrated SDG simulation Model to support the domestication of the Planning Model across the 36 states; the Integrated National Financing Frameworks for SDGs; the scaled-up National Social Investment Programme to reach more poor and vulnerable Nigerians in line with our commitment to lift 100 Million people out of Poverty within a 10-year period; and the engaging of all segments of the society for the achievement of the SDGs,” the Nigerian leader said.

 


 

NIGERIA @ 60: President Buhari Pledges To Work Towards Greater Inclusiveness, Unveils Theme and Logo 

NIGERIA @ 60: President Buhari Pledges To Work Towards Greater Inclusiveness, Unveils Theme and Logo 

Unveiling the theme and logo for the commemorative activities to celebrate 60 years of independence, President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Abuja described Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, as the most prosperous black nation in the world.

Nigeria at 60 theme; TOGETHER, with the logo was projected and unveiled virtually on the 12 by 20 feet screen at the Council Chambers, before the commencement of the e-Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Buhari.

The President performed the exercise in the presence of some cabinet ministers and other members of the council who joined the meeting online. ”Today, we stand on the threshold of history as we formally begin a series of activities commemorating Nigeria’s Diamond Anniversary.

”The task, history has saddled me with today is to proclaim a theme that will keep us united, help us forge ahead and unveil a logo that will form the critical pillars which our 11-month modest commemorative activities would rest on.

”Celebrating sixty years of independence really calls for pomp, but the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced all nations in the world to think and act differently, has also foisted on us the imperative of a low-keyed celebration.

”Operating within the limitations placed by the COVID-19 pandemic, we created an internet challenge for Nigerians to make a choice from a set of four pre-selected logos that would appropriately define the theme.

”Of these four options, Nigerians from all walks of life participated in making a choice and I am happy to let you know that the logo I would be unveiling is a product of choice from the Nigerian people,” President Buhari said.

NIGERIA @ 60: President Buhari Pledges To Work Towards Greater Inclusiveness, Unveils Theme and Logo 
Nigeria @60 Logo

Speaking further on the logo, the President declared: ”The selected option depicts our togetherness, a country of over 200 million people whose natural talent, grit and passion glitter like the precious DIAMOND we are.

”This, to me, is a special appreciation to our most precious asset – our people. Everywhere you go; Nigerians are sparkling like diamonds in the pack, whether in academia, business, innovation, music, movie, entertainment, fashion and culture.

”Furthermore, the neatly encrusted Diamond on the Nigerian Map symbolizes our age of treasure, the worth of the Nigerian people with our sparkle to the admiration of the world.

‘‘In the same vein, the pear green and dark green colours should respectively remind us of our warmth, welcoming spirit and love as well as the abundant wealth inherent in our human capital and the richness of our land.

‘‘All these properties make us unarguably the most prosperous black nation in the world and Africa’s largest economy.’’

On the theme of TOGETHER, President Buhari recounted that the country’s founding fathers, in spite of the differences in faith, tribe and tongue came together to fight for Nigeria’s independence. ‘‘This shall be a befitting tribute to the struggles of our heroes past,’’ he said.

The President thanked members of the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Nigeria’s Sixtieth Anniversary Celebration for the work they have done so far, reminding them ‘‘that this is just the beginning.’’

President Buhari pledged that his government would work towards greater inclusiveness and look forward to the participation of all Nigerians in the celebration.


 

President Buhari Condoles With Borno State Govt Over Death Of Emir Of Biu

President Muhammadu Buhari extends heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Borno State on the passing of Emir of Biu, Alhaji Mai Mustapha Umar Aliyu.

The President also commiserates with the royal family and the Biu Emirate Council on the death of His Royal Highness who for 31 years had the privilege of leading the people of Biu with diligence and dedication.

President Buhari affirms that the Emir who was a strong advocate for peace and development in the North East region, demonstrated visionary leadership that was very evident to all, including his efforts to modernise Biu by supporting the establishment of educational institutions in the community.

The President notes that the Emir’s style of servant leadership for over three decades earned him the trust and respect of his community, contemporaries and Nigerians from diverse political, social and religious leanings.

He believes that the Emir’s good works will continue to be remembered and cherished in his community and the wider region of the North East, praying almighty God to grant the soul of the departed eternal rest and comfort to the people of Biu during this time of mourning.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media & Publicity)

September 15, 2020

 

 


 

President Buhari Laments Deaths And Destruction Of Farms In Kebbi State By Floods

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed deep concern over the heavy floods that took a number of lives, submerged thousands of hectares of farmlands and houses, destroying farm produce and personal belongings in the affected communities.

According to the President, “I am particularly sad over this incident because it’s a setback to our efforts to boost local rice production as part of measures to stop food importation.”

President Buhari noted that, “Kebbi State is the focal point of our policy to produce rice locally as part this administration’s commitment to agricultural revival which suffered relative neglect in favour of food importation.”

He said that “With the loss of six lives and still counting; thousands of hectares of land flooded and estimated economic losses of more than one billion Naira by rice farmers in Kebbi State, we face a major setback in our efforts to boost local food production.”

President Buhari noted that, “This bad news couldn’t have come at a worse time for our farmers and other Nigerians who looked forward to a bumper harvest this year in order to reduce the current astronomical rise in the costs of food items in the markets.”

The President, while sympathising with the bereaved families and farmers affected by the devastating floods, has assured that “we are going to work closely with the Kebbi State government in order to bring relief to the victims.”


 

LEBANON MASSIVE EXPLOSION: President Buhari Pledges The Solidarity of Nigeria

By The World Satellite.

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has pledged the solidarity and brotherhood of Nigeria to Lebanon over the massive explosions that rocked Beirut, the capital city of Lebanon on Tuesday, suspected to be caused by tons of ammonium nitrate stored in a warehouse.

A statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, revealed that President Buhari, who condoled with President Michel Aoun and the people of Lebanon also extended the sympathy of government to the large community of Lebanese in Nigeria.

Describing the explosions, which killed 137 persons, leaving over 5000 wounded and more than 300, 000 displaced as “tragedy of monumental proportions,” President Buhari praying that God will rest the souls of the dead, comfort the grieving, and grant succour to the wounded and displaced.

 


 

President Buhari, ECOWAS Leaders to Meet in Mali on a Peace Mission

 

By The World Satellite.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari will Thursday depart for Bamako, Republic of Mali on a one-day visit, following the briefing by the ECOWAS Special Envoy to the country; former President Goodluck Jonathan.

According to the statement signed by Femi Adesina; Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, the Nigerian President and some ECOWAS leaders led by the Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Sub-Regional Organization; President Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger Republic, agreed to meet in Mali to engage in further consultations towards finding a political solution to the crisis in the country.

Mr. Adesina informed that the host President; Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Presidents Machy Sall of Senegal, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Alassane Ouattara of Cote d’Ivoire are expected to participate in the Bamako meeting.

Continuing, Adesina’s statement revealed that former President Jonathan was at the State House in company of President of ECOWAS Commission; Mr. Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, on Tuesday to brief President Buhari on the unfolding situation in Mali, necessitating the visit of ECOWAS leaders to consolidate on the agreements reached by various parties.

President Buhari, ECOWAS Leaders to Meet in Mali on a Peace Mission
Former President Goodluck Jonathan and Special Envoy to Restore Amity to Mali, briefing President Goodluck Jonathan on his activities in Mali on Tuesday at the State House, Abuja.

“We will ask the President of Niger, who is the Chairman of ECOWAS to brief us as a group, and we will then know the way forward,” Adesina quoted President Buhari.

President Muhammadu Buhari thanked Dr Jonathan for his comprehensive brief on the situation in Mali as special envoy to restore amity to Mali, rocked by protests against President Keita who has spent two out of the five years second term in office.

A resistance group, M5, is insisting that the Constitutional Court must be dissolved, and the President resign, before peace can return to the country. Crisis had erupted after the court nullified results of 31 parliamentary seats in the polls held recently, awarding victory to some other contenders, which the resistance group said was at the instigation of President Keita. Riots on July 10 had led to the killing of some protesters by security agents, causing the crisis to spiral out of control, hence the intervention by ECOWAS.

 


 

President Buhari Affirms Timely Delivery of AKK Gas Pipeline Project

By The World Satellite.

President Muhammadu Buhari has affirmed the Nigerian government’s commitment to ensure timely delivery of the landmark Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas (AKK) pipeline project within budgetary allocation and specifications.

In a statement by the President’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity; Femi Adesina, President Buahri who disclosed this at the virtual flag-off ceremony of the project at the Ajaokuta, Kogi State and Rigachikun, Kaduna State camp sites simultaneously, said the project was very dear to the people of Nigeria and must succeed.

The President, according to Femi Adesina, therefore directed the NNPC and partners to remain focused, noting that the AKK project is part of the delivery of the present administration’s Next Level Agenda for sustainable development, enhancement of economic prosperity and increase of the country’s infrastructure assets.

Governors Yahaya Bello of Kogi State and Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna physically flagged off the commencement of works at Ajaokuta and Rigachikun sites, while the President watched remotely via video-conference from the Council Chamber in Abuja.

President Buhari said: ‘‘we promised the Nation that we will expand the critical gas infrastructure in the country to promote the use of gas in the domestic market.

President Muhammadu Buhari

‘‘These include the Escravos to Lagos Pipeline System – 2 (ELPS-2), Obiafu to Obrikom (OB3) pipeline and AKK. These projects are fundamental to our desire to industrialize and energize the entrepreneurial spirit that is ever present in our population.’’

Enumerating the benefits of the project, billed to be completed in two years, the President said it will provide gas for generation of power and for gas-based industries which would facilitate the development of new industries.

It will also ensure the revival of moribund industries along transit towns in Kogi State, Abuja (FCT), Niger State, Kaduna State and Kano State, he said, adding that the cascading effect and impact of the AKK, when operational, will be immeasurable.

His words: ‘‘It has significant job creation potential both direct and indirect, while fostering the development and utilization of local skills and manpower, technology transfer and promotion of local manufacturing.’’

President Buhari announced that Nigeria had learnt invaluable lessons from the global COVID-19 pandemic and some oil rich countries that have used their crude as a pathway to economic and industrial diversification.

On COVID-19, the President said the pandemic had further underscored the drive of his administration for export substitution initiatives and projects that promote local manufacturing.

President Buhari Affirms Timely Delivery of AKK Gas Pipeline Project
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Nigeria

On diversification, the President said: ‘‘Gulf countries that have similar levels of gas reserves as Nigeria, have a strategy centered around gas-industrialization as their foundation towards export diversification. This has to be our guiding principle as we seek to attract investment and create opportunities for our people.’’

The President also used the occasion to challenge the private sector to lead the charge in maximising the nation’s gas resources. According to him the private sector can create a petrochemical hub that will resurrect the manufacturing industry and put the nation on the path to increased self-sufficiency.

‘‘As the world evolves, we owe our people the responsibility to prepare them for what the future holds. We, therefore, must be bold and fearless and can no longer be incremental in our approach.

‘‘Time is short, and our people’s zeal is strong and palpable. Infrastructure development although long, tedious and complex remains a cardinal objective of our Administration’s drive towards ensuring a stable, sustainable and more prosperous future for our citizenry.

‘‘Today marks an important chapter in the history of our great Nation. It marks the day when our domestic natural gas pipeline networks; from Obiafu in Rivers State, Escravos in Delta State and Lekki in Lagos State, are being connected through Kaduna to Kano States thereby enhancing national energy security, creating balanced development, and further integrating our nation,’’ he said.

The President commended the Government of the People’s Republic of China; the financiers the Bank of China and SINOSURE; and the two EPC Contractors (Brentex/China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau-CPP Consortia and Oilserve/China First Highway Engineering Company-CFHEC Consortia) for their support to deliver the important project.

President Buhari Affirms Timely Delivery of AKK Gas Pipeline Project
Mallam Nasir El-Rufai; Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Nigeria

He also congratulated the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPC and all relevant stakeholders on the historic and epoch-making occasion, commending the resilience of the team to deliver on the project despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

The President appealed to Governors of Kogi, Niger, Kaduna and Kano States as well as the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory to provide the enabling environment and support for the project.

In his remarks, Mallam Mele Kyari, Group Managing Director, NNPC, explained that the AKK gas pipeline project, which is part of the Trans-Nigeria gas pipeline project, involves the establishment of a connecting gas pipeline network that will integrate the Northern region of the country with the Niger Delta, Eastern and Western regions of the Country.

He said the EPC contract for the 614km AKK gas pipeline project was awarded at a total contract sum of US$2.592 billion to Messrs. Oilserv Plc/China First Highway Engineering Company (Oilserv/CFHEC Consortium) for the first segment covering 303km.

According to the GMD NNPC, Messrs. Brentex Petroleum Services/China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (Brentex/CPP Consortium) got the contract for the second segment covering 311km under a debt-equity financing model with loan from Bank of China and SINOSURE, to be repaid through the pipeline transmission tariff and supported by a sovereign guarantee.

‘‘We are confident that the EPC contractors will deliver the project on time, within budget and to quality/specifications,’’ he said.

Kyari added that upon completion, the project would enable the injection of 2.2bscf/d of gas into the domestic market and facilitate additional power generation capacity of 3,600MW.

 

 

 


 

APC LEADERSHIP CRISIS Giadom Receives Buharis’s Support

By The World Satellite.

 

APC LEADERSHIP CRISIS: Giadom Receives Buhari's Support
Chief Victor Giadom

President Buhari has given his backing to Chief Victor Giadom to serve as Acting National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after weeks of in fighting that had engulfed the leadership of the ruling party.

This was disclosed in a tweet by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity; Garba Shehu on Wednesday. According to Shehu, the president would attend the virtual meeting called by Giadom on Thursday, June 25.

Shehu further explained that the President took the position after receiving convincing advice on the position of the law as far as the party is concerned and consequently declared that the law is on the side of Giadom as the acting national chairman.

Conclusively, while informing that in addition to the President, the Gaidom meeting will hopefully be attended by APC Governors and the leaders of National Assembly, Garba Shehu urged the media to stop promoting manufactured controversies and to not give any further room for mischievous interpretations of the law on this matter.


 

Ghanaian President Tenders Apology for Demolition, Orders Investigation

By The World Satellite.

 

Ghanaian President Tenders Apology for Demolition, Orders Investigation
Ghanaian President; Nana Akufo-Addo

President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana has expressed his apologies to President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria over the demolition of a building on the premises of Nigerian High Commission in Accra, Ghana.

Mr. Garba Shehu; Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, who revealed this in a statement on Tuesday informed that the Ghanaian leader in a telephone call told President Buahri that he has directed full investigation into the incident.

The statement also revealed that earlier in the day, it further emerged that some suspects had been arrested, and will be arraigned in court.

 

 


ADOPTION OF ECO CURRENCY: President Buhari Expresses Concerns with Francophone West Africa

ADOPTION OF ECO CURRENCY: President Buhari Expresses Concerns with Francophone West Africa
Nigerian President; Muhammadu Buhari

By The World Satellite.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed worry over the decision of francophone countries that form the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) to replace the CFA Franc with Eco ahead of the rest of Member States.

Speaking at a virtual extraordinary meeting of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) on the new regional currency on Tuesday, President Buhari cautioned that the ambition for Eco regional currency can be in ‘serious jeopardy,’ unless member states complied with agreed processes of reaching the collective goal.

He told the meeting, which discussed the implementation of the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Programme (EMCP) and the ECOWAS Single Currency Agenda, “you all are familiar with the history of the Eco thus far, so I will not bore you with that. We reverted to a single-track approach, giving up Eco, which is the original idea of the WAMZ so the ECOWAS-wide programme could thrive”.

A statement by the President’s Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity; Garba Shehu, revealed that Buhari noted that ‘‘in this regard, we have made remarkable progress, including the adoption of the Exchange Rate regime, the name and model of the common Central Bank and the symbol”.

‘‘We have urged our ministers towards an expeditious path to success. It, therefore, gives me an uneasy feeling that the UEMOA Zone now wishes to take up the Eco in replacement for its CFA Franc ahead of the rest of the Member States.

‘‘This is in addition to deviating from the Community Act on a consistent attainment of convergence in the three years running up to the introduction of the currency, and our subsequent reinforcing directives.

‘‘I am informed that the French Ministers have approved a bill to reform the CFA Franc and most, if not all of the UEMOA Member States, have already passed legislations in their various Parliaments to that effect.

‘‘It is a matter of concern that a people with whom we wish to go into a union are taking these major steps without trusting us for discussion,” he said.

President Buhari assured ECOWAS leaders of Nigeria’s commitment to the ECOWAS single currency and urged them to critically consider the recommendations made by the Convergence Council and take a common position to safeguard the West African Monetary Zone from the pitfalls of a questionable union.

He affirmed Nigeria’s support for a monetary union with the right fundamentals, which guarantees credibility, sustainability and overall regional prosperity and sovereignty.

According to Buhari, Nigeria believes that given the potential contractions and even losses from the global Covid-19 pandemic, member states cannot, but be too cautious about ensuring compliance with the set standards.

‘‘We cannot ridicule ourselves by entering a union to disintegrate, potentially no sooner than we enter into it.

‘‘We need to be clear and unequivocal about our position regarding this process. We must also communicate same to the outside world effectively. We have all staked so much in this project to leave things to mere expediencies and convenience.

‘‘My dear colleagues, Heads of State and Government, it is obvious that we are at a crossroads.

‘‘We must proceed with caution and comply with the agreed process of reaching our collective goal while treating each other with utmost respect. Without these, our ambitions for a strategic Monetary Union as an ECOWAS bloc could very well be in serious jeopardy,” he said.

In the light of the caution raised by Nigeria and some other West African countries at the meeting, ECOWAS leaders resolved to convene an enlarged meeting of the regional bloc on the single currency issue.

 


Nigerian govt rejects UK Religious Freedom Report

The federal government has rejected the new levels of misrepresentation in the United Kingdom All-Party Parliamentary Group on International Religious Freedom Report on Nigeria.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, made this position known in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

The report released by the UK based Group on International Religious Freedom Report on Nigeria on June 15, had alleged that the Nigerian government was allowing armed Islamist groups to kill, maim and displace Christians, through a systematic cleansing.

The report, titled “Nigeria – Unfolding Genocide?”, painted a picture of an ongoing religious/ethnic cleansing ongoing in Nigeria, with government doing almost nothing to end the reign of terror, which it claimed was particularly targeted at northern Christians.

“Attacks by armed groups of Islamist Fulani herdsmen have resulted in the killing, maiming, dispossession and eviction of thousands of Christians.”

The presidential aide, however, condemned the report, saying:

“Although it is difficult reading, the statement also acknowledges the importance of accurate, unbiased, depoliticised and truthful information when it comes to understanding the realities and addressing the challenges for those of faith in Nigeria.

“In this regard when uncritical attention is afforded to critics with dubious intentions, it only becomes harder for both the government and people of Nigeria to engage in constructive dialogue to resolve our differences, and uphold what is enshrined in our Constitution and laws: that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.’’


 

President Buhari Condoles with The Family of Emeritus Professor Oladipo Akinkugbe

By The World Satellite.

 

President Buhari Condoles with The Family of Emeritus Professor Oladipo Akinkugbe
Emeritus Professor Oladipo Akinkugbe

President Muhammadu Buhari sends condolences to the family of foremost Nigerian Professor of Medicine; Oladipo Akinkugbe, who, through diligence and humility, has left a lasting legacy on Nigeria’s health sector and academia.

The President believes the late Professor Emeritus contributed immensely to the study of medicine in the country, serving variously as Pro-Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt; former Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria; former Vice Chancellor, University of Ilorin; and former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ibadan.

President Buhari joins the Nigerian Medical Association, government and people of Oyo State, and staff of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan in mourning the renowned scholar who studied and taught at some of the world’s most prestigious universities, including the University of London, Balliol College, University of Oxford, England, and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

The President affirms that the late Prof. Akinkugbe will always be remembered for his pioneering roles and contributions to the medical sector, especially the distinguished leadership he provided as Chairman of the Board of Management of University College Hospital, Ibadan, and Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB).

President Buhari prays that the almighty God will accept the soul of the departed, and comfort his family.

 


 

 

President Buhari Felicitates with Otunba Oyin Jolayemi at 80

By The World Satellite.

 

President Buhari Felicitates with Otunba Oyin Jolayemi at 80 By The World Satellite.
Otunba Matthew Oyin Jolayemi

Otunba Matthew Oyin Jolayemi is a very successful Industrialist with over three decades of business experience. He is the Chairman of Daily-Need Group; a fast-moving consumer goods Firm involved in manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, food and personal care products. Well informed of the intricacies of business and finance in Nigeria, Otunba Jolayemi has since 1972 made substantial investments in manufacturing and banking industries.

Widely respected in the business and financial world; Otunba Jolayemi was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Business Administration by Kensington University (USA) in 1991. His exposure in Industrial Management is closely linked with is global tour across the world including Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, U.S.A, the Middle East and Far East.

As the renowned industrialist, inventor and philanthropist turns 80, family, friends, business associates and top government functionaries have joined in celebrating the octogenarian. Prominent among them is President Muhammadu Buhari, who in his goodwill message congratulated Oyin Jolayemi for his investments that have transformed the economy of the country, and greatly impacted on the citizenry.

In a statement signed by Femi Adeshina; Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buahri on Media and Publicity, President Buhari affirmed that Otunba Jolayemi’s entrepreneurial spirit, which spurred investments in banking, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, deserve commendation, especially the growing profile of his companies and training of many to start their own businesses.

More so, the President acknowledged the visionary role Otunba Jolayemi has played as an industrialist for more than 40 years in the financial sector of the country, particularly raising infrastructure that served his businesses and community, and building confidence in the economy through international exhibition of his products.

In addition, , while praying that the Almighty God will grant him longer life and more strength, President Buhari believes that as Otunba Jolayemi turns 80, the industrialist can joyfully look back, with three of his scions already involved in the family business, and be thankful to God for the grace of a good lineage.

 

 


 

Nigeria Will Stand Solidly Behind Dr Akinwumi Adesina- President Buahri

By The World Satellite.

President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria will stand solidly behind Dr Akinwumi Adesina in his bid to get re-elected as President of the African Development Bank (AfDB)
The President spoke at State House, Abuja, Tuesday, while hosting Dr Adesina on a courtesy visit.

“In 2015, when you were to be elected for the first term, I wrote to all African leaders, recommending you for the position. I didn’t say because you were a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Minister, and I belonged to the All Progressives Congress (APC), so I would withhold my support. I’ll remain consistent with you, because no one has faulted the step I took on behalf of Nigeria,” said President Buhari.

The President pledged that Nigeria would work with all other leaders and stakeholders in AfDB to ensure that Dr Adesina was elected for a second term built on the record of his achievements during his first term.

The African Union had already endorsed the incumbent AfDB President as sole candidate for the continent, but some other stakeholders are trying to ensure that Dr Adesina is being re-investigated on some allegations, and rendered ineligible to run.

Nigeria Will Stand Solidly Behind Dr Akinwumi Adesina- President Buahri
President Buhari, with L-R: AFDB Special Adviser on Industrialization Prof. Oyebanji Oyeyinka, AFDB President Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama, Chief of Staff Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and Minister of Finance Zainab Ahmed as he receives in audience President of African Development Bank in State House on 2nd June 2020

Giving a background to what was happening in the bank, Dr Adesina; a former Nigerian Minister for Agriculture, said the 16 allegations raised against him were trumped up, “and without facts, evidence, and documents, as required by the rules and regulations of the bank.”

He added that the Ethics Committee of the ban, which cleared him of all the allegations, and calls for fresh investigation by the United States of America, were against the rules.
“My defense ran into 250 pages, and not a single line was faulted or questioned. The law says that report of the Ethics Committee should be transmitted to the Chairman of Governors of the bank. It was done, and the governors upheld the recommendations.

“That was the end of the matter, according to the rules. It was only if I was culpable that a fresh investigation could be launched. I was exonerated, and any other investigation would amount to bending the rules of the bank, to arrive at a predetermined conclusion,” Dr Adesina said.

Stressing that the motive was to soil his name, and that of the bank, the AfDB President said he was proud to be Nigerian, and thanked President Buhari for his unflinching support.
“You helped me to get elected in the first place, and you have supported me robustly all along, and the African Union unanimously endorsed my re-election” he declared.

While commiserating with President Buhari on the death of the former Chief of Staff; Mallam Abba Kyari, Dr Adesina described Professor Ibrahim Gambari; new Chief of Staff as “a man of integrity, and of global standing.”

 


 

Africa Has Given the World A New Hope – President Buhari

By The World Satellite.

 

Africa Has Given the World A New Hope – President Buhari
Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR; President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

African Union Day commemorates the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which gave way to the establishment of the African Union created on 25th May, 1963 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It is observed annually on the 25th of May to celebrate African unity.

In a message to African leaders to mark the ”Africa Union Day 2020,” commemorated by the African Union Commission in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari averred that Africa has given the world a new hope by choosing the theme ”Silencing the Guns in the context of the COVID-19” for this year’s Africa Day celebration.

Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has called for peace on the continent as a prerequisite for sustainable development.

President Buahri stressed the need for African leaders to ensure that every effort is made to ensure the success of silencing the guns on the continent, emphasizing the need to sensitize Africans about the inseparable connection between peace and development.

”Peace, security, unity and harmony are prerequisites for development in Africa,” the Nigerian leader remarked while urging citizens all over the continent to innovate on how ‘Silencing the Guns’ can be used to achieve peace and grow African economies. He therefore called for peace on the continent as a prerequisite for sustainable development

Also, the Nigerian President urged regional economic groups, civil society organisations and the private sector in Africa to take full ownership of the theme of this year’s celebration to strengthen collaborative efforts among member-countries of the African Union.

 

 


 

Former IGP Suleiman Abba Named BOT Chairman Police Trust Fund

By The World Satellite.

 

Retired IGP Suleiman Abba Named BOT Chairman Police Trust Fund
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria

Pursuant to the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Establishment Act 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of retired Inspector-General of Police, Barrister Suleiman Abba, CFR, Mni, as Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund.

The President also approved the appointments of the following as Executive Secretary and members of the Board respectively:

  1. Ahmed Aliyu Sokoto – Executive Secretary
  2. Mr Nnamdi Maurice Mbaeri – Representing Ministry of Police Affairs
  3. Inspector-General of Police – Representing Nigeria Police Force
  4. Usman Bilkisu – Representing Ministry of Justice
  5. Mr Ben Akabueze (DG, Budget and National Planning) – Representing Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning
  6. Engr. Mansur Ahmed – Representing Organised Labour
  7. Dr. Michael Bamidele Adebiyi – Representing Civil Society Group.
Retired IGP Suleiman Abba Named BOT Chairman Police Trust Fund
Retired IGP Suleiman Abba

The above appointments are in furtherance of the Buhari administration’s commitment and drive to retooling Policing Architecture in the country by emplacing the Police Trust Fund to meet the aspiration of a well-funded, equipped and highly professional Nigeria Police Force in line with international best practices. This objective informed President Buhari’s re-establishment of the Ministry of Police Affairs on August 20, 2019.

The President also commended state governors, members of the National Assembly and Nigerians for their patriotic and spirited efforts at reforming Policing Architecture to deepen the country’s internal security.

The Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi will announce the inauguration date of the Board of Trustees of the Police Trust Fund.

 

 

ABACHA LOOT: Funds to be Used for Vital and Overdue Infrastructure Development

By The World Satellite.

 

ABACHA LOOT: Funds to be Used in for vital and Decades-Overdue Infrastructure Development
Late General Sani Abacha; Former Military Head of State, Nigeria

THE sum of $311 million US Dollars – stolen from the citizens of Nigeria during the Abacha regime, which were safely returned to Nigeria from the United States on Monday, May 4, 2020 have already been allocated.

In a statement sighted by Theworldsatellite.com, Senior Special Assistant to the President
on Media & Publicity; Garba Shehu informed that the funds will be used in full, for vital and decades-overdue infrastructure development: The second Niger Bridge, the Lagos-Ibadan and Abuja-Kaduna-Kano expressways – creating tens of thousands of Nigerian construction jobs and local skills, which can then be useful in future projects.

According to the statement, part of the funds will also be invested in the Mambilla Power Project which, when completed, will provide electricity to some three million homes – over ten million citizens – in our country.

The receipt of these stolen monies – and the hundreds of millions more that have already been returned from the United Kingdom and Switzerland – are an opportunity for the development of our nation, made far harder for those decades the country was robbed of these funds.

Mr. Garba Shehu noted that previous monies returned last year from Switzerland – some $320 million US dollars – are already being used for the government’s free school feeding scheme, a stipend for millions of disadvantaged citizens, and grain grants for those in severe food hardship. Without these funds, the fight against Covid-19 would be even tougher.

ABACHA LOOT: Funds to be Used in for vital and Decades-Overdue Infrastructure Development

Explaining further, he described that this latest return as a testament to the growing and deepening relationship between the government of Nigeria and the government of the United States.

“Without the cooperation both from the UK Government, the US Executive branch and US Congress, we would not have achieved the return of these funds at all.

“For years many countries deemed successive Nigerian administrations as too corrupt, too venal and too likely to squander and re-steal the stolen monies – so they did not return the funds.

“Today, US, UK and other jurisdictions have found the partnership with the nation of Nigeria they can finally trust”, the statement read.

The statement concluded by informing that the Buhari Administration is committed to – and is enacting – total and zero tolerance to corruption in politics and public administration, while noting that the days when government was seen and used by the political class as their personal ATM to empty are over. He assured that the time of better governance and clean hands in the affairs of state is here to stay.

 

 


 

 

 

President Buhari Signs Covid-19 Regulations, 2020

By The World Satellite.

 

President Buhari Signs Covid-19 Regulations, 2020
President Muhammadu Buhari

In exercise of the powers conferred on him by Sections 2, 3 and 4 of the Quarantine Act (CAP Q2 LFN 2004), and all other powers enabling him in that behalf, President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday, signed the Covid-19 Regulations, 2020, which declared Covid-19 a dangerous infectious disease.

The Regulations, effective March 30, 2020, also gave legal backing to the various measures outlined in the President’s National Broadcast on March 29, 2020, such as Restriction/Cessation of Movement in Lagos, FCT and Ogun State and others toward containing the spread of the pandemic in the country.

In addition, to ensure that Nigerians can still perform on-line transactions and use ATMs whilst observing these restrictions, exemption is granted financial system and money markets to allow very skeletal operations in order to keep the system in light operations during the pendency of these regulations.

 


 

Nigeria to Abide by Agreement Reached with Neighbours on Border Reopening

 By The World Satellite.

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed the willingness of his administration to implement the decision of the tripartite committee, made up of Nigeria, Benin and Niger, on the partial closure of the country’s land border as soon as the report is received.

Speaking at an audience with Mr. Bashir Mamman Ifo; outgoing President of the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) and his successor; Dr George Nana Donkor, in the State House, President Buhari explained that the partial closure had given Nigeria a number of insights.

‘‘We have saved millions of dollars. We have realised that we don’t have to import rice. We have achieved food security. We have curtailed the importation of drugs and proliferation of small arms which threaten our country,’’ the President said.

Nigeria to Abide by Agreement Reached with Neighbours on Border Reopening

President Buhari thanked the outgoing ECOWAS Bank President for the improvements recorded in his eight-year tenure and urged his successor to build on those achievements.

On his own, the outgoing bank chief informed the President that the Bank had been transformed from loss-making to profit, with commitments from ECOWAS member-states doubling to 1.4 billion dollars.

Dr Donkor, the incoming president, thanked the Nigerian leader and its people for their support in his emergence. ‘‘Without Nigeria, I could not have emerged,’’ he said.

He gave credit to President Buhari’s economic strategies captured under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), noting that it has brought about economic recovery, stability and food security in the country.

He pledged total commitment to partnering with Nigeria towards achieving rapid development in the country and the rest of West Africa.

  • Source: Garba Shehu; Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity

 


 

Technology is Aiding Nigeria’s Advancement in Critical Sectors; Says President Buhari

By The World Satellite.

 

Technology is Aiding Nigeria’s Advancement in Critical Sectors
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, with President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has affirmed Nigeria’s continued recognition of the centrality of science and technology in the development process and will ensure adequate resource allocation for research and development.

Speaking on Sunday at a breakfast meeting of the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) organized by the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo on the margins of the 33rd AU Summit, President Buhari averred that technology is aiding Nigeria’s advancement in critical sectors of the economy.

While noting that his administration was conscious of the relevance of science and technology in national development and as such has a ministry dedicated to the sector, which is headed by a scientist, the Nigerian Leader noted thus:

‘‘We are concentrating on encouraging our students, at the primary and post primary levels, to love and study more of science related subjects rather than arts, political science and history.’’

More so, the President acknowledged that while finding resources to fund science and technology related ventures could be a challenge, Nigeria was aware of the huge benefits and will continue to do her best to ensure adequate resource allocation for research and development.

Technology is Aiding Nigeria’s Advancement in Critical Sectors
Guests at the breakfast meeting of the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South

In his remarks, the Ghanaian President; Nana Akufo-Addo said as an inter-governmental organization made up of 27 member states, COMSATS was playing a leading role in cultivating an enhanced culture of scientific and technological cooperation among member states.

He said the body was achieving this objective through capacity building, education, research and development.

Contributing to an open discussion at the meeting, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, who is part of the Nigerian President’s entourage to Ethiopia, called on the body to structure its operations in a way that creates ‘‘centers of excellence’’ in member states.

Ayade said such centers will help in education, training and research for citizens of participating countries in specific fields and vocations of science and technology.

      • Source: Garba Shehu; Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity

 

 


 

 

AU SUMMIT: President Buhari Commends ECOWAS’ Renewed Vigour Against Terrorism

By The World Satellite.

President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria has commended the renewed vigour by ECOWAS member countries to mobilize their own resources to combat terrorism.

President Buhari who spoke on Saturday at the High Level meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council on the State of Peace and Security in Africa at the 33rd AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia called for new strategies by the Union to effectively prevent, manage and resolve conflicts in the face of new circumstances and emerging challenges.

While informing that Nigeria has fulfilled its financial obligations to the AU Peace Fund up to 2019, the Nigerian President pledged to continue investing on peace and security on the continent.

On ECOWAS matters, President Buhari affirmed Nigeria’s commitment to continue to serve as a strong contributor to the peace roles played by the regional bloc.

Also, he highlighted the collaborative leadership of the AU with other Regional Economic Communities in resolving conflicts on the continent.

‘In Burkina Faso, we (ECOWAS) pledged to mobilize one billion US dollars to address the challenges of insecurity in our region and the Sahel. In Guinea Bissau, ECOWAS successfully midwifed the general elections.

”Nigeria along with ECOWAS member states led in the restoration of democracy and peace in the Gambia,” he explained.

On security challenges in Africa, the Nigerian Leader said it was regrettable that terrorism, violent extremism and other forms of vicious conflicts had continued to cause mayhem and untold crisis on the continent.

”Nigeria condemns, in the strongest terms, the perpetrators of terrorism in Libya, the Sahel, Lake Chad Basin, and parts of the Horn of Africa.

AU SUMMIT: President Buahri commends ECOWAS' renewed vigour against terrorism
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria addressing the High Level meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council on the State of Peace and Security in Africa

”We reiterate that efforts must continue to be pooled to mitigate this dreadful violence and secure the future of our continent,” he said.

On new strategies to resolve conflicts on the continent, the President said: ”The AU must strengthen its own capacity for mediation and develop an effective intervention roadmap.”

He added that more emphasis should be placed on promoting national dialogue, reconciliation and social cohesion in order to rally all actors towards sustainable peace.

On the Peace Fund, the President reminded the meeting that drawing from the Kigali and Johannesburg Assembly Decisions, the fund is structured for the internal peace support arrangements within the continent and not as resources to subsidize the mandate of the UN Security Council.

”In this regard, my delegation will always fervently contest attempts to make Africa subsidize the primary responsibility of the UN as clearly provided in its Charter,” he said.

Furthermore, President Buhari welcomed the decision of the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) to adopt the regional stabilization strategy for the Lake Chad Basin and the renewal of mandates of the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) and the G5 Sahel Joint Force.

He told the meeting that Nigeria was very encouraged by the resolution of the continent’s standing decision-making body for conflict prevention, management and resolution, on the Lake Chad Basin.

”We are hopeful that the Inter Water Basin Transfer Initiative for the recharging of the Lake Chad will address some of the drivers of terrorism, particularly the impact of climate change and inter-communal clashes over access to natural resources. ”We equally call on the Assembly to direct the full implementation of these AU-inspired initiatives,” he concluded.

Generally, The Peace and Security Council (PSC) is the standing decision-making organ of the AU for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts. It is a collective security and early warning arrangement intended to facilitate timely and efficient responses to conflict and crisis situations in Africa. It is also the key pillar of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), which is the framework for promoting peace, security and stability in Africa.

The Protocol Relating to the Establishment of the Peace and Security Council was adopted on 9 July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, and entered into force in December 2003. The PSC became fully operational in early 2004. The PSC Protocol, together with the PSC Rules of Procedure, the AU Constitutive Act and the conclusions of various PSC retreats, provide operational guidance to PSC activities.

  • Source: Garba Shehu; Senior Special Assistant to the President
    on Media & Publicity

 


 

Edo 2020: Obaseki, Ize- Iyamu to Battle For APC Ticket

Edo 2020 Obaseki Osagie Ize-Iyamu

Godwin Obaseki, Edo State Governor, and Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, his main challenger in the Governorship Election in 2016, will both slug it out for the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in next year’s governorship election in the state.

Although the two are expected to be the main contenders, others who may also contest on the APC platform are Chris Ogiemwonyi, Charles Airhiavbere, Pius Odubu, the yet-to-be-sworn in Niger Delta Development Commission’s (NDDC) board chairman.

It has been speculated that Oshiomhole persuaded Ize-Iyamu; a grassroots politician with a strong followership in the state, to join the APC where he would use his influence as national chairman to give him the party’s ticket.

There are also speculations that Obaseki may find his way to the PDP; the major opposition party in the state. However, he has repeatedly denied this, saying he had no plans to quit the APC.

“If a handful of individuals start misbehaving and feel we will leave the party for them, they will be the ones to leave,” Obaseki had said.

 

 


 

That Ihedioha’s Budget of Recurrent Expenditure! 

By Ambrose Nwaogwugwu

 

That Ihedioharecurrent expenditure

Recurrent expenditure, typical of classic mischief makers of Imo extraction has been trending on the social media ever since the governor of the state; Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha CON presented to the State Assembly what will become the first budget of his administration, which was instinctly dubbed ‘The RebuildImo Budget 1’.

Aside the more deliberate and prudent demonstration of the RebuildImo government as conversely put into the 2020 budget, only what the merchants of mischief and constant witnesses of gnashing of teeth and agonies from Imo state could make topic of discussion was the RECURRENT EXPENDITURE as if they were to be a collection of new lexicon that recently got introduced to the literary community of the state.

In futile attempts to ridicule the budget, people who could not even spare a  simple minute to read a short article talk more of very elaborate and voluminous speech of that nature were making uninformed analysis on a document they neither know it’s full wording nor the import.

Like one of them I challenged for an intellectual debate on the RebuildImo Budget 1, told me that he was not interested in knowing what ever that are in the speech but to copy and paste the ignorant lines pasted to them on their private groups because like Boxer in the classic setting of animal farm “If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right,” and these irredeemable bunch mumbles and always in a haste to outdo one another to paste things they do not even know it’s slightest scope or it’s full working grips.

That was why many of them have been running around with the word “recurrent expenditure” to ridicule the state government and the governor to public opprobrium without even knowing that they were actually indicting their evil pay masters.

For the sake of the “iberiberism” folks who have been working themselves out lately, I will like to explain the term “recurrent expenditure” so we can place things on their right perspectives.

Recurrent expenditure can be defined as any payment that is not pertaining to capital expenditure, these types of payments include goods and services, wages and salaries, employer contributions, interest payments, subsidies and transfers, etc.

ThatIhedioha Recurrent expenditure

One of the “iberiberists” has even ignorantly compared Okorocha’s 62 Billion Naira recurrent expenditure budget the previous fiscal year to Ihedioha’s 91 Billion Naira because according to their iberiberism, more money meant more looting. How wrong they were in their blissful foolery.

More additional 30 billion Naira to the recurrent expenditure by Gov. Emeka Ihedioha means that he is giving adequate provision for the welfare of Imo workers.

The increase in the recurrent expenditure means that Gov. Emeka Ihedioha isn’t in for any joke or dubious activities when he promised Imo workers and pensioners of their full wages and salaries.

More addition of the 30 Billion Naira to the recurrent expenditure by Gov. Emeka Ihedioha is simply working his talks about worker’s welfare – the welfare of Imo workers were of firm resolves and he has shown in deed and action and even in concrete budgets that he is committed to keeping that promise because his words have always been his bond.

By selling that recurrent expenditure dummy, these uninformed children of “iberiberism” were simply showing the whole world how callous and wicked their failed pay master were to the generality of Imo workers and pensioners in the State and unknowingly to them, they have also shown the whole world that Gov. Emeka Ihedioha means business when it comes to the welfare of Imo workers and pensioners. That’s the price of iberiberism.

Aside the direct touch that Imo workers and pensioners will enjoy from the increased funds of the recurrent expenditure, subventions also got a 50% increase from what it used to be in Okorocha’s failed era as more projects and other governmental businesses that will spur the financial status and fortunes of the state will be immensely of benefit thereby raising both the employment and favorable results for the generality of the people.

When next they slam high recurrent expenditure on you, remind them how they have indicted their failed administration by themselves, which the present government are working very hard to clean up.

  • Ambrose is a Social Critic and lives in Accra, Ghana

 

Disclaimer: “The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Ambrose Nwaogwugwu  and do not necessarily reflect those of The World Satellite. The World Satellite will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article.”

 

 


 

 

UJU KINGSLEY; A Testament of The Legislative Dream

 

By Kennedy Eberechi

 

Those who believe that the Nigeria National Assembly of Nigeria can deliver qualitative legislation/oversight functions in a way that promotes service delivery and a better standard of living for the people can proudly point at Hon. Uju Kingsley Chima, whom experts have described as a perfect example of a social reforms advocate and a bridge builder.

Hon. Uju, who represents the good people of Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta and Oru West Federal Constituency of Imo State in the House of Representatives, is a successful entrepreneur, an astute politician and administrator of repute. A boardroom guru with a wealth of experience, he has a proven record of success in administrative governance and business management.

Omeudo as he is fondly called has received several recognitions in Nigeria and abroad for his impact in the society but the reward for his excelling contributions for a better society is not just in the plagues that dote around the wall, but it is in seeing the less privileged cared for, seeing equity on wealth distribution. Supporting youths build back their economic and social life are some of the projects that fire up his passion.

Uju Kingsley Nigeria Legislative Oversight
Hon. Uju Chima Kingsley

Very assiduous, focused and result oriented; Hon. Uju Kingsley has over the years demonstrated his managerial and administrative acumen. He was appointed Sole Administrator of Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC) by the Imo State Government. He was a supervisory Commissioner for Lands, Imo State, Chairman Bureau for Lands, Imo State. Shortly before going to the National Assembly he was Deputy Chief of Staff (operations), Imo State Government House, Owerri.

Beyond this, Uju has received several recognitions in Nigeria and abroad for his impact in the society. He was recently honured with the Pillar of Youth Empowerment Award by the Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta and Oru West Constituency Youths, Abuja Chapter.

However the reward for his excelling contributions for a better society is not just in the plagues that dote around the wall, but it is in seeing the less privileged cared for, seeing equity in wealth distribution. Supporting youths and women build back their economy and social life are some of the projects that fire up his passion.

His foundation; ‘Zara Uju Global Foundation’, which sponsors and promotes youths and women in the areas of Scholarship Programs, Business Grants, Skills Acquisition Programs, Capacity Development and Community Development Projects underscore his passion for social security.

A hardworking, innovative and a grass-root politician, Uju, so far had his academic endeavours in Nigeria, which reflects his connection with his people. He had his secondary education at the Trinity High School, Oguta, Imo State. Subsequently he proceeded to the Enugu State University (ESUT), where he obtained a Bachelors Degree in Cooperative and Rural Development.

Since his inauguration into the 9th National Assembly, Hon. Uju Kingsley has been visible on the floor of the house through his legislative engagements and oversight functions. He recently moved for an amendment to include Osemotor Sea Ports, Oguta as one of the Sea Ports to be completed and managed by the Federal Government in order to decongest Apapa Sea Port. Incidentally, the youths of his constituency has been upbeat about how Hon. Uju will enhance dynamism and functionality as he would bring a progressive ideology and agenda to legislative/oversight functions.

Uju Kingsley Legislative dream
Mr. Ikechukwu Nnadi Presenting an Award of Merit as Pillar of Youths Empowerment to Hon. Uju Kingsley

Speaking during a short reception organized in his honour in Abuja shortly after his inauguration, Mr. Ikechukwu Nnadi; the President of Ohaji/Egbema, Oguta and Oru West Constituency Youths, Abuja Chapter, noted that Hon. Uju who rode on the crest of the desire of his people for qualitative representation alongside other equally progressive minds, he will exhibit what true representation of the people should be.

Mr. Ikechukwu further informed that Hon. Uju Kingsley has already identified basic areas of interest in which he is ready and willing to implement, for the good people of his political Constituency as his constituency projects. “Among his core areas of interest are youth/women empowerment and employment creation, because of his desire for wealth creation. Education, health, security and urban renewal are some of his passions”, Mr. Nnadi explained.

 

          •  Kennedy Eberechi is a Publicist and Heads Ken-Gbados Concepts Limited   (+2347064715591, gbadoka@yahoo.com)

 

 


 

IYA Demands Urgent Recovery of Imo Assets

By Kennedy Eberechi

 A prominent group of Imo youths living in Abuja under the aegis of Imo Youth Assembly (IYA) has called on the incumbent Governor of the State; Rt. Honourbale Emeka Ihedioha to urgently probe and recover Imo Assets from former Governor Rochas Okoracha.

The group made this call during a media parley in Abuja on Friday against the backdrop of the massive protest by the Town Unions of the over six hundred Autonomous Communities and collaborating Apex Zonal Social Cultural Organizations on Thursday morning on the streets of Owerri, the Imo State Capital over what the groups termed ‘The forceful acquisition of assets by immediate past government”.

Addressing Newsmen in Abuja, IYA’s Coordinator; Comrade Lucky Opara remarked that the eight years that Rochas Okorocha held sway as Governor of Imo State where characterized by unparalleled and unchecked raid of our common assets.

Youth Group demands recovery of imo assets
Comrade Lucky Opara

In addition, Comrade Lucky noted that IYA is concerned to lend voice in making this demand on Emeka Ihedioha to act because “we youths represents the power and labour force of the state and also the vast majority of the poor and defenseless citizens of Imo State at grassroots who suffer the greatest detriments of bad governance”.

“During the damaging misrule of Okorocha, Imo went through a sort of untold financial hemorrhage, as resources were frittered away and public assets looted and converted to private use. Under the watch of Okorocha, the bailout funds to Imo State inexplicably disappeared under the match of his son-in-law; Uche Nwosu, and he neither budged nor stirred. Worse still, allocations to the twenty-seven local government areas of the State were hijacked and looted, and the system stifled and made moribund”, IYA said

Continuing, IYA disclosed that staggering sums that were voted for the construction of supposed general hospitals never saw the light of the day. More so, revenue-spinning investments of the State, notably the Concorde Hotels and Ada-palm etc., were sold off to unknown investors and at unknown rates.

AdvertAccording to the group, the Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) of the State were literally handed out to family and friends and on a monthly basis nearly one billion Naira disappeared through that channel, even the civil servants got their salaries slashed by thirty to forty percent.

“Imo pensioners; men and women who expended their youthfulness, their brains and strengths in service of our State, were left unpaid for nearly sixty months and they died in their tens on a daily basis. These senior citizens were subjected to the most excruciating torture by Okorocha so much so that even their three successive chairmen died in quick succession holding dud cheques in their hands. These pensioners are still dying till date”, the group added.

The Group further expressed worries that till date not so much have been done by the Government of Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, regarding the general clamour for all which were looted by Chief Rochas Okorocha to be recovered and reassigned to serve collective purposes.

IYA therefore enjoined the Governor to entrust this recovery process into the hands of persons of credibility and integrity so that the recovered assets would not go the way of the  recovered Abacha loots, which can only be heard but can never be seen.

Imo State Governor and FormerAgain, the Group warned that everything stolen by the past administration must be recovered with mathematical precision; in a civilized and legally permissible manner because that is what good governance is all about.

Conclusively, the Abuja based Youth group observed that if the current administration could achieve this recovery of Imo assets while probing and punishing those found culpable, it would have gone halfway into sanitizing the system and engendering good governance.

 


 

EL-RUFAI: THE FIRST GOVERNOR

By: Dan Ugwu

 

El-Rufai Governor Kaduna state
Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai

Malam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai is a Nigerian politician who is the incumbent Governor of Kaduna State,Nigeria. He was the former Director General of Bureau of Public Enterprises, the head of privatization agency in Nigeria. He was the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja from 16 July, 2003 to 29 May, 2007. El-Refai has often been in the eye of the public ever since he entered public service. Infact, he is not someone you can force out of his convictions.

My personal admiration for the governor started after I read his masterful treatise titled ‘The Accidental Public Servant’; the story of Nigeria, told from the inside after a successful career in the private sector. El-Rufai has a character which many have adjudged diversely. At the wake of his administration as Kaduna state governor, he abolished street preaching and Evangelization in the state, a situation which some Christians took as a direct attack on the gospel message. So many other thinkers like me applauded such initiative.

AdvertAm once more drawn to him with his recent abrogation of the indigene/settler dichotomy in Kaduna state, which has created chaos for a long time and has lead to bloodbath. This was done amidst strict opposition from the thickly populated Muslim North of the State. Given El-Rufai’s knack for implementing any policy he belives will enhance good governance, he became the FIRST Governor in the north to give vent to the abrogation of the indigene/settler dichotomy, when in April this year, he said “the indigene/settler dichotomy in Kaduna state has been abolished.”

He went further to say that “every person resident in Kaduna State (Christians and Muslims alike) would be accorded all rights as citizens and indigenes of the state. The Kaduna State Residents Registration Agency will create a reliable data base of all residents in the state, with a view to providing useful data for planning, security, social welfare, education, employment, financial services, housing, health and other services. Elizabeth Joshua Ndonah will head the Kaduna State Residents Registration Agency.”

However, this is not the first time El-Rufai will be pioneering policies and actions he is convinced would add value to good governance. For instance, as the then Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, from 2003 to 2007, he pioneered and popularized town hall meetings that enabled him not only get feed backs from FCT residents, but also inputs on how best to run the nation’s capital. And by the time he left office, despite some of the misgivings Nigerians had against him, especially on the issue of demolition, it appears FCT has never had any Minister after him.

Back in Kaduna, he again introduced the town hall meeting. But beyond introducing the town hall meeting in Kaduna, the Kaduna State governor, since assuming office, has continued to blaze the trail, in several respects.

First, he was the FIRST Governor under the current dispensation to announce a 50 percent cut in his salary and that of his deputy, including reducing the overheads of the ministries and MDAs. He was the FIRST to reduce government ministries from about 19 to 13, thus reducing Commissioners from 24 to 13. He was the FIRST to announce the abolition of State/LG Joint accounts.

Although, pioneered by Ogun State under Mrs. Kemi Adesoun, as Finance Commissioner, El-Rufai, was, however, the FIRST Governor to popularize the Single Treasury Account (TSA), before it was embraced by the Federal Government. And so far, he remains the FIRST and only Governor, who attached portfolios to his Commissioner designates; a thing Nigerians from all walks of life have been clamouring for, before sending the list to the state Assembly for screening and confirmation. He was the FIRST to abolish Military Check Points inherited by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration before the Federal Government too followed suit.

El–Rufai has a penchant in going for the best and experienced hands. Since the time he came on board, most of his appointments are done on merit and professionalism. Unlike other elected Governors who appoints their aides or lieutenants based on political patronage, El-Rufai, being a technocrat normally opts for more educated and experienced people irrespective of their places of origin or religion.

El-Rufai Governor Kaduna State
Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, with his Deputy; Dr. Hadiza Balarabe

In this regard, he scored another FIRST, this time around in the North, when he picked a woman and a fellow Muslim as running mate in the build up to the 2019 elections. Despite the avalanche of opposition against his choice, El-Rufai won his re-election. Though a Muslim, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, the Deputy Governor, is from Southern Kaduna, an area that has been producing the Deputy Governor since 1991.

Public servants in El-Rufai’s mould are rare in Nigeria. In our developing democracy in which religion, ethnic and regional politics play significant roles in the emergence of leaders, governor El-Rufai has deviated from the age-long practice as he has relied much on expertise and excellence in what he does.

It is for this same reason that most people like us exude uncanny ardour for the people’s president, Muhammadu Buhari. Some public servants in the South East like Rochas Okorocha who present themselves in El-Rufai’s clout do not worth it. Politics must be for the interest of the masses and not an avenue for family patronage and enthronement of mediocrity; deception and loot in the guise of democracy.

 

– Dan Ugwu writes from Owerri, ImoState

 

 

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