President Muhammadu Buhari has met behind closed door with former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
One of the President’s Personal Photographers, Mr Sunday Aghaeze, confirmed this in pictorial reports on Tuesday night in Abuja.
The agenda of the meeting between the president and the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) could not be ascertained as at the time of filing this report.
Tinubu had on Friday picked the ruling APC presidential nomination and expression of interest forms at the its national secretariat in Abuja.
James Faleke, a member of the House of Representatives, representing Ikeja Federal Constituency, picked the forms for APC national leader, who had since informed the president of his presidential ambition in 2023.
Folake was accompanied by former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal and hundreds of members of the Tinubu Support Groups (TSG) to the party’s secretariat.
Tinubu had recently returned from Saudi Arabia, where he performed the lesser hajj alongside some of his political associates and family members.
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged all political parties in the country to keep elections and election-related differences aside and join the administration’s drive to defeat insecurity in the country.
Mr Femi Adesina, Buhari’s spokesman in a statement late Tuesday night, said the president made the call at an Iftar dinner with members of the business community and the leadership of political parties in Abuja.
The presidential aide quoted the president as describing insecurity as a ‘‘common enemy’’ bedevilling the country.
The president said: ‘‘Without mass, popular support to our hard working Armed Forces, it will take us much longer to finish off the successful war we are waging against terrorism, banditry and kidnapping.
”Our country must be kept safe for progress and prosperity to be entrenched.
‘‘I look forward to seeing the reflection of this spirit in the relationship between the parties and the government, especially as the electioneering season will soon be on us.”
Buhari recounted that last week the National Executive Committee ( NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had a tremendous success at its meeting, ending with a clear message that the party would continue to push for the establishment of democratic principles at all levels.
‘‘Today, we can proudly say that we have a political system that allows political parties of all views and persuasions, reflecting the diversity of our nation to co-exist, and contest for elections at all levels of government without fear or institutional bias and pressure’’.
On ease of doing business in the country, President Buhari revealed that his administration had done exceedingly well in improving the business climate.
He, therefore, urged the private sector to complement government’s effort in poverty reduction and job creation for the young people.
‘‘No administration has done as much as we have done in the creation of a climate best suited for business, big and small, to thrive.
‘‘The ease of doing business index that is globally recognized has acknowledged that the ease with which business is carried out in the country has never been better than it is today. We will continue to make it better.
‘‘We will equally continue to count on the support of the private sector to improve economic growth and create new job opportunities for our teeming population.
‘‘Employment is critical to stability and prosperity of our country. Government and the private sector, working together, have an opportunity to transform the lives of people in ways that was hard to imagine in the past,’’ he said.
The National Chairman of the APC, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, who spoke at the event, urged leaders of political parties to make firm commitments towards peaceful and successful 2023 general elections, and challenged them to work in unison to achieve the purpose.
According to him, as leaders, leadership demands that they take responsibility in ensuring peace and stability and inspiring the party faithful and Nigerians to conform to the laws of land in matters relating to electioneering and the elections.
Speaking on behalf of leaders of other political parties, Yusuf Yabagi, the Chairman of Action Democratic Party (ADP), who described the President as a true democrat, said the Iftar event and the invitation by the President has introduced ‘‘credibility, respect and admiration in the polity’’.
Yabagi, who is also the Coordinator Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), said:
‘‘The fact that political leaders of various political parties are sitting with you today speaks volumes that you are truly a democrat and believe in the project of growing democracy in this country,’’ he said.
He announced that IPAC was preparing to give the president an award as ‘‘Hero of Democracy’’, citing the historic signing into law of the Electoral Act, describing it as a paradigm shift that would guarantee peaceful, acceptable and all-inclusive elections in the country.
On the forthcoming elections, Yabagi said:
‘‘Mr President, history beckons on you. 2023 is going to be your glorious exit. That is our prayer and for that to happen you have to take charge of every activity that matter in the exercise’’.
The IPAC Coordinator, who commended INEC for innovation and reforms towards ensuring credible elections, appealed to the president to look into the role of security agencies in the forthcoming general elections.
‘‘Members of IPAC are worried by the programme of INEC that elected candidates will spend 10 months campaigning around the country. That is a herculean task.
‘‘We also want the President to consider the appointment of a Political Liaison Officer,’’ Yabagi said.
He noted that the office would ensure better coordination between the President’s office and political parties.
Commenting on the type of leader Nigeria needs after President Buhari, a representative of the business community and Group Managing Director, Sahara Group, Kola Adesina, said the next President of Nigeria must carry ‘‘the banner of hope for a new Nigeria , not a banner of self.’’
‘‘We are transitioning and I want to respectfully ask the President that anybody who comes around to show interest in leadership, you must ask them for their manifesto. Not what they want to do but how they want to do it.
‘‘The challenge has always been how, not what,’’ he said.
Adesina, who thanked the president for sustaining investments in infrastructure across the country, including the Second Niger Bridge, the East-West Road, among others, stressed the need for continuity by the next government.
President Muhammadu Buhari has hosted traditional rulers from the six geo-political zones of the country to Iftar dinner at the State House, Abuja, on Thursday.
Some of the traditional rulers joined the president to perform the Magrib prayer at the Aso Villa Mosque shortly before the commencement of the Iftar dinner at the new Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa.
The president had on Wednesday hosted the leadership of the National Assembly to the breaking of fast while Governors of the 36 States of the Federation, security chiefs and heads of para-military organisations had similar engagement with the Nigerian leader on Tuesday.
The president had earlier hosted the leadership of the nation’s judiciary to Iftar dinner on April 14.
President Muhammadu Buhari has summoned security meeting sequel to the recommendations by the council of State over the security challenges facing some parts of the country.
Gov. Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa had on April 14 briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the meeting of the Council of State, where he announced that the president would be meeting security chiefs this week, over the current security situation in the country.
He said the meeting followed recommendations and comments by the Council of State.
He said the necessary measures would be taken to ensure that farmers across the country carry out their activities without any hindrance to boost food production in the country.
President Buhari had on Wednesday at the meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) warned of tougher security measures in restive parts of the country and review of operations and strategy.
He reassured Nigerians that the efforts that resulted in relative peace in South-South, and rescuing of North-East from the hold of terrorists would be ramped up.
According to him, the major security challenges have remained in the North Central and North West, saying, “We are going to be very tough.’’
The meeting held at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, was attended by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, some cabinet Ministers, Service Chiefs and heads of security establishments at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Others at the meeting included, Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Boss Mustapha; the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; and the National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno.
Also in attendance were the Inspector-General of Police, Baba Usman; the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Yusuf Bichi; and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai.
The pardon granted to former governors of Plateau and Taraba, Joshua Dariye and Jolly Nyame was not politially motivated, presidency has said.
The two governors were among the 162 inmates who received pardon at last Thursday’s Council of State meeting.
President Muhammadu Buhari at the council of state meeting on Thursday, April 14 granted pardons, under the Prerogative of Mercy, to Joshua Dariye of Plateau State and Jolly Nyame of Taraba State both serving various jail terms for misappropriation of funds.
The move attracted harsh criticism from Nigerians nationwide with many saying that the Buhari regime had officially pulled out of the anti-corruption fight.
But in a statement signed late Wednesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the Presidency argued that Buhari would have come across as insensitive and cruel was he had ignored compelling cases recommended for pardon.
The statement is titled ‘Dariye, Nyame pardon in line with constitution, will not derail anti-corruption war by President Buhari.’
It read in part, “The Presidency wishes to throw light on the recent note presented to the Council of State, on the report of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy, as a culmination of a process begun by the convicts and others concerned in line with the Constitution.”
It explained that section 175 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) enjoins the President to exercise his constitutional powers “to grant any person concerned with or convicted of any offense created by an Act of the National Assembly a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions; to grant respite, either for an indefinite or a specified period of the execution of any punishment imposed on that person for such an offence; substitute a less severe form of punishment imposed on that person for such an offence or remit the whole or any part of any punishment imposed on the person for such an offence or of penalty or forfeiture otherwise due to the state on account of such an offence.”
Of the 412 inmates interviewed, 162 were recommended to the Council of State by the President in the exercise of his powers, pursuant to Section 175 (2) which requires that he should carry out this function after being “advised by the Council.”
The Presidency argued that “the presentation to the Council of States meeting last week, attended by former Presidents, a former Chief Justice and 36 States and the FCT along the lines of its statutory membership was a culmination of a rigorous process, regulated and guided by the law which was not, in any way designed to achieve a political purpose.
“While it is natural that the cases of the ex-governors-two among many- would excite political analysts, coming at a time when elections are in the air, the President would at the same time have come across as insensitive and cruel to most people were he to have ignored very compelling cases recommended for pardon made to him because someone is a former Governor. Even Governors have the right to be treated fairly under the law.
“President Buhari assures the nation that nothing done here was intended to achieve a political end or send a revisionist message on the relentless war against corruption which he has ably and evidently led by personal examples.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the death of two Nigerian Air Force (NAF) pilots in a plane crash on Tuesday in Kaduna.
The President’s media aide, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement on Wednesday night in Abuja, said the president made his feelings known while reacting to the death of the two pilots, Abubakar Alkali and Elijah Haruna Karatu.
“I am shocked beyond words by the demise of these two promising young men who risked their lives in the service of the country.
“There is no reward big enough to pay for the services of these young and dedicated professional airmen in the service of their country,” the president said.
While extending his sympathies to the Chief of Air Staff and the families of the deceased, Buhari called for “more safety measures to forestall tragic incidents of this kind.”
The president, who welcomed the decision of the NAF authorities to investigate the cause of the crash, called for the publication and implementation of the recommendations of reports of past investigations into air crashes.
He said the publication and implementation of the reports would help to prevent future tragedies and also assist families and friends of the deceased to put a closure to the tragic incidents, he added.
President Muhammadu Buhari has again cautioned leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at both national and state levels against imposing unpopular candidates as the 2023 general election approaches.
The president gave the warning at the 11th meeting of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday in Abuja.
He also enjoined the leadership to always follow due process in all the party processes as well as to develop more mechanisms against corruption.
“I enjoin you all to follow due process in all the party processes and more importantly to develop more mechanisms against corruption.
“I call on all party members to abide by all extant laws, rules, and regulations and to leaders of our party to avoid imposition of candidates that cannot win popular elections.
“This dictatorial behavior cost us many strategic seats in the past. In the recent past this led to some of our strong members unfortunately opting to go elsewhere because of unfairly oppressive behavior of party leaders at state level.
“I must caution strongly against any tendency towards developing cliques, in–fighting within the party.
“We want to win well not succumb to factions on account of personal acerbities and desire to retain control at all costs. That surely is not the road to win,’’ he said.
The president also told new members of the National Working Committee (NWC), which had been delegated powers of NEC for a period, to work towards keeping the party together by creating more room for discussions.
“There’s no time to develop differences among ourselves. We have no time for that,’’ he added
Buhari also warned of tougher security measures in restive parts of the country, review of operations and strategy, reassuring Nigerians that the efforts that resulted in relative peace in South-South, and rescuing of North-East from the hold of terrorists would be ramped up.
According to him, the major security challenges have remained in the North Central and North West, saying, “We are going to be very tough.’’
He added: “I will like us to reflect on what the situation was before we came in. How many Local Government Areas were under the control of terrorists in the North-East?
“In the South-South, we all know what the situation was; now we have relative peace. With the resources at our disposal, we have done very well.
“People are very forgetful. Our main problem now is in the North West and North Central. People are killing one another in these places, what for? We are going to be very tough.’’
On forthcoming general elections in 2023, Buhari urged party members to be more mindful of the pitfalls that led to the ouster of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.
“The PDP thought that only time could remove them, and the time actually came. They thought it was impossible to lose elections,’’ he added.
He said the APC was formed by a merger of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), some members from All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the new PDP, which was a faction of the then ruling party.
“We put together a committee with clear terms of reference on how to remove the PDP from power. The PDP thought it wasn’t going to be possible. But it happened,’’ he said.
The president commended the Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker/Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) for offering themselves to serve the party at a critical moment in utmost satisfaction despite all the attendant challenges and for organising the National Convention that produced the NWC.
“I must also sincerely thank all the aspirants for their desire to serve but had to withdraw their aspirations for the over-all interest of our Party. I consider it an honour to my person and an unwavering sacrifice for the unity of our great party as we approach the coming elections.
“I plead with all aspirants who were not elected to put in efforts in support of the leaderships of the Party to achieve our goal of success in the forthcoming elections.
“Furthermore I am pleading with all litigants to withdraw cases against the Party and put faith in party mechanisms.’’
Buhari also congratulated the new National Chairman of APC, Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, and the entire NWC members.
“You came in at a critical time and the entire party has a high expectation from you.
“The critical task ahead of you remains to continue to forge the unity of purpose among party members and to keep securing needful compromises in the interest of our great party,’’ he noted.
The president felicitated with party leaders and members for successfully conducting the Ward, Local Government, State Congresses, and the National Convention, in compliance with the Party Constitution.
“I enjoin you all to recognize the place of due process in all our tasks as managers of the party.
“We must develop party in-built mechanisms against corruption. Our success in 2023 will depend more on our capacity to respect our own extant rules, and regulations.
“Now that NEC has vested its powers in NWC for the time being, as requested, and in compliance with the Party Constitution in the overall interest of the Party, I want to assure Mr. Chairman and the entire NWC members of my full support,’’ he said.
In his remark, the APC Chairman appreciated President Buhari for always working for the unity and survival of the party, assuring that the NWC will further unite the party, and ensure victory at the polls.
“We must succeed, failure is not an option,’’ the APC Chairman said.
The NEC meeting was attended by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Ahmad Lawan, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, other principal officers of the National Assembly, APC governors and state party chairmen.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja urged Nigerians to resist agents of destabilisation.
He said the agents were bent on causing a breakdown of law and order in the country, assuring that no individual or group would be allowed to destabilise Nigeria.
The president’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, stated that Buhari made the declaration at the breaking of Ramadan fasting attended by governors, ministers and heads of government agencies.
“We have the land, we have the resources, and we have the people.
“I do not know why people will allow themselves to be successfully subverted to destabilise their own country,’’ Adesina quoted the president as saying.
The president thanked the governors and ministers for honouring his invitation to break the Ramadan fast and expressed the confidence that in spite of current security challenges, the country would succeed.
On the 2023 general elections, the president affirmed that being beneficiary of free, fair and credible elections, the introduction of technology would make it impossible for anyone to claim millions of votes again in Nigeria.
In his remarks, Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum, Ekiti’s Gov. Kayode Fayemi, commended the president for demonstrating resilience and determination at a crucial period in Nigeria’s history.
“We have a leader who is not distracted by momentary challenges but has continued to commit to the renewal of our nation.
“We also have governors, ministers and heads of government agencies that are equally dedicated to building a better Nigeria, under the president’s watch,’’ he said.
Fayemi noted that this year’s month of Ramadan coincided with the just- concluded Christian Lenten period.
“It holds enormous spiritual value on the benefits of renewal, sacrifice, almsgiving, forgiveness and healing for the individual as well as for the nation,’’ he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari says the Executive arm of government will continue to respect the judiciary within the boundaries laid out in the Constitution in order to strengthen the country’s democracy.
The president’s spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, said Buhari stated this on Thursday evening at the Iftar dinner he hosted for the leadership of the nation’s judiciary, at the end of the daily fasting.
“I assure you that I have tremendous respect for the judiciary,” he said.
According to him, order and discipline in society can only be established when the law applies to all, irrespective of position or status, who you are or who you like and without fear or favour.
“I try to keep my distance from you to avoid the perception of interference,” he said.
He added that he was satisfied with the painstaking adherence to due processes by the courts.
The Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammed, attested to the President’s non-interference in judicial matters, saying: ”In all your years in office, at no time, no moment did Mr. President or any other person from you attempt to talk or ask for favours from the courts.
”We can recall no such attempt by you or anyone on your behalf has been made to interfere with judicial decisions.
“This is a mark of your maturity and sagacity. I am convinced that as you do with the judiciary, so is the case with ministries and other agencies of government.
“With leaders like you who do not interfere with judicial decisions, the country can rest assured that all is well.”
Mohammed assured the president that Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges across the court system are doing their best in handling cases before them.
“We try not to delay. No case whatsoever is unduly delayed and all are delivered within the times allotted by the constitution.
”We are satisfied that we are discharging our responsibilities the way the constitution wants them to be done,” the Chief Justice reassured.
The Senate has received the Money Laundering Bill and Terrorism Prevention Bill transmitted by President Muhammadu Buhari for consideration and passage.
The bills were accompanied by a letter read at plenary on Thursday by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.
Buhari, in the letter dated April,12, said the request for the passage of both bills was in pursuant to the provisions of Section 58(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
He explained that the deficiencies in the country’s Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism regime (AML/CFT), makes it imperative for the passage of both bills.
Buhari warned that the non-passage of both bills poses a risk that may lead to the eventual blacklisting of Nigeria by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Buhari in the letter said: “pursuant to Section 58(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I forward herewith, the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Bill, 2022 and Terrorism (Prevention) Bill, 2022 for the kind consideration of the Senate.
“During the recent Mutual Evaluation carried out by the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GABA) there were observed deficiencies in Nigeria’s Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism regime (AML/CFT).
“Following the evaluation, the Ministry of Justice and other relevant stakeholders reviewed said deficiencies and drafted the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Bill, 2022 and Terrorism (Prevention) Bill, 2022.
“Unless these deficiencies are addressed promptly by the National Assembly, to bring our legal regime in conformity with Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations, Nigeria will face the risk of a negative public statement blacklisting the country by FATF.
“This will lead to some negative consequences to our rapidly growing economy.
“In light of the above, Federal Ministry of Justice reviewed the Money
Laundering (Prohibition) Bill and Terrorism (Prevention) Bill before the National Assembly and have come up with revised versions of the Bills, incorporating the resolutions to the deficiencies pointed out in the Mutual Evaluation Report, thereby bringing Nigeria’s AML/CFT legal regime in conformity with the FATF recommendations.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with family, friends and associates of Dr Simon Harry, the Statistician-General of the Federation, who passed on, on Wednesday.
In a condolence message released by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, on Wednesday in Abuja, the president also commiserated with the government and people of Plateau on the loss of an illustrious citizen.
He noted with delight Harry’s exemplary contributions to the evolution of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and developmental planning of the country.
The president paid tribute to the deceased Statistician-General, who worked conscientiously with previous heads of the organisation to provide relevant data to government and making the NBS a point of reference on various issues.
He affirmed that with his appointment in August 2021, Harry ensured that the organisation where he had put in three decades, continued to be relevant in taking crucial decisions.
The president urged his colleagues in the field of data gathering and analyses, especially at the NBS, to take solace in the fact that having risen to the pinnacle of his career, Harry put in his best in the service of the country.
He prayed that God would repose his soul and comfort the family in this time of grief.
President Muhammadu Buhari has confirmed Mr Sule Abdulaziz as the substantive Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) with effect from April 4.
Mrs Ndidi Mbah, the General Manager, Public Affairs,TCN in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday said that until his confirmation, Abdulaziz was the Acting Managing Director of the company since May 19, 2020.
Mbah said that before becoming the acting managing director, Abdulaziz was the General Manager (Projects) at the company’s headquarters.
“Subsequently, he became the Regional Transmission Manager of Shiroro and Abuja Regions of TCN with responsibility for various operational and managerial functions including the wheeling of bulk power to the Distribution Companies (Discos).
“He was also incharge of coordination and supervision of equipment maintenance and repairs, transmission network reliability, security and expansion, inventory and stock management among.
Mbah said that Abdulaziz had been responsible for the overall supervision of the affairs of the company including transmission projects, transmission network operations and maintenance, system operations.
Other responsibilities he carried out according to her are market administration, human resources management and chief accounting officer.
“Under his watch as the acting managing director, TCN made milestone achievements in projects execution and delivery, stable grid management, and human resources management that optimised personnel performance and productivity.
“Working with an executive management consisting of four Executive Directors, Abdulaziz embarked on initiatives and execution that significantly transformed TCN from a faltering successor company in the post-privatisation era to a viable national and sub-regional transmission company,” she said.
Mbah said that Abdulaziz also distinguished himself as a skilled human resources manager who brought industrial harmony to TCN and had continued to maintain a non-interference and non-divisive policy in dealing with labor unions and union matters.
She said that the TCN boss equally enhanced capacity development by strategically investing in the training and retraining of staff to bridge skills gaps among others.
The Presidency has dismissed the call by the Northern Elders Forum on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign following the nation’s security challenges, saying reforms in internal security to take hold soon.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said resignation of the president would never be a solution to the nation’s security problems.
He stated that the security agencies have since intensified efforts to address the recent spike in terrorist activity, particularly in the Kaduna and Niger States axis as well as in the Niger Delta region, in line with presidential directives.
According to him, the defense establishment has realigned and reorganized the ongoing operation in the affected areas to achieve positive results.
The statement reads in part: “The Presidency does not wish to be drawn into the high-decibel show in the media, taking the nation by the storm from the Northern Elders Forum.
“Publicity is the oxygen for politicians who have failed to connect with voters in a democracy.
“It is enough to say from our part, that resignation call on the President is not a solution to the security problems facing the country, something that has built up to a worrisome level following decades of neglect.
“It is more important that citizens know what their government is doing to deal with this situation and for politicians to come to terms with the fact the it is beneficial to all that they help to preserve the state so that when it is their turn, they will have a place that they will manage.
“People don’t have to destroy what is there in a desperate quest to get power.
“In response to the recent spike in terrorist activity, particularly in the Kaduna and Niger States axis, the defense establishment, in response to presidential directives, has realigned and reorganized the ongoing operation in the areas, as well as that going on in the Niger Delta region.’’
According to the presidential media aide, the new operations structures are being reinforced with land-based assets to increase the efficiency of the troops and intelligence is equally being reinforced.
He revealed that “the air defence system is being reinforced with newly-acquired jets and drones which assemblage and training for operators has been hastened to meet the current exigencies.
“The country is equally getting assurances of early delivery of equipment on order from manufacturers and the effort is ongoing to conclude other major procurements still in process.
“Only this morning, the government, at a meeting of the cabinet, approved the procurement of the largest ever single procurement of military vehicles.’’
Shehu disclosed that the security agencies had equally embarked on major security operations in the South East and South-south zones aimed at safeguarding the nation’s power infrastructural facilities against the activities of saboteurs.
He revealed that already some suspected economic saboteurs had been apprehended and would soon be prosecuted accordingly.
“At the same time, similar major operations are going in the South-East and the South-South where the economic live wire of the nation and electricity transmission lines are currently being secured from saboteurs.
“What the sponsored saboteurs aim to show is that the government cannot provide power, sabotaging equipment at switches and other vital points. They will not succeed. The public knows who is who, and who has done what in our country’s governance.
“Massive gains being made will shortly be manifesting. Large number of arrests have equally been made.
“Nigerians are assured that the government will keep its promise to the nation and threats to security will be handled with the firmness they call for. And government will remain firm in securing the country’s unity and progress,’’ he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the brutal terrorist attacks in Kanam and Wase Local Government Areas of Plateau, describing the killings as heinous.
In a statement by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, on Tuesday in Abuja, the president said the perpetrators should not be allowed to escape justice.
“They should not be spared or forgiven,” he further directed.
He ordered law enforcement agencies to work strenuously with the government of the state, to bring the situation under control and take steps to bring the culprits to justice quickly.
Buhari expressed condolences over the terrorist incident, saying that as a matter of priority, peace must return at all costs to the state and the entire country.
“I urge all our citizens, the people of Plateau State in particular, to expose the perpetrators of such incidents, their sponsors and those who encourage such criminals who carry out these dastardly acts of murder, so that the law will take its course.
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Joe Igbokwe, on Tuesday, faulted Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s Presidential declaration.
Igbokwe described Osinbajo’s Presidential declaration as a “monumental betrayal.”
The Special Adviser for Drainage and Water Resources to Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu of Lagos State, disclosed this on his Facebook wall.
Igbokwe lamented that such an action showed a lack of loyalty to Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“Is this how we will pay Asiwaju for helping to lift us up? This monumental betrayal has no part 2. I am totally diminished as a mortal who understands very well the meaning and the power of loyalty,” Igbokwe wrote.
Osinbajo had on Monday joined the 2023 Presidential race, despite an earlier declaration by Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the APC.
Osinbajo served eight years as Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State when Tinubu was the governor between 1999 and 2007.
Tinubu is widely believed to have nominated Osinbajo as the running mate to Muhammadu Buhari in December 2014.
The Senate, on Tuesday at plenary received a request from President Muhammadu Buhari to approve adjustments to the 2022 fiscal framework.
The request was contained in a letter dated April 5, read at plenary by Senate President Ahmad Lawan.
President Buhari, in the letter, explained that an adjustment to the 2022 became imperative in view of new developments in both the global and domestic economies.
Buhari said that the developments were occasioned by spikes in the market price of crude oil, which were a fallout of the Russian-Ukraine war.
“As you are aware, there have been new developments both in the global economy as well as in the domestic economy which have necessitated the revision of the 2022 Fiscal Framework on which the 2022 Budget was based.
“These developments include spikes in the market price of crude oil, aggravated by the Russian-Ukraine war, significantly lower oil production volume due principally to production shut-ins as a result of massive theft of crude oil between the production platforms and the terminals.
“The decision to suspend the removal of Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) subsidy at a time when high crude oil prices have elevated the subsidy cost has significantly eroded government revenues”, Buhari said.
He, therefore, requested the upper chamber to approve an increase in the oil benchmark by 11 dollars per barrel, from 62 dollars per barrel to 73 dollars per barrel.
The President also sought a reduction in the projected oil production volume by 283,000 barrels per day, from 1.883 million barrels per day to 1.600 million barrels per day.
He also sought the approval of Senate for an increase in the estimated provision for PMS subsidy for 2022 by N3.557 trillion, from N442.72 billion to N4.00 trillion.
Buhari, emphasised the need for a cut in the provision for Federally funded upstream projects being implemented by N200 billion, from N352.80 billion to N152.80 billion.
He proposed an increase in the projection for Federal Government Independent Revenue by N400 billion; and an additional provision of N182.45 billion to cater for the needs of the Nigerian Police Force.
“Based on the above adjustments, the Federation Account (Main Pool) revenue for the three tiers of government is projected to decline by N2.418 trillion, while FGN’s share from the Account (net of transfer to the Federal Capital Territory and other statutory deductions) is projected to reduce by N1.173 trillion.”
He said that the amount available to fund the federal budget was projected to decline by N772.91 billion due to the increase in the projection for Independent Revenue (Operating Surplus Remittance) by N400 billion.
He explained further that Aggregate Expenditure is projected to increase by N192.52 billion, due to increase in personnel cost by N161.40 billion and other service wide votes by N21.05 billion (both for the Nigeria Police Force), additional domestic debt service provision of N76.13 billion, and net reductions in Statutory Transfers by N66.07 billion.
Giving a breakdown, he said the net deductions would result in a cut by N13.46 billion from N102.78 billion to N89.32 billion for NDDC.
NEDC, by 6.30 billion from N48.08 billion to N41.78 billion; UBEC, by N23.16 billion from N112.29 billion to N89.13 billion; Basic Health Care Fund, by N11.58 billion from N56.14 billion to N44.56 billion; and NASENI, by N11.58 billion from N56.14 billion to N44.56 billion.
The President noted that the total budget deficit is projected to increase by N965.42 billion to N7.35 trillion, representing 3.99 per cent of GDP.
According to him, the incremental deficit will be financed by new borrowings from the domestic market.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved immediate release of 40,000 metric tons of assorted grains from the Strategic Grains Reserve, to assist less-privileged Nigerians to celebrate the forthcoming Easter and Sallah festivities.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Muhammed Mahmood, made the announcement when he briefed State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
Mahmood, who said he was summoned by the president and directed to disburse the commodities to the affected people, expressed his optimism that the exercise would also cushion the effects of high prices of grains in the market.
According to him, 12,000 out of the 40,000 approved tons will be allocated to the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development by the ministry for distribution to internally-displaced persons across the country.
“I’m here this afternoon as a result of a summoning by Mr President.
“He directed and approved the release of grains from our Strategic Grains Reserve by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development,” the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) quotes Mahmood as saying.
“This is to cushion the effect of some of the issues we are facing with high prices of commodities across the country.
“It is to make the grains affordable for people to celebrate the festivities — Ramadan, Easter and Sallah.
“We’ll also be giving some of the grains to the ministry of humanitarian affairs, to also do the distribution.
“The grains are coming from our Strategic Grains Reserve as directed by Mr President,’’ he said.
The minister revealed that the same process used during the COVID-19 lock down in 2020, to distribute 70,000 metric tons of assorted food items across some states and the Federal Capital Territory would be used in distributing the grains.
“If you remember very well, during the COVID pandemic, Mr President also directed and approved the release of grains.
The Federal Government has commenced efforts aimed at lifting 40 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next two years through the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES).
The National Coordinator, NG-CARES Programme, Mr Abdulkarim Obaje, made the disclosure at the closing of a week-long workshop in Ibadan.
FELLOW PRESS reports that the advance training workshop, held in Ibadan, had 440 participants from across the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in attendance.
Among the participants are: Monitoring and Evaluation Officers, Heads of Delivery in states and State Care Coordinating Units across the country.
NAN reports that the NG-CARES programme seeks to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crises on the livelihood of poor individuals, farmers, vulnerable households, communities as well as owners of micro and small enterprises.
Obaje said that the NG-CARES was the initiative of the federal government, with the support of World Bank and active participation of the 36 state governors.
He expressed confidence that the programme would impact on the poverty situation in the country, lifting no fewer than 40 million Nigerians directly and indirectly.
“This modest support should have direct impact on about eight to 10 million Nigerians and indirectly impact on 20 to 30 million people.
“We are very confident that this will impact on the poverty situation in Nigeria after two years,” he said.
Obaje said that the programme would be implemented along 11 Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs), starting from social transfer to the aged, the poor and the vulnerable.
He said that it would also involve labour-intensive work fare to livelihood grant, basic services and food security to micro and small-scale enterprises spread across 11 DLIs.
According to him, the result from the workshop reveals that states are now fully prepared to receive Independent Verification Agents (IVAs).
Also, the Chairman, Federal Cares Technical Committee of NG-CARES Programme, Mr Aso Vakporaye, said that the exercise was not a new package, adding that it was part of government’s sustainable development agenda.
“So, it was when COVID-19 came that everybody realised that if we don’t act now, it isn’t going to be good enough.
“All the major stakeholders then came together to fashion out this agenda, with the directive from the presidency,” he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed profound sorrow over the death of Alhaji Abdulkarim Kabir-Usman, the District Head of Kaita, Katsina State.
The deceased was the younger brother of the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Abdulmumini Kabir-Usman and the older brother of Alhaji Kabiru Mohammed Hassan, Director of Finance and Accounts, State House, Abuja.
The president, in a statement issued by presidential aide, Malam Garba Shehu, condoled the Katsina Emirate Council, the government and the people of Katsina State over the demise of the district head, who was also the Sarkin Sullubawa,
A condolence delegation led by the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has been to the palace of the Katsina Emir to deliver the president’s message.
The minister quoted the president as saying that besides serving as the district head for so many years, the demised was an elder statesman and a successful farmer who contributed to the development of the country with distinction.
The president noted with appreciation that the deceased was a champion of efforts to eradicate polio from his community.
Buhari urged business and political leaders to emulate the qualities of the late district head.
In his response, the emir thanked the president for standing with the people of the state in good and bad times.
Gov. Bello Masari of Katsina State, who also received the delegation, spoke about the qualities of the late district head, saying he stood fearlessly with President Buhari in his political odyssey.
He repeated what he said about the president a week ago that he was the best leader ever, citing the president’s commitment to the well-being of the poor as an example.
“We (Katsina State)_have 834,000 children and 10,000 cooks on the school feeding programme.
“We have 41,000 on the N-Power engagement scheme.
“Without the millions of naira paid to the poor under the Conditional Cash Transfer and regular payment of salaries to our workers here, the situation we are in could have been more acute,” Masari said.
President Muhammadu Buhari says professionals in various fields, especially accounting, provide the strength and framework for thriving economies.
The president stated this when he received a delegation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) led by the President, Mrs Comfort Eyitayo, at the State House, Abuja, on Friday.
Buhari noted the contributions of the institute in ensuring probity, accountability and transparency, urging more diligence and professionalism.
He therefore assured that his administration would continue to engage experts to gain measurable and reliable results.
“Having served as a military Head of State and returned to politics to serve as a President, after losing three elections, I have seen the system of accountability in the country, and the mess to be cleaned up,’’ he said.
While describing ICAN as a “social stabiliser” of the economy, the president said he would go through reports and recommendations of the institute on inclusivity and strengthening the nation’s accounting system for growth.
In her remarks, the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, congratulated the President of ICAN and the new management.
“As a female President in a male dominated environment, you are an example to our young girls of what can be achieved through diligence and excellence,’’ she said.
The minister noted that ICAN had, over many years, played a key role in the domestication of some international policies in the country, urging more interest in Finance Act implementation.
The president of ICAN appreciated Buhari and his administration in adhering to best accounting principles and practices to secure and revive the economy, particularly reverting to the January to December budget calendar.
Eyitayo said the institute had established seven faculties to train accountants in specialised fields, which include forensic accounting.
According to her, Forensic Accounting, working with security outfits, could be used to reduce the security challenges facing the country by tracking all monies used in committing crimes and payments.
The ICAN president pledged to keep supporting the nation building efforts of Buhari and his administration, especially in sensitisation on monetary policies and taxation.
President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the House of Representatives seeking an increase in the 2022 budget deficit to be financed through borrowing from the domestic market.
In a letter sent to the House of Representatives and read by the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Thursday, April 7, President Buhari said the total budget deficit is projected to increase by N965.42 billion to N7.35 trillion, representing 3.99% of GDP.
He said the incremental deficit will be financed by new borrowings from the domestic market. The President also requested the review of the 2022 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF), upon which the budget was hinged.
“As you are aware, Mr Speaker, the new development both in the global economy as well as the domestic economy has necessitated the revision of the 2022 fiscal framework on which the 2022 budget was based. The total budget deficit is projected to increase from N965.42 billion to N7.35 trillion, representing 3.99 percent of the GDP.
The increment of the deficit will be financed by new borrowings from the domestic market.
Given the urgency of the request for revision of the 2022 fiscal framework and 2022 budget amendment, I seek the corporation of the National Assembly for expeditious action on this request” the letter read in part
The President’s request has been sent to the house committee on finance for further legislative action.
Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe and immediate past interim Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has formally presented the new National Chairman of the party, Abdullahi Adamu, to President Muhammadu Buhari.
FELLOW PRESS reports that Adamu, who emerged as the new Chairman of the APC at the 2022 National Convention of the party, was officially introduced to the president since his election on March 26.
Adamu emerged as the consensus candidate of the party after six other aspirants stepped down.
Buhari had on March 27 congratulated the Abdullahi Adamu-led 79-member National Executive Committee of the APC that emerged at the March 26 national convention of the party.
According to the president, the unity of members at the convention puts the party on a firmer footing for victory at the 2023 general elections.
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has dismissed claims by governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that Nigeria was 100 per cent better when the former ruling party was in power at the centre.
BMO said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that it is laughable that the party was using global economic realities as the basis for its claims.
“When Presidential spokesman Malam Garba Shehu said PDP squandered the nation’s resources with reckless abandon in its 16 years misrule, in response to the communique issued by its governors at the end of their recent meeting in Abia state, he was clearly stating the obvious.
“We were actually expecting the PDP Governors Forum to respond with facts to disprove the Presidency’s position, only to see the group bringing up prices of basic foodstuffs, fuel and diesel as well as the exchange rate.
“It is surprising that the Director-General of the forum CID Maduabum pretended to be oblivious of global economic realities in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we also wonder whether the former federal lawmaker took cognisance of the prices of those things he cited at the time he became a member of the House of Representatives in 2003.
“Here is a party that claims to have handed over a robust economy in 2015 but in reality, left behind an unprecedented and unfortunate situation of 27 States being unable to pay workers salaries and pensions in spite of trillions of naira in oil revenue.
“Let us also remind him and his employers that the PDP-era witnessed an oil boom yet Nigeria was, in 2013, home to 112million people living in extreme poverty on 1 dollar a day (N160 at the time), according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
“it was also a period when the economy began to go on a free fall, but the government was spending 5billion dollars annually on food imports with little effort to boost local food production capacity or improve on infrastructure”.
BMO added that it would be looking forward to seeing what PDP leaders will put forward as achievements at federal or state levels to convince Nigerians to return them to power at the centre.
“We find it fitting that the opposition governors chose Abia state which had been a PDP state since 1999 as the venue of their meeting, yet they could not use it as a test case for what they would replicate at the national level.
“It is also interesting to note that about a month ago, PDP Governors Forum began a comparative review of what it called legacy projects in PDP States.
“We know how poor the majority of the governors have been but we are eagerly looking forward to seeing the outcome of the review in Abia, Benue, Taraba and Sokoto States.
“it would also be nice to see someone like Maduabum, who was in and around the power loop between 1999 and 2015, or any PDP governor point at any legacy project that their party put in place at the federal level that could justify the magnitude of oil revenue the country enjoyed in that period”.
The group maintained that President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have done more in seven years with lesser funds, than what PDP did in 16 years.
President Muhammadu Buhari has joined leaders and members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in celebrating with former Governor of Edo, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, on his 70th birthday.
In a congratulatory message issued by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, on Sunday in Abuja, the President congratulated the former Chairman of the APC on another milestone.
He saluted Oshiomhole’s salutary contributions to development of democracy and good governance.
According to him, Oshiomhole’s leadership strides in various sectors will stand the test of time, deploying his time and strength to the good of workers and Nigerians as a labour leader, and accepting the call into politics to serve his state.
The president noted the mental soundness and experience of the former APC leader, willingly dedicating himself for the greater good of the country, and acting as the voice of the voiceless in different ramifications.
While Oshiomhole turns 70 on April 4, 2022, the president prayed for his good health, and continued service to God and humanity.
Governor Aminu Masari of Katsina State says “since the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914, the country has never had a better government and President like Muhammad Buhari.”
The governor disclosed this on Saturday in Katsina during a rally organised by the beneficiaries of the Federal government’s Social investment Programme (NSIP) in the state.
FELLOW PRESS reports that the rally was organised under the leadership of the Social Protection and Good Family Value Initiative (SPGFVI).
The rally was aimed at calling on the Federal government and the national assembly to enact a law that would make the programme a permanent one.
According to Masari, President Buhari has led a significant foundation which if properly utilised by the next administration, will assist in removing many Nigerians from poverty.
“Therefore, with this initiative which no administration has ever thought of, the President needs more commendation and support to achieve the purpose of the programme.
“I wish to inform you that I am totally in support of this call for the president to make it a law before the end of his tenure. By doing such, it will continue to reduce the challenges Nigerians are facing.
“It is unfortunate for someone to wake up in the morning, thinking of what to eat, how to go to hospital or take their children to school, but this programme has reduced such difficulties for people.
“And if a law is enacted and it becomes permanent, no government will come and stop it, and Nigerians will continue to enjoy the programme and it will continue to reduce unemployment,” he said.
Gov. Masari assured the beneficiaries of the programme that their message will get to President Buhari and the national assembly.
He further called on the beneficiaries to also write to their representatives at the national assembly on their demand, so that they can pursue the issue at their levels.
Earlier in his remarks, the state’s Coordinator of the SPGFVI, Mr. Mustapha Bara’u, said their main objective is to ensure the wellbeing of Nigerians, especially the youths, elderly, physically challenged people, women and pupils.
According to him, that is why they developed interest in the NSIP programme because it is directly related to one of their major objectives.
He explained that the rally was earlier held at the ward levels across the state, where their commendation letters were presented to the District heads for further transmission to the President.
President Muhammadu Buhari has received assurances that the transition to democratic rule in Chad Republic, put in place following the demise of the long-standing ruler, Idris Deby Itno is on course.
Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s spokesman in a statement in Abuja said the Chadian leader, Mahamat Deby, flew into Abuja on Friday to update President Buhari on the ongoing process in that country.
Deby told the Nigerian leader that there were challenges on the way but assured that they were determined to be successful.
However, President Buhari encouraged the Chadian President to proceed with the transition plan, assuring him of Nigeria’s support.
The two leaders also reiterated their resolve to continue the fight against terrorism in the Lake Chad region area.
The closed door meeting was attended by the two leaders, the Chief of Staff to the President, Amb. Ibrahim Gambari, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Nigeria’s special envoy to the region, Amb. Babagana Kingibe and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufa’i.
President Muhammadu Buhari has lauded the Bank of Industry (BOI) for creating more than nine million jobs in the last seven years.
He also commended BOI for disbursing over N1.24 trillion to 4.2 million beneficiaries in Micro, Small, Medium and Large enterprises.
The president made the commendation when he virtually inaugurated the Second Tower of BOI building, in Abuja on Thursday.
Buhari said that the bank had continued to successfully execute its mandate as a policy institution of the Federal Government, extending single digit interest rate loans to manufacturers.
He, therefore, commended the management of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and BOI for their contributions to the economic development of the country and wellbeing of Nigerians.
He said: “In order to further enhance its capacity to impact the industrial sector on a transformational scale, I approved the issuance of a sovereign guarantee to help the Bank raise funds in the Eurobond market.
‘‘I am glad to note that the Bank has recently completed the transaction by raising 750 million Euros from international investors.
“The proceeds of this Eurobond will be disbursed to Large, Medium & Small Enterprises, and women entrepreneurs with bankable projects.
‘‘It is commendable that the Bank sources its own funds for lending based on its investment grade ratings by the rating agencies.”
President Buhari urged the management of the Bank to ensure that its impact is felt all over the country.
On the new building, Buhari said he was “particularly impressed that this world class building was financed from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the bank.
“The building represents the Bank’s contribution to the growing list of work-related infrastructure in the Federal Capital Territory. It is another remarkable milestone in the Bank’s growth.”
In his remarks, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, thanked the President for the confidence reposed in the bank, appointing it partner of several laudable projects which have helped in poverty reduction, job creation and sustenance of indigenous enterprises.
He also lauded the president for approving the sovereign guarantee for the BOI’s maiden 50 million Euro-Bond issue which was successfully concluded in February this year.
He added that the feat represented BOI’s first Euro-Bond denominated transactions from Nigeria, which would create a benchmark for other prospective issuance from Africa.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Monday reiterated the commitment of the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to create an enabling environment for investors and entrepreneurs.
The minister, who reemphassed the position during a visit to the IshK Tolaram Foundation in Lagos, said that the administration was working to achieve this through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).
Mohammed said that (PEBEC) had implemented more than 150 reforms, moving Nigeria up 39 places on the World Bank Doing Business index since 2016.
He said the reforms were responsible for Nigeria being twice named as one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world over the last three years – one of only two African countries to make this highly-prestigious list in 2019.
“To understand the significance of Nigeria moving up in the World Bank Doing Business Index, we have to recall that between 2007 and 2015, Nigeria lost 64 places in the World Bank ease of doing business ranking,” he said
The minister said as a result of the reforms, the 2018 Subnational Doing Business report on Nigeria recorded unprecedented improvement.
According to him, the World Economic Forum (WEF), in its 2018 Global Competitive Report, recognised Nigeria’s business environment as one of the most entrepreneurial in the world.
He said that the report highlighted Nigeria’s improved competitiveness in the enabling business environment.
Mohammed said the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 (CAMA 2020), signed by Buhari – Nigeria’s most significant business legislation in three decades – introduced at least 15 new provisions that promote ease of doing business and reduce regulatory hurdles.
The minister said PEBEC also collaborated with the National Assembly on the Secured Transaction in Movable Asset Act (STMA), 2017 and the Credit Reporting Act, 2017.
According to him, the Act provides a legal framework for collateralisation of moveable assets with the creation of the National Collateral Registry, while CRA 2017 enhances credit reporting in Nigeria.
“The creation of a National Collateral Registry (NCR) of movable assets by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), with the support of the International Financial Corporation (IFC), in May 2016 ensures that functional equivalents of collaterals can be registered.
“To date, more than N1 trillion assets have been uploaded on the Registry,” he said.
Other reforms listed by the minister include visa on arrival for business people, reduction in the time it takes to register a company at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
Through the Company Registration Portal (CRP) – from about two weeks to just a few days – and the introduction of the electronic filing and payment of federal taxes.
Mohammed commended the IshK Tolaram Foundation for its programmes in Nigeria, especially in the areas of healthcare as well as entrepreneurial and vocational training,.
According to him, the artificial limbs provided free of charge have inspired hope for the beneficiaries.
The Programme Director of ISHK Foundation, Ms. Neha Mehra, who conducted the minister round the Lagos centre, said the foundation, which was being funded with 25 per cent of the profit from the Tolaram Group, was set up as the next step in a 100-year history of philanthropy at Tolaram.
She said the Foundation partners with churches, mosques, hospitals and NGOs to identify and support people requiring artificial limbs free of charge.
President Muhammadu Buhari has summoned Gov. Hope Uzodinma of Imo, Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, and his Chief Economic Adviser, Prof. Doyin Salami, to a meeting at the Presidential Villa on Monday.
The president’s Media Aide, Malam Garba Shehu, confirmed this in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday.
Shehu said that the president would meet with them separately and be apprised of the latest developments in Imo, the power sector and the state of the economy.
FELLOW PRESS reports that Buhari had, on Sunday, condemned the spate of violence in Imo, in the aftermath of the destruction of buildings and assets of the police and the home of the President-General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prof. George Obiozor.
He pledged to review the security situation in the South-East zone of the country.
The president had also expressed concern over frequent power outages, apologising to Nigerians and assuring of prompt solution to the challenges.
Reno Omokri has warned Nigerians to leave musician, Davido alone, as the artist been lambasted for acquiring a new Lamborghini for himself.
Davido had on Tuesday asked Nigerians to pray for the country as he complained about the amount he paid to clear his new Lamborghini.
Some social media users pounced on the artist, slamming him for making such an acquisition in the face of the untold hardship Nigerians are going through.
But defending the singer, who responded by promising to share N20 million among Nigerian youths with good business ideas, Reno Omokri stated that Davido has been more useful to the country than President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Buhari, who is the minister of Petroleum, is currently in the United Kingdom, while the country battles fuel scarcity and nationwide blackout due to the collapse of the national grid.
Just last evening, a spokesperson to the President, Garba Shehu, released a statement where he said that Buhari sent a message to Nigerians from London regarding the shortage of petrol and electricity in the country.
The President was said to have apologized and expressed sincere regrets for the inconvenience caused to citizens of the country following a prolonged shortage of petroleum products.
And Omokri noted that Davido has always been there for Nigerians, wondering why he should come under fire for purchasing his choice car with his money, not stolen funds.
Omokri tweeted, “Rather surprised at the hard knocks Davido got over the Lamborghini he bought with HIS OWN MONEY.
I’d have thought if there were hard knocks, it would be reserved for General Buhari, who bought a ₦280 million Mercedes-Maybach with YOUR MONEY, yet refused to perform.
“Shame on those Nigerians who left a failed government that hides ordinary #COVID19 palliative noodles from the masses, only to badmouth an under 30-year-old Davido, who has shown more love to needy Nigerians than the government.
“Buhari is not in Nigeria as fuel scarcity cripples the nation-you don’t complain. Repentant Boko Haram had a graduation party yesterday as ASUU is on strike- you don’t complain. Davido used HIS OWN MONEY to buy a Lamborghini- you complain.
“During #EndSARS, who killed Nigerians? Buhari. Who protested with Nigerians? Davido. In fact, he was invited to force headquarters for questioning. Davido is more useful to Nigeria than Buhari. Yet, you left the Nigerian government to attack Davido.
“After donating ₦250 million to orphanages, Davido deserves to spend HIS MONEY on a Lambo. He’s also earned the right to complain about the high cost of clearing it, especially when he has singularly done more for charity than the government collecting the clearance.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Governors of the All progressives Congress (APC) to stop further utterances that lead to disunity ahead of the National Convention.
A statement by the President’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, on Wednesday in Abuja, quoted a letter personally signed by the president, addressed to Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State.
Bagudu is also the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum.
The letter was also copied to the Chairman of Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Committee (CECC), the Acting Chairman of the CECC, Gov. Sani Bello, the Director General of the DSS as well as the Inspector General of Police.
In the letter, the president said the multiplicity of cases currently rocking the party had the prospect of invalidating the activities and actions of the party by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The president said that since the party could not change the leadership of the CECC without infringing on the time limit set by INEC, and the fact that the current uncertainties and controversies “pose a real threat to the party,” he has therefore directed as follows:
“The issue of the leadership of the Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Committee (CECC) should immediately return to status quo ante;
“All members of the Governors Forum and their followers should desist from any behaviour or utterance that will likely lead to disunity in the ranks of the party, and ultimately jeorpadise the transition to the convention;
“The Mai Mala Buni-led Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Committee should accordingly be allowed to proceed with all necessary preparations to hold the convention as planned- unfailingly on March 26, 2022.”
FELLOW PRESS reports that the presidency also announced the meeting between the president and the Chairman of the CECC, Buni, in London via pictorial reports.
Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe on Wednesday visited President Muhammadu Buhari in London, where he is currently on a medical check up.
This is contained in a release by the Director-General, Press and Media Affairs to Buni, Malam Mohammed Mamman in Abuja on Wednesday.
Mamman said that Buni, also the Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker/ Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) had been in Dubai, UAE on a medical trip before he flew to London to meet with Buhari.
“Buni had a brief stop over in London after a medical trip to Dubai the United Arab Emirates.
“Their Excellencies, Buhari and Buni held brief and fruitful discussions on measures to move APC forward preparatory to the March 26 National Convention and the 2023 General Elections.
“Buni is expected back in Nigeria on Thursday, to resume office as the Chairman APC CECPC,” he said.
The positive rating of Nigeria’s maize production which rose astronomically by 16 per cent in 2021, is another positive impact of the various policy initiatives of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration since its assumption of office.
This was based on the latest report of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) which indicated that Nigeria’s maize production climbed to the highest level since independence in 1960, and this is a significant improvement for the country which ‘’has struggled for decades with below-par domestic production of food’’.
Welcoming the development, the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) says that the rise in maize production in Nigeria is traceable to the positive agricultural policies the Buhari administration deployed to improve the productive capacity of Nigeria’s hitherto subsistence farmers.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, the group enthused: “this is the first time in the country’s history that a federal government would think and act progressively in the interest of the poor farmers.
“The federal government had used the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), maize importation restriction and withholding scarce foreign resources from importers of maize. These have significantly impacted the rise in maize production in the country.
“The proactive halting of government-supplied foreign exchange for the continued importation of maize led to a reduction in imports and rise in domestic production of maize in Nigeria. This has also helped in the country’s food security, especially with the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war which is strangulating food imports in some parts of the world”.
BMO also noted that this exponential increase in the production of maize happened despite the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, “and with the denial of forex to maize importers, the country was able to save scarce foreign exchange which would have been dissipated through uncontrolled importation of maize.
“The policy has also helped to create employment opportunities for more Nigerians, and this has happened in the whole agricultural value chain where the Buhari administration has shown committed and focussed leadership,” the statement said.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, inaugurated the first phase of the Federal Housing Project under the National Housing programme in Osogbo, the Osun state capital.
The President, who was represented by the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, said the housing project comprises of 72 completed buildings of different categories
Buhari said the housing project was one of the many projects undertaken by his administration since 2016.
He said his administration was aware of housing challenges in the country and had since embarked on the construction of housing estates across the country to tackle housing deficits in Nigeria.
“We are not unaware of the challenge of housing in the country, especially in the urban areas, many of which are overcrowded in unhealthy ways.
“It is our firm resolves to surmount the challenge in every way possible.
“This housing estate, as constructed in all the states of the federation, is one of the ways we are addressing the challenge.
“With the support of the state government of Osun, which provided the land, which was once an unused piece of land has come alive and will now provide shelter for Nigerians” the President said.
Buhari further thanked a former governor of the state, Rauf Aregbesola, for partnering with the Federal Government in providing land for the building of the housing estate in the state.
He advised the house owners and residents of the estate to maintain it in the best possible way.
Earlier, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said the Federal government had completed the project, comprising of 72 housing units.
Fashola said the housing project comprises of 24 units in condominium, four- one bedroom, 16- two bedroom, four- three bedroom, 28 units of two bedroom and 20 units of three bedroom bungalows.
The Minister, who was represented by Mr Olasunkanmi Dunmoye, Director, Urban and Regional Development, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, said the housing units were being allocated to members of the public in a non-discriminatory way.
He said anyone could apply for the houses by opening the National Housing Portal at https://nhp.worksandhousing.gov.ng
Fashola said this was to ensure that those who are interested were not hindered by any artificial obstacles.
The minister said allocations would be made on the basis of those who apply and pay on a first come, first served basis.
“While we welcome those who can afford to pay outright, it is not a condition for eligibility and we have offered flexible payment options like mortgages and rent to own which we encourage applicants to pursue.” he said
Also speaking , Mr Chukwunwike Uzo, the Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, explained that the housing programme was being implemented by the Ministry of Works and Housing, under the leadership of Babatunde Fashola.
Uzo, represented by Mr Mohammed Mohammed, stated that the housing project was part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s developmental agenda of addressing housing needs in Nigeria.
He said the Federal Government inaugurated a pragmatic National Housing Programme (NHP) for the construction of acceptable and affordable houses nationwide and that the first phase of the programme commenced in 2016, in 34 states and the FCT.
“It is a programme borne out of the present government’s desire to provide affordable housing for its citizenry.
“The overall economic value chain arising from the housing construction activities is mostly beneficial to the Nigerian youths.
“For the benefit of Nigerian on this initiative, over 1,200 building contractors had been engaged under phases I, II and III of the programme since the inception in 2016 and over 14,500 and 50,140 direct and indirect jobs had been created.
“During this period, the Ministry is undertaking the construction of over 6,000 housing units in 45 sites, out of which 2,465 units had been completed in 35 states and FCT.” he said
Mr Agunbiade Nathaniel, Osun Commissioner for Lands and Physical Planning, who spoke on behalf of the state government, thanked the Federal government for the housing project in the state.
President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to nations, institutions and bodies, both private and public, to return Nigeria’s artefacts in their possession.
Presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said the Nigerian leader made the appeal in the aftermath of the return of two important Nigerian artefacts from Britain.
The president welcomed the official handover, on Saturday, of the Okwukor and the Head of an Oba of Benin bronzes, to the Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II.
They were repatriated from the University of Cambridge and University of Aberdeen, respectively, in the United Kingdom, after 125 years of their leaving the territory of present day Nigeria.
While urging other countries to take a cue from the institutions, the president vowed that the Federal Government would pursue the repatriation of Nigerian artefacts vigorously.
According to him, government will ensure that they are put to good and proper use on their return in museums and other facilities in conjunction with the royal families and kingdoms that lost these artefacts.
He noted that in line with international law and practice, export, import and control over antiquities were matters within the purview of national governments to be exercised on behalf of sub-national authorities, institutions and bodies.
He thanked the Government of the United Kingdom that facilitated the return of these artefacts by issuing the prerequisite Export Permits to Nigeria at no cost, as well as the University of Cambridge and the University of Aberdeen who agreed to return these artefacts to Nigeria.
”These are unprecedented moves worth emulating by others,” he said.
He added that the federal government hopes to work hand in hand in the future to encourage the return of more Nigerian artefacts from the United Kingdom.
”I also want to appreciate the Federal Republic of Germany which is planning the process of repatriating 1,130 Benin Bronzes to Nigeria from many of Germany’s public museums. These returns are scheduled for this year.”
The president also commended the High Commissioner of Nigeria to the United Kingdom, Sarafa Ishola, and the National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) for their collaborative works that led to the repatriation of these artefacts.
According to the president, it is noteworthy that several others are currently in the process of being returned while discussions are ongoing to repatriate many more.
Buhari recalled that the artefacts now returned to the Oba of Benin were taken away by British soldiers in 1897 when they attacked the ancient Benin Kingdom and took thousands of artefacts away.
”These artefacts are part of the records of the history of the Benin people.
”My directive to return these artefacts to the Oba of Benin marks the beginning of another aspect in the highly valued relationship between the Federal Government of Nigeria and our traditional institutions who are indeed the true custodians of our history, customs and traditions.
”This directive is also significant because it will introduce a working relationship between the Federal Government as represented by the NCMM and the traditional institutions whereby this Commission negotiates the release of antiquities from foreign museums and institutions on behalf of Nigeria.
“And the traditional institutions that lost the antiquities and jointly they all take steps to ensure the valourisation of Nigerian and Nigerian people through these great arts and cultural emblems,” the president explained.
President Muhammadu Buhari, in the past week under review, reiterated the commitment of his administration to ensure the respect and protection of consumers against market abuses and social injustices.
The president returned to Abuja, on Feb. 7, after participating in the 35th Ordinary Session of Assembly of the African Union Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,
The Nigerian leader was reacting to the issue of petroleum product shortages linked to the inadvertent supply of products of foreign origin into the Nigerian market
On Thursday, Buhari ordered that producers and providers of consumable products be held accountable for substandard services and or products sold by them.
According to the president, the protection of consumer interests is a priority of the present administration and is ready to take all necessary measures to protect consumers from hazardous products, loss or injuries from the consumption of substandard goods.
The Nigerian leader also hosted the outgoing Ambassador of Senegal, Babacar Ndiaye, on the same day, asking him to convey congratulations of Nigeria to President Macky Sall on victory of the Teranga Lions at the just concluded AFCON.
Senegal defeated Egypt 4-2 on penalties in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations after the sides couldn’t be separated over 120 minutes of scoreless football.
Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno met behind closed door with the president at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where he updated him on latest security development in the state.
Zulum told State House correspondents after the meeting that over 30, 000 insurgents comprised of Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) have so far surrendered.
According to him, following this development, the State is relatively peaceful as the security agencies have continued to take measures aimed at checking the activities of insurgents in the Northeast.
The governor expressed optimism that the insurgency in the North-East would soon be a thing of the past.
Buhari also received Letters of Credence from the Ambassadors of Czech Republic, Zdenek Krejci; Italy, Stephano De Leo; Spain, Juan Ignacio Sell Sanz and Israel, Michael Shual Freeman at the State House, Abuja on Thursday.
He used the opportunity to advice diplomats to stay within the limits of their schedules, and not intrude in the internal politics of the country, ahead of 2023 general elections.
The president gave the warning at the presentation of Letters of Credence for the Ambassadors of Czech Republic, Zdenek Krejci; Italy, Stephano De Leo; Spain, Juan Ignacio Sell Sanz and Israel, Michael Shual Freeman at the State House, Abuja on Thursday.
Earlier on Feb. 8, the conferred the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) Award for years 2020 and 2021 on three Nigerians who distinguished themselves in the field of medicine and science.
The recipients were, Dr Oluyinka Olutoye, Medicine (2020); the late Prof. Charles Chidume, Science (2020) and Prof. Godwin Ekhaguere, Science (2021).
While expressing the belief that Nigeria’s collective future rests on active participation in science and technology, Buhari said he was very proud to welcome the new Laureates to the prestigious league of highly honoured citizens.
The president had on Wednesday presided over the virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) where the Council granted Nigerian citizenship to 286 foreign nationals.
Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who made this known to State House correspondents at the end of the Council meeting, said the successful candidates emerged out of 600 applicants.
He disclosed that 208 of those approved were granted citizenship by Naturalization, while 78 others were granted citizenship by registration, and they cut across various countries of the world.
Also addressing the correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika disclosed that the Council also approved N12.097 billion for the award of contract for the replacement of weather measuring equipment at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, also revealed that the council approved N1.8billion for the completion of a section of the local content building in Yenegoa, Bayelsa.
The president joined world leaders virtually on Friday to attend the opening of World Summit 2022, saying Nigeria would support efforts to bring peaceful resolution and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula.
The summit with the theme, ”Reconciliation and Peace in the Korean Peninsula, through Multi Sectorial Peace Building Initiatives in Asia and in the World”, is organized by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF).
In a video-message sent to the Hybrid Summit in Seoul, South Korea, Buhari said the Korean peninsula had been a flashpoint of conflict, lingering many decades and therefore deserving the attention of world leaders for a peaceful resolution.
The president also hosted members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Youth Lobby Group, on Friday in Abuja.
At the meeting, Buhari directed relevant government officials to ensure that young people with the requisite skills and experience are included in all Boards and Committees of the Federal Government.
He specifically mandated the Chief of Staff and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) to abide by this directive.
According to him, young people’s inclusion in governance will encourage learning and mentoring in government and politics.
NAN reports that the president ended the week on Saturday, approving the appointments, redeployment and disengagement of staff in the Office of the First Lady
Mr Sani Zorro, journalist, and former lawmaker was appointed as Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs and Strategy, Office of the First Lady.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, confirmed this in a statement in Abuja.
“Zorro, a famous journalist brings to the new job decades-long experience in media practice, publishing and unionism leadership,’’ Shehu stated.
Shehu also stated that at the instance of the First Lady, Mrs Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, the president also approved the immediate redeployment of three of the political appointees in her office.
The redeployed were moved to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, pending their assignment to some other government departments or agencies.
Dr Mohammed Kamal Abdulrahman, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Health and Development Partners and Personal Physician to the First Lady was redeployed.
Hadi Uba, Special Assistant to the President on Administration and Wole Aboderin, Special Assistant to the President on Non-Governmental Organisations, (NGOs) were also re deployed.
Special Assistant to the President on Domestic and Social Events, Office of the First Lady, Zainab Kazeem, has also been disengaged with effect from Feb. 11.
The president also approved the appointment of two more personal aides to the First Lady, Mrs A’isha Buhari.
Shehu named the appointees as A’isha Rimi and Dr Zabah Jawa.
According to the presidential aide, Rimi, a law graduate of the University of Buckingham in England, is appointed as the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Legal Matters, Office of the First Lady.
Jawa, a Senior Consultant in Nuclear medicine and European Certified in Nuclear Medicine, is now Personal Physician to the First Lady.