Osabuohien Sarah, diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer calls on Nigerians for help.

Osabuohien Sarah is 25 years old and has been diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer.

Colorectal Cancer is the cancer of the large intestine, the cancerous has been removed,Her doctor said she still has a good chance of survival.

If she start treatment as soon as possible, She needs N10 million for Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy and Colostomy.

Kindly donate to the cause and help save Sarah.

Account Details:

Esther Osemeke Osaseyi,

0238535081,

GTBank
Eniola Salu Akintunde
Chairperson,
Niola Cancer Care Foundation
61b, Oki Lane, Mende, Maryland.
08033304594, 0805104816

Swag Daddy B Is Back + Other Top Stories In The NEWS Today!

In Case You Missed It: Omojuwa.Com brings you a recap of top stories in the NEWS today 10th of March, 2017.

 

VP Osinbajo to continue acting as President Buhari takes time to rest after return

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to continue in acting capacity while he keeps resting.


FIFA President Speaks On Refereeing In Barcelona’s 6-1 Win Over PSG

FIFA President, Gianni Infantino has refused to blame referee Deniz Aytekin, for his performance in Barcelona’s dramatic 6-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night.


HILARIOUS: Children gatecrashed their dad’s very serious BBC interview [Video]

This viral video might be the best lesson in “how to keep a straight face” in the most hilarious situation ever.


Finally, Nick Minaj replies Remy Ma and of course, it is………. Bleh!

Recall that some weeks ago, Remy Ma of the Terror Squad dropped a tell-all bare-faced diss track against self-acclaimed Queen of Rap, Nicki Minaj.


President Buhari speaks on his medical vacation, hints on further check ups

President Muhammadu Buhari has released the following statement, explaining his London medical vacation, and indicating that he would make more travels to the British capital for further medical checks in the weeks ahead.


I am not frustrating Lagos state – Fashola

Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola yesterday denied frustrating the government of Lagos State’s efforts to rebuild the International Airport /Oshodi Road.


I had a challenging time as Acting President, Osinbajo admits

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday admitted that he had a “very interesting and challenging time” while he held the fort for President Muhammadu Buhari as the Acting President.


PHOTOS: Jubilation in the villa as President Buhari returns after long vacation

There was a mild jubilation at the State House today on the arrival of President Buhari back into the country after a somewhat long medical vacation.


FG to reduce agencies at ports from fifteen to six – Lai Mohammed

Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture, says the government will cut the number of agencies across Nigerian seaports and airports from 15 to 6.


Buhari is back with new determination to fix Nigeria’s challenges – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) says President Muhammadu Buhari has returned back to the country “with new vigour” to fix the challenges facing Nigerians.


Smugglers flood Nigeria with harmful frozen fish – FG

Smugglers are beginning to flood the markets with harmful frozen fish illegally brought into the country through land borders, the Federal Government has said.

12 Years After, Apo Six Finally Gets Justice & Other Top Stories Today

In Case You Missed It: Omojuwa.Com brings you a recap of top stories in the NEWS today 9th of March, 2017.

 

See photos of the officers sentenced to death over Apo Six killings

An FCT High Court has convicted and sentenced two out of five policemen accused in the extrajudicial killings of six Apo traders in 2005 to death.   The accused Ezekiel Acheneche and Emmanuel Baba were convicted of homicide punishable by death under section 22 1a of the penal code while others were absolved of wrongdoing and discharged.


Foreign airlines reverse boycott of Kaduna airport as Ethiopian Airlines complete first flight

Some foreign airlines have reversed their boycott of Kaduna International Airport as alternative aerodrome during the temporary closure of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja, for repair works.


Referee helped Barcelona qualify – Wenger

Arsene Wenger has claimed that referees helped Barcelona, in their dramatic comeback against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, but instead killed their own attempt to do the impossible at home against Bayern Munich.


VIDEO: “My husband humiliated me so much”, Tonto bares it all in new interview.

Nollywood actress, Tonto Dikeh towed the Tiwa Savage path by revealing the details of her troubled marriage in a tell-all interview with journalist, Azuka Ogujiuba recently.


Tension in Kaduna as Hausa, Igbo traders clash over dog named ‘Muhammad’

A fight broke out in new Panteka market along the Nnamdi Azikiwe bypass when an Igbo man allegedly named his dog Muhammad.


Al-Shabaab leader, Hussein Mukhtar surrenders

The African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM, on Thursday confirmed that the leader of the militant group al-Shabaab has surrendered to government forces in Baidoa town in southern Somalia.


Justice At Last: Court sentences 2 police officers to death over Apo killings

Justice Ishaq Bello of the Federal Capital Territory High Court on Thursday found two accused persons, Ezekiel Acheneje and Baba Emmanuel, guilty for their roles in the killing of six Igbo traders in 2005.


Senate orders CG Hameed Ali to appear before it wearing a Customs uniform

The Senate has ordered the Comptroller-general of the Nigerian Customs Service, Hameed Ali to appear before it next Wednesday in his appropriate uniform.


1 feared dead as Police, Eiye Cult group clash in Ejigbo.

There was pandemonium on Oboye Street in the Orilowo end of Ejigbo community yesterday, March 8, 2017, after a gang suspected to be cultists engaged the operatives of the Anti-Robbery Squad in a free for all fight.


Kaduna Airport Operated Sixteen Flights Before Noon.

It has been a busy day at the Kaduna International Airport, as local airlines arrive in their numbers.


‘World’s heaviest woman’ undergoes surgery in India, loses 100 kgs.

Indian doctors said Thursday that an Egyptian who was believed to be the world’s heaviest woman had successfully undergone weight-loss surgery after losing over 100 kilograms (220 pounds).


Grandfather cuts off baby’s penis during circumcision

A 59-year-old man, Mr Ziworitin Keke, has allegedly cut off part of the genitals of his eight-month-old grandson while circumcising the boy at Ondewari, a coastal settlement in Bayelsa.


Man Bathes Inside Gutter To Celebrate Barcelona Win (PHOTOS)

Photos of a young man who celebrated in style after Barcelona made an incredible comeback in the history of UEFA Champions League are currently trending online.


“I left N20 billion in state’s coffers for Akeredolu’s government” – Mimiko

The immediate past government in Ondo State led by Dr. Olusegun Mimiko said it left N20 billion in the state coffers, refuting allegations by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) that it inherited N150 billion debt.


Obama ‘disgusted’ by Donald Trump’s wiretapping claims – Aide

President Barack Obama was irked and exasperated in response to his successor’s uncorroborated wiretapping accusation, sources close to the former president, though these sources say Obama’s reaction stopped short of outright fury according to CNN.

Malusi Gigaba, Minister of Home Affairs, Delivers Address Against Xenophobia Before National Assembly

Address by Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba MP, on the occasion of the debate on ‘Promoting harmonious co-existence and respect for the rights of all persons, inclusive of foreign nationals, as enjoined by our Constitution’ in the National Assembly on 7 March 2017

At the June 1994 OAU Summit in Tunis, President Mandela said:

“Finally, at this summit meeting in Tunis, we shall remove from our agenda the consideration of the question of Apartheid South Africa. Where South Africa appears on the agenda again, let it be because we want to discuss what its contribution shall be to the making of the new African renaissance.”

On the occasion of this important debate, which has seemed in recent years to visit these hallowed Chambers with greater frequency, and having listened to the speeches made this afternoon, I wish to pose the question, could we confidently assert that are we walking in Madiba’s footsteps!

The passage of time must not distract us from the path set for us by our forebears; and neither must the challenges of the moment obscure our vision as to what we must do to contribute towards Africa’s renaissance.

South Africa is built on the values of freedom, respect for human dignity, Ubuntu, and unity in diversity.

We also recognise our singleness with fellow African countries and peoples, and that we share together a common past and a common destiny.

For these reasons alone, incidences of negative sentiment towards foreign nationals have no place in South African society.

Ultimately, we are not judged by how we treat people in good times, but how we do so them in times of difficulty.

That we are a society preoccupied with the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality, and the frustration of so many of our people at the unfinished work of the fundamental social transformation of our society, is frankly then, no excuse at all.

As Africans, when our harvest is meagre, we do not turn our neighbours away, we divide the little we have and share it together.

This debate is an apt reminder that we must lead society in remaining true to these founding values.

As we abhor recurrent incidents of negative sentiment towards foreign nationals in some corners of our society, we should do so with perspective.

The vast majority of foreign nationals in South Africa are documented and choose to be here because South Africa is one of the most dynamic, diverse, tolerant, Afropolitan countries on the continent, in which people with differences of race, culture, gender, class, sexual orientation, live in harmony.

We are not perfect but we have a lot to be proud of.

We do not have much, yet we strive daily to make significant social progress.

Sometimes, some among our citizens misdirect their frustrations at foreign nationals.

In covering these issues, some amongst us want to fixate on whether government acknowledges that xenophobia is an issue in South Africa.

Interestingly, we never hear that Americans, Britons and Germans are xenophobic when some of their citizens attend anti-immigrant rallies or vote patently xenophobic leaders.

Whilst these are surely not the standards by which we should measure ourselves, still no, I will not accept the statement that South Africans are xenophobic, or Afrophobic.

The issues are more complicated than that, and if we are to address them effectively, we need to acknowledge their complexity.

Yes, there is anti-immigrant sentiment among some sections of our society, but these are in the minority.

But unfortunately, it is a social reality that in times of difficulty or scarcity, there are people in society who use immigrants as scapegoats for their problems.

This negative phenomenon is observable in many countries; it not unique to South Africa.

Where our people are complaining about the scourge of crime and other social and economic problems in communities, we must work with them to confront it decisively.

Government must go back to the basics of doing what government must do to deliver on people’s expectations, and politicians must refrain from seeking cheap popularity by stoking the fires of xenophobia, intolerance and conflict.

We must never attribute crime or causes of unemployment particularly to immigrants.

All crime is an ill to be fought; the effect on the victims is the same whether a crime is committed by a South African or a foreign national.

We have also observed that criminality is a factor in incidents of so-called xenophobic violence.

All of these facets of the problem must be confronted by leaders at various levels of our society without seeking to trivialise them or score political points because the cost to human lives far outweighs whatever gains one party may score.

We must firmly reject the tendency to target African immigrants and associate them alone, and altogether, with lack of documentation, crime, moral depravity, illegality, and to view them as necessary targets for abuse, exploitation and physical attacks.

International migration is one of the major issues of our time, with enormous political, social, economic and moral dimensions.

Democracies around the world are responding to it in different ways.

It is causing difficulty to much older democracies than our own, and has become a major issue in the politics of Europe and North America.

Much as we have our own problems relating to international migration, arguably South Africans are more open and tolerant of foreign nationals than citizens in wealthier countries.

It is also worth noting that most countries easily admit foreign nationals they need for economic purposes, especially those with critical skills and investment muscle.

We have recently proposed a new approach to managing international migration, which we hope will go some way to addressing these issues.

We believe South Africa must unite around a positive, pragmatic vision for managing international migration which advances our national interests and reflects our values.

We have proposed that management of international migration is not a matter for Home Affairs alone, but must follow a ‘whole of government, whole of society’ approach.

One of the most contentious areas is around managing economic migration from the continent, as this affects poor and working class communities and immigrants.

I think this has less to do with South Africans being xenophobic or Afrophobic, but more to do with poorly regulated competition for jobs and resources between locals and economic immigrants, as well as lack of enforcement of existing rules.

We should not dismiss poor and working class South Africans as xenophobic when they are raising genuine social and economic issues affecting them, especially relating to unscrupulous employers who use desperate economic migrants to exert downward pressure on wages and working conditions.

After all, the middle and upper classes are largely shielded from such challenges.

These unscrupulous businesses exploit equally South Africans whom they do not employ and immigrants whom they employ below the minimum standards as prescribed in law.

In acting this way, they demonstrate the brutality of the capitalist system which does not care for the humanity of its employees, so long as the system has the workers available in abundance and employers can pit them in fierce competition against one another and make super profits out of all of them.

In fact, research shows that it is for exactly this reason that businesses tend to lobby governments for more liberal immigration policies.

While this debate is not primarily about international migration, I think it is important to highlight several points.

Firstly, we are clear and unapologetic that the South African government must prioritise its own citizens for employment and economic opportunities.

This is true of most, if not all countries, and we are no different.

Immigration policy is inherently protectionist in all countries – outside of regional integration arrangements which are exceptions to this – and we will continue to regulate immigration in our national interest.

In this regard, we insist that businesses operating in South Africa must comply with the regulations to ensure that no less than 60% South Africans are employed in those businesses, including those owned and run by foreign nationals in South Africa.

Joint business inspections have been carried out in 56 business premises, resulting in 7 employers charged for employing undocumented migrants and 147 undocumented migrants were arrested.

As well as meeting businesses and their federations to seek a collaborative and proactive approach, we shall persist with the inspections.

However, we must emphasise that whilst we carry out these inspections, we do not blame foreign nationals for high unemployment in South Africa, but we place the blame squarely on our untransformed racialized economy.

Secondly, we must acknowledge that there are factors which limit our ability to regulate immigration such as large, porous land borders.

Despite the best intentions, few, if any countries, including those with far more means, are able to police their borders such that they can ensure that no human being crosses their border unauthorized.

We must manage our borderline and ports of entry to the best of our ability, to protect our sovereignty, security, economy, and travellers themselves, South African and foreign.

The Border Management Authority (BMA) will aid this, in providing a structure for integrated, professional, specialized border management capability.

But it is neither possible, nor desirable, to seal our borders.

Thirdly, all growing, competitive industrial and knowledge economies are enhanced by an enlightened management of international migration.

No country produces all the skills it needs all the time.

Immigrants bring skills, knowledge, experience, resources and human connections which enhance societies and economies, increasingly so in a globalized world.

To think of immigrants only in the context of taking jobs from locals is therefore a mistake and short-sighted.

By contributing to growth, they directly and indirectly create new opportunities for South Africans to take advantage of.

Fourthly, we must swiftly and emphatically reject and bury the idea underlying too much of our public discourse around international migration, that Africa is a burden.

Madiba already directed us at the very advent of our freedom to contribute towards the renaissance of Africa.

Our region of SADC and our beloved continent of Africa are our future.

They are our partners in development, fellow members of an indivisible African civilization which is in the process of rebirth.

We will not develop despite Africa, but with and because of Africa.

Africa is a continent of 1.2 billion dynamic and aspirant people, increasingly urbanized, with a large and growing middle class.

We are a young continent, whose workforce can, must and will power a social revolution, especially as the populations of industrial powers such as Europe and even China, age in the coming decades.

Our future lies in intra-African trade and regional economic integration.

The advantage of being late developers is that we are the last, exciting global growth frontier.

We must bind together to bring about a common future.

South Africa is a leader in our continent.

Our commitment to democracy, peace and stability, and common development is respected and embraced.

Our companies are leading investors and players in many African countries.

We cannot aspire to play a leadership role in Africa’s development, while closing our door to all of our fellow Africans who come to South Africa seeking economic opportunities.

Neither can we provide leadership in isolation, secluded from the rest of the continent.

Nor can we, and a handful of other countries, absorb the economic migrants of sister countries, absolving them of their own development responsibilities.

We must find a balance.

In this regard, as leading powers on the continent, South Africa and Nigeria must not fall into the trap of mutual suspicion and discord.

The development of our respective countries, and the African continent as a whole, requires that we draw closer to one another politically, socially and economically.

Let us never allow our common challenges, however difficult they may be, to cause antagonism between us, but let us rather confront them with a spirit of Pan-African and brotherly partnership and dialogue.

Finally, now and ever, we must ground ourselves in our values.

The issue of ‘Who belongs?’ has too often bedevilled African countries throughout the post-colonial period.

It has been at the heart of political divisions, violence and even civil war; and this is not unique to South Africa as many other countries, both in Africa and abroad, have been subject to political contestation based on identity, at times resulting in civil wars.

We must remember the wisdom, vision and humanity we displayed when we proclaimed in the Freedom Charter of 1955 that “South Africa belongs to all who live in it” and when we adopted a Constitution which recognizes the dignity and human rights of all persons, not only citizens or documented persons.

This is a high standard we have set for ourselves, but it is the right standard, which we need to continue to strive to live by.

We are a people of Ubuntu.

We cannot deny the human dignity of others but expect our own to be upheld.

These human values were the social genius of freedom loving South Africans who were the midwives and architects of our young democracy.

Now as ever, we must affirm those values by living them, in good times and in difficult times.

Ultimately, the most urgent challenge Africa faces with regard to migration stems not from the individuals migrating, but from our continent’s economic underdevelopment which, coupled with colonial borders, has created inequitable migration patterns.

In his Preface to Adekeye Adebajo’s book, Professor Ali Mazrui says:

“Africa, since its partition, has seen its mineral wealth exploited for the benefit of others, its fertile land left undercultivated, its rich cultures destroyed, and its brain-power ‘drained’ to other parts of the world. At the centre of this calamity is the role of the West in creating an international system that reduced proud Africans to the lowest caste of the twentieth century. How will post-colonial Africans overcome this condition in the twenty-first century?” (The Curse of Berlin: Africa After the Cold War).

Fortunately, the question Mazrui posed addressed itself not to victims any more, but to the masters of their own destiny.

It was to provide such clarity that Uncle Jack Simons said to MK combatants in Angola that African independence had concentrated on the transfer of political power but not on implementing a programme of economic and social change.

He thus concluded that:

“The tendency in many African countries has been to maintain the old economic as well as political system. There has been continuity and not revolution.”

Herein lies our answer, Honourable Members, not to fight immigrants, but to implement a programme of economic and social change that would hoist the current neo-colonial relations at their own petard and bring total emancipation to all of Africa!

I thank you.

How Northerners were excluded from movie “The Wedding Party” & other Top Stories In The NEWS Today!

In Case You Missed It: Omojuwa.Com brings you the top stories in the news today 7th of March, 2017.

 

How Northerners were excluded from movie “The Wedding Party” – Bello Shagari

Filmmaker and grandson of Shehu Shagari, Bello Bala Shagari, recently expressed his thoughts about the exclusion of Northerners from “The Wedding Party” movie.


I know why southerners want restructuring and northerners don’t – Atiku

Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has renewed his call for restructuring, saying he understands why many of those calling for restructuring are from the south, while the bulk of the opposition to it comes from the north.


FINALLY: FG releases much-awaited economic recovery plan

The federal government has finally released its economic recovery and growth plan (ERGP), which has been in the works since 2016.


I Am Quitting Music, I Have All I Need – Davido (VIDEO)

Nigerian singer, Davido has announced he is quitting music.In a video he uploaded on Youtube yesterday, he bragged about his riches, saying, “Davido quits music! We no need am.


President Trump’s new immigration ban: Who is barred and who is not

President Trump on Monday issued a new immigration ban order, a month after a panel of federal judges blocked key parts of his initial order.


Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is not a ‘Nigerian’ – By Emmanuel Ufuophu-Biri

After watching the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo in Benin City, Edo State, on TV live during his fact finding meeting with the good people of Edo state, I realized that he is totally not a Nigerian. He listened to all speakers with rapt attention and concentrated interest.


12 years after, #Apo6 victims to get justice this Thursday.

A judicial drama that has lasted almost 12 years will reach a milestone on Thursday when Justice Ishaq Bello of the FCT High Court, Abuja, is scheduled to deliver judgement on the infamous Apo Six killings.


Outrage as Ben Carson refers to African slaves as “immigrants”.

President Donald Trump’s housing secretary provoked a firestorm Monday by saying slaves brought from Africa were “immigrants” who dreamed of success for their families in the United States.


Police arrests herbalist who was paid N700,000 to aid dreaded kidnapper Vampire’s escape

The police high command has arrested the most trusted herbalist of the late kidnap-for-ransom kingpin, Henry Chibueze, popularly known as Vampire, who had in the last few years operated with terror in the Southeastern and South-South states.


Osinbajo flags-off Lagos-Ibadan rail line, project to create 500,000 jobs.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has flagged off the Lagos-Ibadan standard guage railway line, stating that the national rail project will create half-a-million jobs.


“I’ve muted President Trump on Twitter, he’s a distraction” – Anderson Cooper [Video]

Think it’s hard to avoid the constant news flash that is the Trump presidency? When you’re the host of a news show, it’s impossible.


Bash Ali sues sports minister, seeks N1 billion damages

International boxing champion, Bash Ali has filed a N1 billion suit against the minister of sports before a High Court of Abuja, over the alleged violation of his fundamental human rights.


For sitting on Tor Tiv’s throne, 30-year-old man, Stephen Nyitse jailed four years.

A 30-year-old man, Stephen Nyitse, who sat on the Tor Tiv’s throne shortly before the new king was installed on Saturday in Gboko, Benue State, has been jailed for four years.


ECOWAS Court Dismisses Application To Stop Nnamdi Kanu’s Suit Against FG

The ECOWAS court sitting in Abuja, has dismissed an application filed by the Federal Government seeking to quash a suit filed by the self-styled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mr Nnamdi Kanu.


Robert Mugabe caught sleeping during Ghana Independence Day celebration

A photo of Zimbabwe president allegedly sleeping at Ghana’s 60th Independence celebration has gone viral. The lethargy leader was among the many African leaders who graced the country’s 60 Independence Day anniversary parade.


“Nigeria Police is One of the Best in the World” – Lagos CP

For a megacity like Lagos, crime fighting is not done with kid gloves. The only reason Lagosians can go to sleep with both eyes closed, is because there is tough cop in town, who despite all the societal and systemic challenges, is not undaunted.


Ibrahimovich to serve three-match ban after accepting FA’s charges

Manchester United has been dealt a severe blow as Zlatan Ibrahimovich is set to serve a three-match ban after accepting the English FA’s charge of violent conduct in an EPL match in which Zlatan was seen pulling an elbow action on Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings.


REPORT: Recreational use of Marijuana is no longer a crime in Israel

In Israel’s divisive political climate, a common cause between right and left has emerged: cannabis. Israel’s Cabinet decriminalized the recreational use of cannabis, or marijuana, at its weekly meeting on Sunday in a move hailed by politicians from across the spectrum.


50 year old Japanese footballer becomes oldest professional player

Many footballers retire before 40, and although some goalkeepers keep past that age, it is rare to see a footballer still playing at 50.

In Case You Missed It: Top Stories In The NEWS Today!

In Case You Missed It: Omojuwa.Com brings you the top stories in the news today 2nd of March, 2017.

 

REVEALED: Why Ex-President Obasanjo walked out of police event in Lagos

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Thursday left an event organized by the Nigeria Police, because they kept him waiting.


Drama as 82 year old ambassadorial Nominee Refuses to recite National Anthem

There was drama Wednesday at the screening of an 82 year old ambassadorial nominee, Justice Sylvanus Nsofor, by the Senate committee on Foreign Affairs.


Reasons why we raided Peace Corps, arrested commandant, others – Nigeria Police

The Nigeria Police on Wednesday provided reasons why it raided the headquarters of the Nigerian Peace Corps and arrested some officials.


Xenophobia: Stop being ingrates – Thabo Mbeki tells South Africans

Former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, has condemned the current xenophobic attack on Nigerians and other foreigners in different parts of South Africa.


Dreaded Kidnap Kingpin, Henry Chibueze aka ‘Vampire’ Shot Dead By Police.

The police said  they had killed a dreaded and deadly kidnap-for-ransom kingpin, Henry Chibueze, notoriously known as `Vampire’, in Omu Awa forest, Ikwerre Local Government Area in Rivers state.


Osinbajo unveils three-year strategic plan for Civil Service

The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Tuesday launched the strategic document for the Nigerian Civil Service from 2017-2019 aimed at increasing the quality of public service delivery, leading to the provision of a more lasting trajectory for the progressive development of the country.


Nigerian Police arrests suspected killers of US Army veteran, Oscar Okebata

The police in Imo State have arrested suspected killers of Oscar Okebata, a retired soldier in the American Army who was robbed and murdered in Atta, in the Ikeduru LGA, on January 12, 2017.


“I never beat my wife”, Tonto Dikeh’s husband responds to allegations.

Last week, February 24, 2017, Nollywood actress Tonto Dikeh accused her husband of domestic violence.


Police reveals how kidnap kingpin ‘Vampire’ killed over 200 people.

The Nigerian police have provided more information on the activities of the late kidnap and armed robbery kingpin, Henry Chibueze, otherwise known as “Vampire”.


DSS releases PDP chieftain, Babatunde Gbadamosi.

The Department of State Services, DSS, has released one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s fierce critics, Babatunde Gbadamosi.


SHOCKING: 3 million Nigerians lost N18 billion to MMM – NDIC

The Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has said while quoting the social media that an estimated three million Nigerians have lost N18 billion in the Phonzi scheme, popularly called Mavrodi Mundial Movement (MMM).

Court Dissolves Star Actor, Emeka Ike’s 17-Year-Old Marriage.

Nollywood actor, Emeka Ike and his wife, Suzanne Emma, have parted ways. A Lagos Island Customary Court, South West Nigeria today dissolved their 17 year-old marriage.


Hospitals no longer need our report to treat gunshot victims – Police

Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), has directed hospitals to treat gunshot wounds with or without police report.


How I fought corruption in Lagos Judiciary – Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has given insight into how he successfully fought endemic corruption when he served as the Attorney general and Commissioner for Justice in Lagos State.


Vehicle owners nationwide have 30 days to pay duty – Customs

The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali has granted a 30 day grace period to all vehicle owners whose Customs Duty have not been paid, to do so or face prosecution.

In Case You Missed It: Top Stories In The NEWS Today!

In Case You Missed It: Omojuwa.Com brings you the top stories in the news today 1st of March, 2017.

 

JJ Omojuwa: NOA, Big Brother Naija and the National Hypocrisy Commission

The other day, the Director General, National Orientation Agency, Dr. Garba Abari, speaking, said: “A significant percentage of our younger ones will not even remember that Nigeria is the original name of our country” as he pushed for Nigerians to stop calling the country Naija.


Court dismisses six charges against Nnamdi Kanu

Binta Nyako, justice of the federal high court, Abuja, has dismissed six of the 11 charges brought against Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), by the federal government.


US detains Nigerian software engineer, gives him programming tests

Celestine Omin was accustomed to tackling tough engineering problems. Just not the two that the Border Agent had put in front of his face — or at least not now, after having spent 24 hours cramped in an economy seat on Qatar Airways.


Naira now 425/$ at parallel market

The Naira continued to regain strength and appreciate in value in the parallel market on Tuesday as it was sold for N425 to a dollar.


Governor Ambode to convert Mobil, Oando filling stations in Maryland to bus terminal.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State yesterday said it would convert the popular Mobil and Oando filling stations at Maryland Bus Stop on Ikorodu road to bus terminal as part of strategies to ease transportation challenges in the state.


Why corrupt Nigerians hide stolen money in caskets, uncompleted buildings – Dino Melaye

Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, has alleged that some corrupt Nigerians now hide their loots in caskets and uncompleted buildings in remote villages in some parts of the country.


Why I will never Criticise Buhari’s government – Reuben Abati

Ex-Presidential Spokesman, Reuben Abati, has said that he will never criticize President Muhammadu Buhari no matter the number of policy mistakes the federal government makes under his leadership.


Nigeria has no business with China if Aba is developed – Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has commended the economic drive of Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu in the buy Made-in-Nigeria goods campaigns, saying that Nigeria had no business with China if Aba was generally developed.


Police storms Peace Corps office, arrests National Commandant

The ongoing onslaught by the Nigerian Police against the Peace Corps of Nigeria, took a dramatic step on Tuesday, when the Officers of the Police invaded the new National Headquarters of the Corps, taking into custody, the National Commandant, Amb. Dickson Akoh.


Akwa Ibom to commission first pencil factory in Nigeria

The Akwa Ibom state government have unveiled plans to commission the first pencil factory in Nigeria.


We fear UK may deny Messi and Neymar entry visas – UEFA

European football’s governing body, UEFA has said that the body fears Barcelona stars Lionel Messi & Neymar may be denied entry visas into the U.K for the Champions league final in Cardiff this May if they qualify, due to ongoing legal battles with the Spanish government.


NAFDAC arrests men for production of fake Peak Milk and Injections

NAFDAC, yesterday blew the lid off activities of unscrupulous individuals engaged in the forgery of the Agency’s documents, production of counterfeit alcoholic beverages, water for injection and sales of suspected counterfeit Peak Milk.


Barack, Michelle Obama sign book deal worth millions of dollars

Barack and Michelle Obama have signed a deal to publish their memoirs with New York-based Penguin Random House, in a coveted contract reportedly worth tens of millions of dollars.


PDP chieftain, Babatunde Gbadamosi sues DSS over continued detention

Babatunde Gbadamosi, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has sued the Department of State Services, (DSS) over his continued detention.


Soludo, Utomi, Igbo Professionals Meet With IPOB Leader Nnamdi Kanu In Prison.

A group of prominent Igbo professionals led by a former Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Charles Soludo today met up with Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in prison and would later converge for a press conference at Chelsea hotel in Abuja by 3pm today, to relay the feedback of their visit.


Kenyan Man Stoned To Death For Sleeping With Corpse Of His 11-Year-Old Daughter

A 48-year-old man was stoned to death by his family members after he was found defiling the body of his daughter at his home in Kuresoi North, Kenya.


Lagos State Government criminalizes drilling boreholes without permit

A new Lagos State Environmental law is stipulating a prison term or fine for residents who drill boreholes without government authorization, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.


Court sends Kano musician to prison over new song

A court has remanded the embattled Kano singer, Sadiq Zazzabi, over his newly-released song.

In Case You Missed It: Top Stories In The NEWS Today!

In Case You Missed It: Omojuwa.Com brings you the top stories in the news today 27th of February, 2017.

 

Court sacks Senator Bassey Akpan, demands refund of all emoluments.

A federal high court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, has sacked the senator representing Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial district, Bassey Akpan, from the Nigerian Senate.


Nigerians can now register their businesses via a single form – CAC

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has consolidated the forms required to register a business in Nigeria, reducing the number from seven to one.


A Prelude to “ShETHER”: The History of Beef Between Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj

On Saturday, Remy Ma grabbed the attention of the rap world with “ShETHER,” a vicious seven-minute diss record that attacked Nicki Minaj from every conceivable angle: her brother’s legal problems, her rumored plastic surgery, her alleged use of ghostwriters, her collaboration with Gucci Mane on Thursday.


FG shuts down ponzi scheme, arrests promoters

The Nigerian Government, through the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has sealed up the premises of Yuan Dong (YDEC) Ponzi scheme over illegal investment operations in the country.


List of items DSS found in Gabriel Suswam’s house

A former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, has been arrested by the Department of State Services, DSS.


Ambode, don’t sign this bill – By Wale Fatade

A perfect definition of irony in the Nigerian context is when legislators break their recess to pass a bill. For the farce that passes for legislation in our part of the world, citizens should be wary of a hastily passed bill. When you then factor in the incestuous relationship between the executives and legislators in most states, the suspicion gets heightened.


Lecturer forced to mop floor, wash toilet after scandal

A lecturer in the English Department, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, Isiaq Yusuf, popularly called I.G. Yusuf, has become an object of ridicule after he was caught naked in his student’s apartment.


How to check for fake tyres – Standard Organisation of Nigeria

The Standard Organisation on Nigeria has warned Nigerians to always check for expiry dates of tyres before purchase.


Any stupid person unwilling to support Buhari should kiss Nigeria good bye – Sagay

The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) Prof Itse Sagay (SAN), has stated that anyone that is not willing to support the current administration should be ready to ‘kiss Nigeria goodbye.’


IN PICTURES: Obasanjo visits El-Rufai in Kaduna

Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo has just arrived the Kaduna International Airport, on a one-day working visit to the state. He was received by the Kaduna State Governor Nasir  El-Rufai.


Keeping up with Yemi Osinbajo – By Shola Oyeyipo

President Muhammadu Buhari, determined to see a Nigeria of his dream, might have cleverly borrowed from the quote of a former President of the United States of America, Ronald Reagan, who once said: “Surround yourself with great people; delegate authority; get out of the way”.


Ekiti PDP Senator ignores Fayose, declares support for Sheriff

While the Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, champions the movement against Ali Sheriff as Peoples Democratic Party chairman, a senator from his state has declared full support for Mr. Sheriff.


El-Rufai puts up 1,990 governement houses for sale

In order to cut the cost of maintaining government quarters, the Kaduna State government has decided to sell about 1,990 of its non-essential residential quarters.


FG appoints new directors for aviation agency NCAA

The Federal Government on Monday approved the appointment of five new directors and one General Manager for the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.

Why I don’t regret working with Goodluck Jonathan – Reuben Abati

Contrary to public sentiments that members of ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet enjoyed working with him because of his alleged leniency towards corrupt people, his then media adviser, Mr. Reuben Abati, has said that he had no regrets working with Jonathan, because of the many lessons and quality exposure that he received under him.

In Case You Missed It: Top Stories In The NEWS This Week

In Case You Missed It: Omojuwa.Com brings you the top trending stories in the NEWS for the past week

 

Central Bank of Nigeria announces new foreign exchange policy

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has released a new foreign exchange policy in the country that will be enacted with immediate effect.


Kano State set to outlaw forced marriages, regulate polygamy.

Muhammadu Sanusi II, emir of Kano, has said a family law will soon be put in place to outlaw forced marriages in the state.


“It is my money”, Ex-NNPC GMD asks court to return $9.7m, £74,000 seized loot

Andrew Yakubu, a former managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), has asked the court to return the $9.7 million and £74,000? seized from him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).


How Muslim cleric shaved pubic hair, digitally penetrated teenager

A medical doctor at the Department of Family Medicine at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Monday, told an Ikeja Division of the Lagos High Court how a Muslim cleric, Akeem Ibrahim, shaved the pubic hair of a teenager, applied concoction on her, and digitally penetrated her vagina.


Army Commander, Police Commissioner relocate to Southern Kaduna

The Kaduna State Government on Monday announced that the Garrison Commander of the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army and the state’s Commissioner of Police have relocated to the southern part of the state.


11 benefits Nigerians could enjoy from CBN’s new FOREX policy

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Monday unveiled a new foreign exchange, FOREX, policy. The policy is to increase availability of FOREX to ease the difficulties Nigerians encounter in funding foreign exchange transactions.


CBN orders all banks to open foreign exchange kiosks at major airports

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday ordered all banks to open foreign exchange (forex) kiosks at major airports and approved outlets.The order was issued barely 24 hours after The Guardian exclusively reported that passengers were stranded at the international airports on account of dollar scarcity.


Dino Melaye raises petition against Osinbajo for refusing to sign 3 bills

Senator Dino Melaye on Wednesday frowned at Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo’s refusal to assent three bills passed by the National Assembly.


EFCC ‘recovers’ 17 vehicles from Dikko, ex-customs CG

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has recovered 17 exotic vehicles from Abdullahi Dikko, a former comptroller-general (CG) of Nigeria customs service.


Anti-Corruption: Whistle-blower exposes fresh N8.4 Billion tucked in a bank account

The EFCC operatives are battling to resolve the mystery, following the discovery of the bank account with N8.4billion which has no signatories


BBNaija: I Lied About Being A Virgin, Faked My Accent – Gifty

Gifty Powers, the recently evicted Big Brother Naija housemate has opened up on some of the lies she told during her time on the reality show.


Dollar falls to N490 just days after implementation of CBNs new FOREX Policy

The Nigerian Naira on Thursday recovered to N490 per dollar, as the fresh policy action from the Central Bank of Nigeria finds its foothold.


Protesters besiege MTN office in Abuja over Xenophobic Attacks

Disheartened by the continuous attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, some protesters on Thursday attacked and vandalised the head office of South African owned telecommunications company, MTN in Abuja in apparent retaliation, an MTN spokesman said.


Osinbajo pays surprise visit to Lagos airport, inspects toilets

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo inspected toilets and carousel during a surprise visit to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, on Thursday.


REVEALED: How Al-Qaeda leader mentored Abdulmutallab into becoming a suicide bomber

The New York Times, through a Freedom of Information Act request, has obtained documents containing detailed accounts of how slain Al Qaeda leader, Anwar al-Awlaki, mentored a Nigerian, Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to explode a bomb hidden in his underpants, on a flight from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to Detroit, United States, on Christmas Day in 2009.


Financial Times: Osinbajo delivering good governance in Buhari’s absence

The Financial Times of London has observed governance in Nigeria, since President Muhammadu Buhari left the country over 33 days ago, and concludes that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, has seized Buhari’s absence to deliver what Nigerians have been expecting for two years.


Barely 24 hours after Osinbajo’s unscheduled visit, FG Sacks 10 NCAA Directors

It was a gloomy day today at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as the Federal Government approved the sack of all the directors in the regulatory agency.


I Lied To The World That My Husband Bought Gifts For Me – Tonto Dikeh

Nollywood Actress, Tonto Dikeh is not done speaking up about her marriage to Churchhill Olakunle.


South Africa issues statement over Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians

South African government has said that there is need to collaborate with major stakeholders in Nigeria to find lasting solution to the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

In Case You Missed It: Top Stories In The NEWS Today!

In Case You Missed It: Omojuwa.Com brings you the top stories in the news today 23rd of February, 2017.

 

BBNaija: I Lied About Being A Virgin, Faked My Accent – Gifty

Gifty Powers, the recently evicted Big Brother Naija housemate has opened up on some of the lies she told during her time on the reality show.


“Why I Vetoed Four National Assembly Bill” – Acting President Osinbajo Reveals

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has withheld assent to four bills passed by the National Assembly last year. The four proposed laws are National Lottery Amendment Bill; Dangerous Drug Amendment Bill; Agriculture Credit Guarantee Scheme Fund; and Currency Conversion Bill.


BREAKING: Protesters besiege MTN office in Abuja over Xenophobic Attacks

Disheartened by the continuous attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, some protesters on Thursday attacked and vandalised the head office of South African owned telecommunications company, MTN in Abuja in apparent retaliation, an MTN spokesman said.


Dollar falls to N490 just days after implementation of CBNs new FOREX Policy

The Nigerian naira on Thursday recovered to N490 per dollar, as the fresh policy action from the Central Bank of Nigeria finds its foothold.


“I Won’t Stoop So Low To Fayose’s Level”, Ali Modu Sheriff Knocks Ekiti Governor

Controversial National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Ali Modu Sheriff, said in Abuja in Wednesday, that he will not descend to the level of Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State.


REVEALED: How Al-Qaeda leader mentored Abdulmutallab into becoming suicide bomber

The New York Times, through a Freedom of Information Act request, has obtained documents containing detailed accounts of how slain Al Qaeda leader, Anwar al-Awlaki, mentored a Nigerian, Farouk Abdulmutallab, who tried to explode a bomb hidden in his underpants, on a flight from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to Detroit, United States, on Christmas Day in 2009.


EFCC to interrogate Dino Melaye, AMMC on Saraki’s ‘invisible’ N125m house.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will invite Dino Melaye, chairman senate committee on FCT, for questioning over an “invisible” N125 million building purportedly rented for the senate president, TheCable has learnt.


Osinbajo pays surprise visit to Lagos airport, inspects toilets

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo inspected toilets and carousel during a surprise visit to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, on Thursday.


Lagos State Government set to commence construction of 4th Mainland Bridge.

The Lagos State Government has announced that the construction of the 38km Fourth Mainland Bridge would still begin this year.


Army jails soldier for assaulting Nollywood actress

The Nigerian Army has jailed one Pvt. Suleiman Olamilekan to 28 days with hard labour for allegedly assaulting a Nollywood actress, Ebere Ohakwe. Col. Aminu Iliyasu, the Army’s spokesman, 6 Division in Port Harcourt said on Thursday that the soldier would also forfeit his one month salary to the Federal Government.


FG Files Fresh Charges Against Senate President Saraki

The Federal Government has filed fresh charges against the Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki, who is standing trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.


#BBNaija: Why FG should stop ‘alien’ TV show – Lawmaker

Member representing Epe Constituency II in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Olusegun Olulade has called on the federal government to reconsider the implications of allowing the Big Brother Naija Show on the Nigerian culture and youths.


JUST IN: 5-year-old Aaliyah attacked by dogs in Lagos has passed on.

Aliyah, the 5-year-old girl attacked on Monday by 3 dogs in Lagos has died. She passed on at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Wednesday evening. She had been transferred from the Ikorodu General Hospital, where she was first admitted.


Pope to Catholics: ‘It’s better to be an atheist than hypocritical Catholic’

Pope Francis delivered another criticism of some members of his own Church on Thursday, suggesting it is better to be an atheist than one of “many” Catholics who he said lead a hypocritical double life.


BREAKING: Shake-up at NDDC, 11 directors redeployed.

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has redeployed 11 directors to different offices to “boost its performance” in the development of the Niger Delta.


MMM again to freeze Mavros, Introduce new rules

In a latest release to its participants on February 22, members of the ponzi scheme saw in their various Pos(Personal Offices) a message stating the plan to launch the new rules which will “stop the growth of  confirmed Mavros acquired before the 1st of January 2017 and freeze the bonuses received before the 1st of January 2017 so that limited withdrawal of Mavro-2016 will include only contributions, not bonuses.”


Video evidence of $1M cash recovered from Badeh presented in court by EFCC

A Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, presided over by Justice Okon Abang on Wednesday admitted in evidence the search warrant used by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in conducting a search on a house located at No. 6, Ogun Rivers Street, Maitama, Abuja belonging to a former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh. during which $1million cash was recovered in his wardrobe.


GUARDIAN: Population of internet users in Nigeria drops from 97 million to 91.8 million.

The Federal Government’s target of 80 per cent Internet and 30 per cent broadband penetration by 2018 may become elusive as about five million Nigerians have dropped off the Internet radar in the last one year.


Rooney’s agent in China for transfer talks.

Wayne Rooney’s agent Paul Stretford held talks in China on Thursday amid mounting speculation over the Manchester United captain’s future, British media said.


Ex-Airforce Boss Amosu Objects As EFCC Tenders Incriminating Documents In Court

Former Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (Rtd) yesterday objected to a move by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to tender some bank documents that showed how connived with some others to defraud the Nigeria Air Force (NAF).

In Case You Missed It: Top Stories In The NEWS Today!

In Case You Missed It: Omojuwa.Com brings you the top stories in the news today 21st of February, 2017.

Despite Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in S/Africa, Shoprite’s profit soars in Nigeria.

South African retailer, Shoprite, reported a 15.5 per cent jump in half-year profit, buoyed by sharp sales growth in Angola and Nigeria.


“IMF is not bad, but we don’t need their loan”, Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun declares.

Kemi Adeosun, minister of finance, says the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not bad, but Nigeria does not need the fund’s borrowing programme.


“What a joke of a pastor” Seyi Law blasts pastor who cursed BBNaija organizers

Comedian, Seyi Law has responded to Pastor Mike Winning who cursed the organizers of Big Brother Naija reality show yesterday.


11 benefits Nigerians could enjoy from CBN’s new FOREX policy – By Bassey Udo

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Monday unveiled a new foreign exchange, FOREX, policy. The policy is to increase availability of FOREX to ease the difficulties Nigerians encounter in funding foreign exchange transactions.


FG To Be Blamed For Xenophobic Attacks On Nigerians – HOR Committee

The House of Representative Committee on Diaspora has criticised the Federal Government for failing to stem the attacks on Nigerians living abroad.


PDP caucus asks Saraki to remove Andy Uba from senate.

The senate caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked Senate President Bukola Saraki to sack Andy Uba from the senate.


Ex-Katsina governor Ibrahim Shema, granted N1bn bail.

Ibrahim Shema, former governor of Katsina state, has been granted bail to the tune of N1 billion.


Nigeria’s Martins Lawrence Akande Wins The International Galileo Galilei Prize

Martins Lawrence Akande is one of the exceptionally talented Nigerian artists doing the country proud in the international community. Just recently, Mr Martins was awarded with the International Galileo Galilei prize/award and MOST valuable recognition, one of the biggest art prizes in the world.


After 2 attacks in 1 week, South Africans issue fresh threats to Nigerians.

The Nigerian community in South Africa on Monday said some of its members have been receiving fresh threats from some people in their host country.


Man sentenced to 7 years imprisonment for raping 80-year old woman

A 45-year old driver, Lawrence Adedapo, has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment by an Ado Ekiti High Court for raping an 80-year-old women, Madam Grace Asaolu.


‘No cause for worry’, President Buhari ‘speaks’ on his health.

President Muhammadu Buhari has thanked millions of Nigerians who have been sending good wishes and praying for his health and well-being in mosques and churches throughout the country, his spokesperson said Tuesday.


CBN orders all banks to open foreign exchange kiosks at major airports

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday ordered all banks to open foreign exchange (forex) kiosks at major airports and approved outlets.The order was issued barely 24 hours after The Guardian exclusively reported that passengers were stranded at the international airports on account of dollar scarcity.


Senator Andy Uba Officially Defects To The APC

Senator Andy Uba formerly of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has officially defected to the All Progressive Congress (APC).


I want to go to London to see Buhari – By Reuben Abati

When 15 million plus Nigerians voted for President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 General elections, their expectation was that he would be available to serve them 24/7/365, and that those who fielded him as their candidate had done their home work to avoid what is curiously becoming the Katsina problem in Nigerian politics.  Katsina.


Bonny Cantonment: Where Some Of Buratai’s Mad Men Reside – By Elias Ozikpu

After several years of military harassment and dictatorship in Nigeria, a period which is often painted as Nigeria’s darkest moment, it is blindsiding to learn that the men in camouflage still believe that ‘bloody civilians’ (whatever that means) should continue to fall at their feet in worship.


BBN: Biggie Nullifies Nominations for Week 5

Big Brother Naija Biggie has decided to nullify all this week’s nominations following the strike he issued to Kemen and the warning to Marvis for conspiracy and instigation.


Analysts Fear Trump’s Marriage may be Troubled

Washington watchers have expressed concerns that the marriage of President Donald Trump to Melania may not be as strong as they may want the world to believe, and that it might actually be troubled.


Andrew Yakubu Drags EFCC To Court Over Forfeiture Of ‘His’ $9.7 Million

Mr. Andrew Yakubu, the former managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, whose ‘gift’ of  $9.7million and  £74,000 was hidden in a nondescript house in Sabon Tasha in Kaduna city, has launched a move to have the  seized money returned to him.


“Why Messi is not celebrating his goals at Barcelona anymore”- Coach

Head coach of the Argentina national team, Edgardo Bauza, has said Lionel Messi is not celebrating his goals at Barcelona because he is very angry with criticisms that came after their 4-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain.

Nigeria’s Martins Lawrence Akande Wins The International Galileo Galilei Prize

Martins Lawrence Akande is one of the exceptionally talented Nigerian artists doing the country proud in the international community. Just recently, Mr Martins was awarded with the International Galileo Galilei prize/award and MOST valuable recognition, one of the biggest art prizes in the world.

The “Galileo Galilei” International Award is an exclusive prize which is conferred to artists that stand out for the recognized value of their work.

GOLDEN INTERNATIONAL GALILEO GALILEI PRIZE.

Martins who is also an accountant is well know for many of his profound artworks as a visual artist.

The artist who took to his Instagram Page to announce his award also has this to say;

On this day 22nd January 2017, in Pisa, ITALY at the Congress Palace, the Event in Honor of The World’s Greatest Scientist and founder of modern day Science GALILEO GALILEI (1564 – 1642) was held and to honor deserving Artists with a prestigious prize, I am very humbled, proud and honored to be a recipient of the International Galileo Galilei prize/award and MOST valuable recognition. Thank you Dott. Francesco Saverio, Dott. Salvatore Russo and the entire Organization for finding my work worthy of this highest honor. Thank you and God Bless.

 

I've always wanted her to get as far as possible, its beautiful to see her here. #GalileoGalilei This amazing photo was taken by @fotovangelist I love it everyday. Thank you for the time.

Some of his works which include a pencil art of a little girl with braided hair is one of the most fascinating freehand drawings made by a Nigerian.
Below are some of his artworks:
#featuredpalette.

#featuredpalette. Cc @fahd_non

Today I share with a friend and a brother @Omojuwa. His vision and ability to see things before they happen is pretty scary ? "in a good way". Thank you for being a true friend and a brother.

                   Martins Lawrence Akande is pictured here with Blogger and Media Mogul, Japheth J Omojuwa

Sambisa forest to host 2017 Army Championship

The Nigerian Army has disclosed that the captured Sambisa Forest in Borno State will host the 2017 Nigerian Army Small Arms Championship, NASAC 2017.

This disclosure was made known by Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sani Kukasheka Usman, in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday.

Usman said the Nigerian Army Engineers, NAE Corps has mobilized to site and commenced access roads clearance and construction of range and other facilities.

This is coming after the forest, which has served as the fortress of the dreaded Boko Haram sect for several years was reportedly captured by the Nigerian Army.

The convener of the Bring Back Our Girls, BBOG group, Oby Ezekwesili, has, however, said that the capture of Boko Haram’s stronghold, Camp Zairo by the military in December last year, was not equal to capturing the dreaded Sambisa forest.

 

Source:

Sambisa forest to host 2017 Army Championship

No need for emergency sitting over Buhari’s letter – Senate

There is no need to recall senators for plenary to debate President Muhammadu Buhari’s medical vacation extension letter, the Senate said yesterday.

The upper chamber, which confirmed receipt of the letter, said the president had complied with the constitution’s requirement to that the Senate must be informed about his vacation.

Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs Chairman Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi told reporters that Senate President Bukola Saraki had received the letter.

He said: “There is no emergency for us to say we are suspending or recalling what back. When we resume, all communications that come in will be taken. There’s no emergency here because he has done what he is constitutionally mandated to transmit a letter to us and he has done that.”

Abdullahi added: “As you are aware, the Senate suspended plenary to carry out one of the most important duties, which is the interaction with the MDAs on the 2017 budget, and you will recall that we received before we suspended plenary, a letter from Mr. President which was dated 18th, January 2017 where he informed the distinguished senators that he was proceeding on his vacation for 10 days and this is to meet the constitutional provisions.

“In the letter, he stated very clearly that the vice president would take charge of the running of the country. This is a normal thing and, of course, based on that timing, Nigerians were expecting the return of Mr. President.

“Now, we are in receipt of the second letter from Mr. President where he is informing the Senate that he is extending his vacation and this arose because in the first letter he did inform us that he will use that to see his doctors.

“In this second letter he is informing the Senate that he is extending his vacation because in the cause of that routine medical check-up there were still some tests his doctors still want to run further and so because of that he is extending his stay.

“This is a constitutional provision and let me say it is within his prerogative to do so and we are in receipt of that letter accordingly.
“This is why we had to brief you so that we are now confirming that ‘yes we are in receipt of that letter formally’ and we know that many things have been going on but this is our formal and official pronouncement to Nigerians on this particular subject matter.”

Asked whether the letter was indefinite on the President’s return, Abdullahi said: “It didn’t say indefinite because indefinite is taking the matter out of context but then he said he is extending that beyond the 10 days he has asked for and because the tests that are going to be run are not in his hand; it is in the hands of the doctors, he is not giving us a date. But definitely he is extending and I think that is what is important.

”As it is, you said according to the constitution. I’m not sure if there’s any provision giving specified date for the leave of Mr. President not to my knowledge. And if you say by our rule, Mr. President does not work by our rule; we work by our rule but the constitution guides us all.”
”As it is we have suspended plenary to allow the various committees attend to the national budget which is a very important document that Nigerians are waiting for.

Also yesterday, Senator Abu Ibrahim (Katsina South) said contrary to insinuations about the President’s health, Buhari is merely exhausted.
Ibrahim, who is believed to be one of the senators close to President Buhari said the weight of the country’s mounting problems might have affected him.

The senator said that he was in touch with Buhari and was actually with him the day he left the country.

The Katsina South lawmaker reeled out issues that might have taken a toll on the President, including destruction of oil pipelines that reduced production to almost half, fall in oil prices that affected the economy and led to recession, and the falling exchange rate that has affected the purchasing power of most Nigerians.

He said that some of those talking about the falling exchange rate failed to also talk about what led to the weak naira against the dollar.
Ibrahim, who stressed that “President Buhari will soon come back”, noted that there was no need for Nigerians to be unduly apprehensive “because Mr. President is not sick but exhausted by the weight of the problems the country is going through”.

Nigerians, he added, should rather pray for the President to return and continue his work to make the country better.

 

Source:

No need for emergency sitting over Buhari’s letter, says Senate

 

 

‘No Vacuum With Buhari’s Absence’ – SANs

Two Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) Yusuf Alli and Sebastine Hon yesterday said President Muhammadu Buhari complied with the Constitution by notifying the National Assembly of the extension of his vacation for health reasons.

They said since he handed over to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who will continue to act as President, there was no vacuum, which the Constitution abhors.

Alli said: “We should all just be praying for his recovery. May God shield him so that he can get back to his duty-post.

“He has transmitted a letter to the National Assembly. That’s what the Constitution says he should do. And he has done that.”

On Buhari not stating when he will return, Alli said: “What is important is that he has transmitted a letter saying that he would be away.

“This means by extension that the Acting President continues in office, so there is no vacuum. What the Constitution wants to prevent is a situation where there is a vacuum. Somebody was acting for him and will continue to act.”

Hon, a constitutional lawyer, said Buhari means well for Nigeria by handing over to the Vice President before traveling.

He said the Acting President has full powers of a President, so there was no vacuum.

Hon said: “It is still within his constitutionally allowed time to be absent. Anybody can be sick, so let’s not over blow this thing. I would want everybody to pray for him and to wish him well.

“The Vice President is the Acting President. He has all the powers of a sitting President as it were, in the absence of the President.

“Buhari has done well by handing over to the Vice President. Some other people don’t do that. Some governors don’t hand over to their deputies when they travel.

“So, to hand over to the Vice President shows he means well for the country.”

2018 World Cup qualifiers: Gernot Rohr not afraid as Cameroon qualify for AFCON 2017 final

Head coach of the Super Eagles, Gernot Rohr, has said he is not scared of Cameroon, despite their performances at the ongoing 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, which has seen them qualify for the final.

The Indomitable Lions defeated West African rivals Ghana 2-0 in their semi-final clash on Thursday, to book a place in the final where they face Egypt.

Cameroon are also in the same group with Nigeria for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying series and take on the Eagles in a crucial double-header in August this year.

Rohr, who is in Gabon as a pundit, hailed them a good team, but insisted that Nigeria has what it take to defeat Cameroon.

“This Cameroon side is very good, strong and hungry, but I think we have the quality and mentality to beat them to the world cup ticket. I have picked enough dossier to guide us past Cameroon,” a reliable NFF source quotes Rohr as saying, according to Complete Sports.

“I will still watch them in future friendly games and during the 2019 AFCON qualifiers in June. They are good, but I think we have what it takes to stop them and get the World Cup ticket”

Nigeria lead the group with six points after two rounds of matches, followed by Cameroon with two points. Zambia and Algeria have one point each.

Rohr’s men will host Cameroon on August 28, with the reverse fixture coming up five days later on September 2.

CAN, PFN, Demand President Buhari’s Resignation

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Thursday called for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari, alleging that he is no longer fit to lead the country.

South-South chapters of CAN and PFN, at a joint meeting in Warri, Delta State said the president’s silence on the killings of Christians in Northern Nigeria has become worrisome to the point where self-help becomes the compelling option for Christians to protect themselves.

Briefing newsmen following a closed-door meeting, Bishop Simeon Okah, National Vice President PFN (South-South), said, “Number one issue is this Fulani herdsman in our bushes.

We are no longer going to fold our hands and watch while they kill our people.Some governors are saying they are not from the North. That claim is an insult to us. “Today our children are now being deported from America and here we have people from outside our country killing people and raping our daughters, mother, and wives. Our farmers no longer have farmlands to farm.

I think it’s high time we started defending ourselves if the government cannot help us.” The economy is dying. When Jonathan handed over to Buhari, the exchange rate was between N170 to N190 to a dollar. Today, it is N550 to a dollar.

Imagine how things had gone bad? While the church will pray, if he (Buhari) cannot save the country, let him resign for the country to move to where God wants it to be.” The clergy also affirmed support for Apostle Johnson Suleiman over his recent alleged inflammatory statement which pitted him against Directorate of State Security, DSS, stressing that Suleman spoke the minds of Christians over the said comments.

 

Source:

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/can-pfn-demand-president-buharis-resignation/

Everything You Need To Know About The #IStandWithNigeria Peaceful Protest March

Since the idea of a nationwide march was first mentioned, the need for urgent solutions to the challenges facing Nigerians has become very clear. The people have hoped for a better Nigeria since 1999 but things are not getting any better for the majority.  We are still where we are – poor and desperate. I will be no longer be quiet.

I want to thank EiE, The 2face Foundation, numerous colleagues and countless fellow Nigerians for stepping up to partner with me. I am just a musician with a point of view and the ear of my fans.

I have dedicated my time and resources to peace building, voter education towards peaceful elections and youth engagement in governance in Nigeria. This time around, my partners, colleagues and I have come together to present a platform for real Nigerians to communicate their real pains to government at all levels in a peaceful and articulate manner with a view to getting lasting solutions to our problems.

This march is about demanding that all saboteurs of good government policies should hands off.

This march is about encouraging positive minded Nigerians to continue to work without intimidation.

We have a system that is clearly designed not to work for the majority.

 

What is this match not about?

 

It is not a platform for politicians of any party to manipulate. I know you will still spin it but for one second leave your battles aside and just listen to people without trying to score cheap political points against one another. It is not a point scoring exercise. It is certainly not personal.

It is not an organized labour platform. With all due respect to our comrades who have done much for Nigeria, this march is for the unrepresented.

It is not a ‘my religion or tribe is better than yours’ matter. All our blood is red.

I, Innocent Idibia, am a living example of a Nigerian who owes their success to Nigerians of every tribe and religion. None ask what religion or tribe I am before supporting me. I am grateful.

 

 

 

Therefore, it is with every sense of humility that I say that with this march, I want:

1)        Security

All Nigerians lives MUST matter. My religion, ethnicity or what part of the country I live shouldn’t determine the type of protection I get from my government.

According to the Constitution, “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.”

2)        Education

To develop beyond oil, we have to invest in our human capital. Every child must have access to quality education. If our teachers are not paid, how will we raise the next generation to lead the country and run our businesses?

3)        Health

Health is wealth. People die daily from lack of basic, affordable health care. We can definitely do better.

4)        Power

Government needs to make it easier to generate power at the state and local government level so everything is not tied to the center. We need electricity to be productive. The cost of generating our own power is crippling.

5)        Unemployment

Poor education plus a struggling economy means a lot of people are unemployed. Unemployed people are hungry and angry.

6)        High cost of living

Food, transportation, medicine, everything is 3 times, 4 times more expensive but our salaries haven’t increased. What do we do???

7)        Social Justice

According to the Constitution, “The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of democracy and social justice.”

There cannot be one set of rules for the poor and another set for the rich.

8)        Transparency

The best way to kill corruption is to increase transparency. Government finances and contracts must be open and available to all. Who got the money, to do what and by when?

9)        Cost of government

Our governance is TOO expensive – federal, state, local – cars, housing, allowances. We must reduce the cost of maintaining our public officials

10)     Patriotism

I stand with Nigeria. There is enough in Nigeria for all of us to “chop belleful”. Enough is enough. We must put Nigeria first and keep all the greedy & selfish people away from leadership.

Call to Action

Between now and Monday, February 6, I ask you to share via videos, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, SMS to 0902-355-5335. How are these issues affecting you? What are your daily struggles? How is it doing you? No matter what part of the world you are, I encourage you to share your stories. And join me on Monday in Surulere or online

Use any of the hashtags #IStandWith2Baba #IStandWithNigeria #OneVoiceNigeria on social media.

We will take all the reports and send them to our elected representatives as ONE VOICE of Nigerians across party, ethnic and religious lines – as they hear real people talk about real issues.

On Monday, February 6th, meet me at the National Stadium at 8AM and we’ll walk to the National Theatre – 2 national icons that epitomize our decline – as we state clearly and peacefully that #IStandWithNigeria and Nigeria must work for all of us and all of us must work for Nigeria.

‘Homes, Offices to Rely On Off Grid Power’ – VP Osinbajo

So many homes and offices will soon quit the national grid for off grid electricity generation sources, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo said yesterday.

His confidence lies in the growing favourable economics of using renewable energy sources, such as solar photovoltaics (PV), to generate electricity.

This, said Osinbajo, means that Nigeria will use off grid renewable energy solutions to close the wide deficit in stable electricity supply to its citizens.

The Acting Vice President, who spoke in Wuna on the outskirts of Abuja when he kicked off the presidential initiative on solar homes systems, said the government will leverage on the falling costs of deploying solar PV to move many people away from the national grid.
The pay-as-you-go solar initiative will be funded and implemented by the Niger Delta Power Holdings Plc (NDPHC) in partnership with Azuri Technologies.

Said Osinbajo: “We think that as solar power becomes cheaper, and it is becoming cheaper practically day by day, we will be able to afford to do even more and deploying more across the country, especially to places that are not served by the grid.
“The grid is just one transmission centre, if you like, but we cannot take all our power from the grid. And so, in the next few years, it will not be absolutely important for you to be connected to the grid because we will be deploying every type of off grid solutions that we can deploy and we want to do that in the industrial areas,” said Osinbajo.

He said on the need for Nigeria to pivot to off grid solar power: “There is absolutely no reason why our country that has possibly the best radiation anywhere in the world (should not embrace solar) – many parts of Nigeria, especially in the northern parts, radiation is excellent, and so we are going to do our best to use solar power to the maximum, especially wherever we can find the best radiation.”
He noted that the initiative would target to provide 20,000 homes with solar power systems, and that the government was talking with private operators to partner with it in escalating its reach.

“We expect that this will be replicated all over Nigeria. We are starting with 20,000 but I am sure we will ramp up very quickly. We have been talking to the private sector about involving themselves also on this project.”
The Managing Director of NDPHC, Mr. Chiedu Ugbo said the initiative was part of the firm’s mandate to reduce the country’s electricity supply deficit.

Ugbo said 200 homes in Wuna would benefit from the scheme, and will eventually own it after some monthly repayments.

“There are many Nigerians (estimated at 70 million) without any connection to the grid who still rely on rudimentary lighting systems characterised mainly by use of kerosene lamps, candles and petrol generators with attendant health and safety risks and indeed financial challenges,” he noted.

He said: By the Solar-Home-System initiative being launched by Your Excellency today, NDPHC, will be actively involved in the process of bringing power to these rural communities, thereby stimulating social and economic activities in the rural communities located off the grid.”
“Under the first phase of the programme, NDPHC will deploy about 20,000 units of solar home systems to the underserved rural communities with no access to grid electricity supply. NDPHC has deployed 200 units of the SHS as pilot programme here in Wuna. The beneficiaries of the 20,000 units are among the already identified communities of the 19 northern states of the federation. The units will be deployed within a period of 12 months.

“NDPHC adopted a community-based approach that will allow the rural low-income dwellers an opportunity to participate in this project. This approach allows a monthly payment for energy and also acquisition of the SHS unit after a certain period of time.”

 

Source:

Osinbajo: homes, offices to rely on off grid power

Four States Sue Trump Over Muslim Ban

Four US states are suing the Trump administration over the president’s executive order banning refugees and travellers from a list of predominantly Muslim countries from entering America.

New York, Massachusetts and Virginia joined Washington state on a growing list of states in launching legal challenges against executive order that wreaked havoc at airports at the weekend

Washington became the first state to sue the White House on Monday.

On Tuesday New York joined a federal lawsuit against Trump’s executive order brought by the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, the Urban Justice Center and others…

Eric Schneiderman, the New York state attorney general, described the order signed last Friday as unconstitutional, unlawful, and fundamentally un-American

“Virginia has a substantial interest in protecting its public universities and their faculty and students from the academic and fiscal disruption posed by the executive order,” according to the state’s motion filed in the federal court of Alexandria

Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey said the state was also filing its own case seeking to have the ban struck down.

The executive order is harmful, discriminatory and unconstitutional. It

discriminates on the basis of religion and national origin, Healey said at a press briefing at her office

 

Source: www.washingtonexaminer.com

We’ll Resist Padding of 2017 Budget- Dep Senate Leader

Deputy Leader of the Senate, Senator Bala Na’Allah, on Tuesday, said that the National Assembly would not permit any padding in the 2017 budget.

Senator Na’Allah made the disclosure when the Rector and officials of the Nigerian Aviation College of Technology, appeared before the Senate Committee on Aviation to defend the agency’s 2017 budget.

In 2016, the leadership of the House of Representatives was accused by the then chairman of the Lower Legislative Chamber’s committee on Appropriation, Hon. Abdulmumunin Jibrin, of padding the budget.

The controversy eventually led to a delay in the passage of the 2016 budget. President Muhammadu Buhari who first raised the alarm, rejected the first draft copy of the approved budget and sent it back to the National Assembly. The budget was eventually passed in late March of 2016.

But Senator Na’Allah who serves as the vice chairman of the committee, said anything not captured in the original 2017 budget document submitted to the National Assembly should be resubmitted in the supplementary budget of the Federal Government.

He said: “We will not add anything that was not added in the original budget. If you want to increase the budgetary allocation, you have to send a supplementary budget. If we do that, you will accuse us of budget padding. We will not allow it.

“We want to ensure that public money is spend judiciously. We want to be sure that whatever we are approving for anything is what will buy the same thing. We have looked at your budget. We will do everything possible to give you what you want.

“We will also take out some money which we think you do not need. Since you are refleeting, you must tell us what your intentions are and what you intend to do with the old ones. Next week Thursday, we are going to the aviation college to see the state of the runway to see what is happening there.”

A member of the committee, Senator Ben Murray Bruce, while speaking, revealed that he will soon sponsor a bill to privatise the aviation sector. He said the current state of major airports in the country was of serious concerns to him.

Capt. Abdusalami Mohammed, Rector of Nigerian Aviation College of Technology, Zaria, could not respond to some of the questions posed to him by the senators.

 

Source:

https://www.today.ng/news/nigeria/253133/resist-padding-2017-budget-dep-senate-leader

Buhari Too Slow in Handling Nigeria’s Affairs – Falana

Human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), has lamented that President Muhammadu Buhari was slow in handling Nigeria’s affairs.

Speaking on the status of the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, whose acting tenure expires in less than two weeks, Falana described the situation as worrisome.

“The Buhari administration claims the delay is occasioned by the investigation of some justices of the Supreme Court,” he told The Interview.

“But it should not take eternity to conduct the probe. The government should ensure that the investigation is concluded as soon as possible.

“The risk is that the delay may be politicised or even ethnicised. More dangerously, the Senate that will eventually confirm the nominee may be tempted to influence the decisions of the Supreme Court.

“That is what the delay in confirming the appointment of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as Economic and Financial Crimes Commission chairman has caused. The government must avoid a situation whereby the confirming authority is setting down conditions for the confirmation of the nominee for the post of the CJN.”

Asked if he thinks government might put Onnoghen’s name forward at the last minute, Falana said he could not afford to guess.

“President Muhammadu Buhari is generally very slow in handling affairs of state. The Senate has gone on recess and will not resume until February 21. In the circumstance, the acting CJN may be reappointed after the end of the mandatory period of three months.

“When the immediate past president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, was suspended for over one year, Justice Bulkachuwa was acting president for over one year before she was eventually confirmed. In 2007, when the Senate deferred the confirmation of the appointment of the former CJN Legbo Kutigi, he was sworn in as acting CJN.”

 

Source:

Buhari slow in handling Nigeria’s affairs – Falana

“Release Zakzaky or be charged with contempt”, Court tells DSS.

The federal high court sitting in Abuja says the Department of State Services (DSS) should release Ibraheem Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and Zennah Ibraheem, his wife, immediately.

On December 2, 2016, the court ordered the DSS to release Zakzaky and members of his family.

The court also ordered the police to get the IMN leader and his wife a safe place to stay.

Zakzaky has been in DSS custody since December 2015 when IMN members, also known as Shi’ites, clashed with Nigerian army in Zaria, Kaduna state.

However, in a notice by the court registrar to the DSS, Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP) and Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), he said if they not obey the order to release him from custody, they would be guilty of contempt.

The notice seen by TheCable which was entitled ‘Notice of Consequences of Disobedience to Order of Court’, read: “Take notice that unless you obey the direction contained in the order of federal high court of justice delivered on the 2nd December, 2016, which ordered you to release the applicants in suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/281/2016 and its sister suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/282/2016 withing forty days, inter alia you will be guilty of contempt of court and be liable to be committed to prison.

“A copy of the said order of earlier served on you is hereby annexed for your on-the-spot reference.

“This court has been informed that even as at Friday, the 20th January 2017, you are yet to comply with the lawful order of this honourable court by refusing to release th following persons namely; Sheikh El-Zakzaky and Mallama Zennah Ibraheem in your custody.

“Your are hereby directed to comply with the court order forthwith or you will guilty of contempt of court.”

We are under attack, but won’t change our forex policy – CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has come under attack for its foreign exchange policy, but would not change the policy nor bow to these “self-serving” interests.

In a statement by Isaac Okorafor, the bank’s spokesman, the CBN said it “has observed with great concern the continued and unwarranted attack on its policies by a group of Nigerians, whose real interests, findings have shown, are anything near altruistic but rather self-serving and unpatriotic”.

“While we respect the rights of every Nigerian or stakeholder to their respective views, we find it curious that certain interests have remained persistent in their move to misinform the larger public, with the intention of discrediting genuine efforts at managing the economy, thereby creating public distrust and panic within the financial system.

“Indeed, self-centered individuals, who have failed to assail our patriotic position, have resorted to the sponsorship of serial propaganda to misinform and mislead the public on the objectives of our policies.”

CBN said intelligence reports have revealed that the involvement of “some unpatriotic elements funding the push to have the CBN and the federal government reverse its forex policy, which is aimed at conserving foreign exchange, stimulating agriculture and manufacturing and also promoting exports”.

“The present economic challenges that we face have been worsened by our past practice of frittering away huge earnings made from oil sales, over the years.

“As we have explained several times, our decisions on forex management are prompted by the challenge posed by the level of depletion of the country’s reserves, arising from issues such as a drastic reduction in oil earnings, speculative attacks and round tripping.

“It is pertinent to note that pressures on the country’s foreign reserves have persisted due to a huge fall in the monthly foreign earnings, which fell from over US $3.2 billion sometime in 2013 to below $500 million per month sometime in 2016, when the demand for the US dollar, particularly by importers, continued to rise considerably.”

The CBN said despite obvious challenges, it has continued to ensure that there is liquidity and transparency in the forex market, while keeping inflation at bay, and promoting productivity in critical sections of the economy.

The apex bank also said it has remained committed to providing “access to credit to farmers and small scale entrepreneurs at single digit rates, to create wealth”.

“Protect the interest of Bank customers in Nigeria; and above all ensure that the masses of our country’s low income earners are protected from the vagaries of high naira depreciation”.

 

 

Source: www.thecable.ng

#SouthernKaduna: The Vanguard Newspaper Lied, College of Education Students Were Not Killed.

Kaduna State College of Education, Gidan Waya is in receipt of a report on unfounded news going round the media especially the social media that five (5) students of the College were ambushed and killed by Fulani Herdsmen on their way to the College along Kagoro-Gidan Waya road on Sunday, 22nd January, 2017.


The College wishes to categorically state that the story is totally false and unfounded. Similarly, the College is not aware or in receipt of any report of such incidence from the Police.  Moreover, the College does not run any Department of Mass Communication and all her students of the Gidan-Waya campus are presently on break.


We are surprised that such insinuation is being patronised and perpetrated by certain reputable media outfits such as Vanguard. 

Members of the general public are therefore, called upon to totally disregard such stories as they are mere attempt to compound the security challenges being experienced in Southern Kaduna and the State in general. 

Corruption: Transparency International Ranks Nigeria Low

For the fourth consecutive year, Nigeria has failed to rise in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception ranking.

TI, which released its 2016 report on Thursday, ranked Nigeria 136 out of 176 countries. However, while the organisation scored Nigeria 26 per cent in its last report, it scored the country 28 in its latest report.

The war against corruption is one of the cardinal objectives of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government which took over in May 2015.

The administration claims to have recovered billions of dollars in cash and assets in the last 18 months but the anti-graft war is perceived to be one-sided.

In the report, TI ranks Denmark as number one with a score of 90 per cent while Somalia is placed at the bottom with a score of 10 per cent.

 

Source:

http://punchng.com/corruption-transparency-international-ranks-nigeria-low/

Buhari’s anti-Corruption War Is a Big Scam – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war is nothing but a big scam.

The party was reacting to the President’s clearance of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. David Babachir Lawal, of corruption allegations.

A statement issued on Wednesday by the spokesman of the PDP, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said clearing Magu and Lawal “has finally confirmed our earlier assertion that the ‘anti-corruption war’ of the All Progressive Congress (APC)- led administration is a ruse; a witch-hunting mechanism to harass PDP members and perceived enemies of this administration.”

The statement said, “It is no longer news that all those who are serving in the government of President Muhammadu Buhari or who are members of his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) within the last two years of his administration have all been cleared of any wrong doing; notwithstanding documentary and other incontrovertible evidences to the contrary.

“The Presidency in today’s dispensation is the ‘Judicial Clearing House’ issuing clean bill of health to all accused corrupt officials who are members of the APC and friends of the administration.

“It is quite disturbing that the President cleared his SGF of wrong doing despite the weighty evidences of his “grass-cutting abilities” uncovered by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, implicating Babachir of complicity in the award of contracts relating to the IDP camp in Borno State amounting to over 200 million Naira.

“It is more worrisome that Mr. President made light of the DSS Report which directly indicted the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, of several unwholesome and corrupt practices in the line of his duties.

“President Buhari saw nothing wrong in the report but was quick to order the invasion of judges homes in a Gestapo and commando-style following the same DSS report.

“What a double standard! It appears that the APC led government is implementing two constitutions in Nigeria; one for the PDP and other opposition parties and their leaders; while the other is for the ruling party, the APC and friends of this administration.”

The PDP also alluded to the clearance given to the Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, in the Dubai property saga, found to belong to the Army Staff.

“The Chief of Army Staff was cleared of all accusations even with convincing evidence of owning choice properties in Dubai beyond his income; and also overwhelming evidence of misdeeds while serving as Director of Procurement in the last administration.

“Notwithstanding, President Buhari cleared him by attributing his ownership of choice properties to diligent and thrifty saving of his wages but went after Supreme Court Justices for owning properties as if the Judges too cannot also save from their own wages.

“In the same vien, ‘Buhari’s Court’ also cleared the Minister of Interior, Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazzau for owning properties worth over 1.5 billion Naira in the United States of America; and in fact rather than being prosecuted, he was rewarded with the highest budget vote in the 2017 Budget.”

 

Source:

https://newtelegraphonline.com/news/buharis-anti-corruption-war-farce-pdp/

The power sector is a walking corpse – Tony Elumelu

Tony Elumelu, chairman of Transcorp Group and United Bank for Africa (UBA), says Nigeria’s power sector is a walking corpse, and it may collapse soon if no urgent action is taken.

“The agency of government that has responsibility for making sure that this sector delivers on its potential is not doing well enough. We are owed a lot of money,” Elumelu told CNBC Africa.

“Transcorp Power Holdings is owed almost N50 billion. When we put in the invoice for this month, we should be owed almost N54 or N55 billion. How do you survive in business like this? How? Other GenCos I know are actually dying.

“We are struggling because of our diversified resource base, what of others? Something urgent and drastic must be done. It is as urgent as yesterday.

“The truth is Transcorp power, as a key operator in the sector, is struggling. And if we are struggling, you can imagine what others are going through.”

Elumelu went on to ask the government to allow it generate its own gas, adding that “where we are located, we are sitting on a lot of gas”.

He said the government started owing Transcorp when a dollar was N168, but may now pay back (in naira) when the dollar goes for 300 to N500, a massive depletion of value to shareholders.

“Now you put in an invoice and you get paid 15-20%. And they started owing us when the naira was N168 to the dollar. Today, it’s N300 officially and N500 on the black market to the dollar so imagine the depletion, the erosion of value to shareholders of Transcorp.

“Is that going to encourage more investment in the sector? How? We are all living on borrowed time.”

He said Transcorp was negotiating with GE to bring in turbines worth $500 million, but had to shelve the plan because the company could not secure the necessary foreign exchange for the deal.

REVIEW OF TARIFF IS DUE

“When we went to the invest in the power sector, price of the tariff was predicated on three factors, exchange rate, gas, and rate of inflation. The rate of inflation has moved from single digits to double digits,” Elumelu added.

“The dollar is now worth over N300, and there are problems with gas supply. Today, all three factors have changed but they are still paying us the same.

“On top of that, you’re owing us, and we all understand the time value of  money. Transcorp power, you owe us about N50 billion. If you pay that money today, it would have more value.

“You’ve been owing us for years, and when we issue invoice, you would pay us about 20 percent of our invoice, so how do you survive in that market. So, indeed, the power sector is a walking corpse. It is a matter of time.”

Elumelu called on the government to prioritise the sector to save it from imminent collapse.

 

Source: www.thecable.ng

Resign now, you are corrupt – Aisha Yesufu tells President Buhari.

The co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls, BBOG, group, Aisha Yesufu, has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter to the Senate on why he cannot sack and prosecute indicted Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal.

Recall that Babachir had been alleged to have diverted money meant to fight humanitarian crisis in the North East, and the senate had called for his arrest and prosecution.

But Buhari, on Monday had explained why he cannot honour the senate’s report calling for Lawal’s arrest, prosecution and sack.

In her reaction, Yesufu called out the President, saying the reason for his defense was because he was corrupt.

In a series of tweets on her Twitter handle?@AishaYesufu , she called on Buhari to resign.

She tweeted: “Does the President need the senate to even sack d SGF? You must not only talk tough. You must act it.

“It’s surprisingly amazing. President Buhari that was using sachet of milk and beverage now carrying teapot in London. Wahala dey.

“I will rather die imprisoned for saying the truth than become Defender of the Corrupt like President Buhari.

“Democracy is not fraud. The win for me was that we changed a sitting government and we would again Insha Alla.

“If Pres Buhari @MBuhari has any shred of honour, character & integrity he should RESIGN. Enough of the damage that might last a generation.

“If President Buhari can clear someone that stole 200m from vulnerable IDPs in this type of recession, then imagine what he would have done in abundance.

“Either Babachir looted on behalf of Buhari or President Buhari has looted more and Babachir has evidence or PMB is going senile.

“In Nigeria when one is poor one is faceless, nameless and voiceless. President Buhari whom the poor supported massively just reaffirmed it.

“Rich Nigerians must get fair hearing. The rest can be lynched for whatever reason on the streets. Whatever you do, don’t be poor in Nigeria.

“In Nigeria it seems stealing is not crime. It’s stealing small amount or stealing while you are poor or with no connection that’s the crime.

“Rich Nigerians must get fair hearing. The rest can be lynched for whatever reason on the streets. Whatever you do, don’t be poor in Nigeria.

“And I would give up on it if you actually stood up for him.”

 

www.nigerianeye.com

We Need an Igbo President in Nigeria – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has subtly made a case for other geo-political zones that have not produced a President since 1999 to have a taste of it in the interest of justice and fairness.

The Southeast is yet to produce a President while the Southwest, North and minority Southsouth have had shots at the Presidency at different times.

Obasanjo said it was his view that the Southeast should produce a President as Ogun West Senatorial District in Ogun State should also produce a governor soon.

The ex-President spoke yesterday when the leadership of Ogun State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Bishop Tunde-Akin Akinsanya and other people visited him at his Hilltop home for a special New Year service.

According to him, in justice and neglect lie the instigators of conflicts along with ethnic and regional lines in the country.

Obasanjo said it was part of his resolve for a just and fair country that informed his decision to work for a Southsouth President in 2009.

He said: “Irrespective of the thinking of the people ahead of 2019, I personally think that Southeast should have a go at the Presidency too.

“The same is happening here. If Ijebu and Egba have produced the governor, it is only fair and just to allow the Yewa or Ogun West to also produce a governor. Or else, one day, they will also stand up and take up arms against this injustice against them. That is my personally position on this.”
The former President cautioned Nigerians against unguided comments over Southern Kaduna crisis.

Obasanjo said unenlightened comments about the violence were largely responsible for the escalation of the situation.
He said: “My findings so far show that everyone is talking from the position of strength. People are not talking from knowledge of what they know. This is not helping. We must be able to dump all our sentiments to overcome the challenges.

“Just like other cases of injustice around us, we need peace. It is only peace with justice that can solve all these crises. Genuine peace is what everyone is craving for and this can only come when there is justice.”

Bishop Akinsanya described Obasanjo as a special gift to Nigeria and the world, considering his exploits and fatherly role in Nigeria and beyond.
The cleric hailed the former President for facilitating the building of Ecumenical Centre in Abuja, adding that the state chapter of CAN was working on a similar project in Ogun State.

 

source:

Obasanjo canvasses Igbo President for Nigeria

Court Orders Release of Ex-NSA Dasuki Again

An Abuja High Court has again reaffirmed the bail granted former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and five others in the arm deal trial involving $2.1 billion.

Justice Baba Yusuf reaffirmed the bail on Mr. Dasuki on the ground that he was entitled to it and having been admitted to same since 2015 when the federal government brought criminal charges against him.

Mr. Dasuki and five others were re-arraigned before Justice Baba Yusuf on the criminal charges that were transferred from Justice Peter Affen of the FCT High Court to the new court.

However after the 22 charges were read to the six defendants and all pleaded not guilty, counsel to Mr. Dasuki, Ahmed Raji, applied to the court to reaffirm the bail granted to the ex-NSA even though he has not been allowed to enjoy same since December 2015.

The counsel submitted that it was on record that the FCT High Court 24 admitted Mr. Dasuki on bail before he was illegally arrested and detained by the State Security Services (SSS).

Mr. Raji argued that with the transfer of the case from Justice Affen to Justice Baba Yusuf, the SSS had been separated from the matter, adding that the court record indicated that the ex-NSA was being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and not SSS.

The counsel further said that the illegal act of SSS should not be used to divest the court of its power to reaffirm the bail granted Mr. Dasuki earlier because he is entitled to it.

He urged Justice Baba Yusuf to adopt the bail conditions earlier granted Mr. Dasuki before Justice Affen and reaffirm same in the interest of justice.

The counsel argued that it is wrong of the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, to have objected to the reaffirmation of the bail condition on Mr. Dasuki.

He said that Mr. Dasuki has in his possession a judgment of the ECOWAS Court which last year set aside the unlawful detention of the Ex-NSA and also imposed a fine of N15,000,000 on the Federal Government as compensation to his client.

Another Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Lateef Fagbemi, who spoke as a friend of the court, argued that there was no dispute that Mr. Dasuki was granted bail but has not been released by the SSS to enjoy the bail.

The senior counsel described the action of SSS as most unfortunate and urged Justice Yusuf to resist the temptation of being drawn into the illegality of actions of the SSS on Mr. Dasuki.

The Federal Government Counsel, Mr. Jacobs, told the court that he had no objection to the affirmation of the bail earlier granted to five other defendants in the trial.

He however urged the judge not to make any pronouncement or order in respect of the bail for Mr. Dasuki since he had not been allowed to enjoy any bail.

“Court must not act in vain, there is no point making an order in vain. Dasuki has been in the custody of the DSS since 2015 and is still there till today,” he said.

However in his brief ruling, Justice Yusuf said that it was an undisputable fact that ex-NSA was granted bail in 2015 and that it would be in the interest of justice to reaffirm the same bail irrespective of the action of another arm of the security agencies.

The judge adjourned trial in the matter to February 24, 2016.

Others charged along with Mr. Dasuki are former Finance Minister of State, Bashir Yuguda; a former Director of Finance and Administration in the Office of the National Security Adviser(ONSA), Shuaibu Salisu; Dalhatu Investment; Sagir Attahiru Bafarawa and a former Sokoto State governor, Attahiru Bafarawa.

They were charged with corruption and breach of trust contrary to Section 215 of the Penal Code and Section 17B of the EFCC Act 2004.

 

Source:

http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/221407-court-orders-release-ex-nsa-dasuki.html

News Alert!! Magu, SGF cleared of corruption, Buhari tells Senate

President Muhammadu Buhari has informed the Senate that the Acting Chairman of the Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, have been cleared of corruption charges following an investigation into allegations against them.

Buhari said this in a letter to the Senate re-nominating Magu as Chairman of the EFCC.

In the letter read by Senate President Bukola Saraki, Buhari said Magu and Lawal were cleared of corruption in a report by the Attorney General of the Federation.

 

Source:

http://punchng.com/breaking-magu-sgf-cleared-corruption-buhari-tells-senate/

Apply For The PACFaH 2017 Health Budget Monitor Media Challenge & Win Prizes

Are you a Journalist, Radio/Television Reporter or Presenter, Social Media Influencer? How passionate are you about Nigeria’s Health Sector?

We the Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH) Project Nigeria would like to invite you to become a champion and an advocate for child and family health in Nigeria. Join our cause to encourage government to increase the funds for 2017 Health budget.

Our goal is to ensure that Nigerian government makes provision for the Universal Health Coverage to provide a 15% allocation of its national budget to health as it was agreed in the Abuja Declaration (2001).

Year after year Nigeria’s health budget have continue to fluctuate from 4% to 6%, but this year budget proposal presented by President Buhari show that health was allocated a disheartening 4.17%. We want you to join our cause to ask the government to meet up with its commitment.

Write an article, do a radio/television report or carry out a social media campaign asking the government to increase Nigeria’s 2017 Health Budget.

With our advocacy and your voice in the media, we can push the health budget higher! Now is the time to act! Take the challenge, write an in-depth report/editorial, do a ground breaking radio and television report; or do a social media campaign.

 

HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY OF THE CATEGORIES

1. Printed Articles in Newspaper (English and Indigenous)

Interested media persons will draft, share and publicize their own content such as Newspaper articles.

Media channels for participation in the challenge; National and State Newspapers (English and Indigenous)

Participants will then upload an evidence of execution by sharing their scanned content in .JPG format on the submission portal.

2. Online Articles (Editorials)

Interested media persons will draft, share and publicize their own content articles on a credible online news websites, blogs etc and share content with PACFaH social media channels (Twitter and Facebook).

Participants will then share an evidence of execution by uploading their scanned content in .JPG format on the PACFaH submission portal.

3. National and State Radio Stations (English and Indigenous)

Develop content for radio in English and/or local dialect of that state

Participants will then share an evidence of execution by uploading their audio content in .MP3 format on the PACFaH submission portal.

4. National and State TV Stations (English and indigenous)

Develop content for TV in English and/or local dialect of that state

Participants will then share a 5mins extract of their work by uploading video content in .MP4 format on the PACFaH submission portal.

5. Social Media Influencers

Interested persons will draft, share and publicize their own creative campaigns with their social media accounts and tag PACFaH Social Media handles in your campaigns.

TWITTER: @Pacfah_Nig

FACEBOOK: fb.me/PACFAH

INSTAGRAM: @Pacfah_Nig

Participants will then share an evidence of execution by uploading their screenshot content in .JPG format or short .MP4 video with maximum limit of 5mins on the PACFaH submission portal.

Terms and Conditions

1. Participants will upload an evidence of execution by uploading their content on PACFaH submission portal.

Evidence include: Scanned Newspaper page, Video and Radio recordings, and Social Media Campaign screenshot/video.

2. Participants will be required to follow PACFaH online platforms and actively participate in PACFaH conversations on the 2017 health budget.

TWITTER: @Pacfah_Nig

FACEBOOK: fb.me/PACFAH

INSTAGRAM: @Pacfah_Nig

3. PACFaH will disassociate itself with participants guilty of plagiarism and derogatory content.

4. The best persons in these different categories of media campaign will be rewarded with modest cash prizes:

Best English National and State Newspaper Article

  • 1st prize =N200,000
  • 2nd Prize = N100,000
  • 3rd prize = N75,000

Best Indigenous Newspaper Article

  • 1st prize =N200,000
  • 2nd Prize = N100,000
  • 3rd prize = N75,000

Best Television Coverage

  • 1st prize =N200,000
  • 2nd Prize = N100,000
  • 3rd prize = N75,000

Best Radio Coverage

  • 1st prize =N200,000
  • 2nd Prize = N100,000
  • 3rd prize = N75,000

Best Local language Radio or TV program in Bauchi, Kano, Kaduna, Nassarawa, Niger, Oyo and Lagos states

  • 1st prize =N200,000
  • 2nd Prize = N100,000
  • 3rd prize = N50,000

Best Online Media (Only) News Report/Editorial

  • 1st prize =N200,000
  • 2nd Prize = N100,000
  • 3rd prize = N75,000

Best Social Media Influencer

  • 1st prize = N200,000
  • 2nd prize = N100,000

Best Infographics

  • 1st prize = N200,000
  • 2nd prize = N100,000

Duration of challenge: Monday 23rd to Tuesday, 31st of January

Senate to focus on 2017 Budget this week

This week, the Senate is set to begin debate on the 2017 appropriation bill submitted by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Both chambers of the National Assembly had last week passed the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the Fiscal Strategy Paper for 2017 to 2019, paving the way for the consideration of the 2017 appropriation bill.

In the Notice Paper for the week from January 23 to 27, issued by the office of the Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Baba Kaka Garbai, all three days of plenary will be dedicated to debate on the 2017 budget.

On Tuesday, prior to the commencement of the budget debate, the Committee on Customs and Excise, Chaired by Senator Hope Uzodinma, will be submitting its Report on the Bill to Repeal and Re-Enact the Nigerian Customs Service Management Act (2017).

Also scheduled for Tuesday is a motion by the Senate Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, for the re-appointment of Buhari’s nominee, Aghatise Erediauwa, as the Executive Director of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation in accordance with Section 5(4) and 8(3) of the NDIC Act of 2004.

 

Source:

https://www.today.ng/business/budget/249662/senate-focus-2017-budget-week

Those Responsible for Southern Kaduna Killings will be Prosecuted – el-Rufai

Kaduna State Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai, has assured the people of Southern Kaduna that all those culpable in the dastardly act of killing innocents people in the area would be tracked down and prosecuted.

He described the incident in Southern Kaduna as unfortunate and condemnable.

He stated this when the Council of Traditional Chiefs and Emirs led by Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris paid him a solidarity visit.

“This is not something to talk about because I am not the first governor to receive this kind of treatment, every governor in the last 15 years in this state has been treated this way and it is part of the challenges and burden of leadership. So I am not disturbed.

“As you know, leaders especially in any political dispensation, must learn to tolerate a lot of things because you have those who like you and those who oppose you because of political differences.

” That is why I did not take this personal, but what we will do is to prosecute all those responsible for the killings. And we are working hard with security agencies to ensure our citizens are safe and secure,” the governor said.

He said, the biggest assignment is for the citizen to unite and should do the best to see that they have peace and unity as a prerequisite for progress and development.

“Besides security challenges, we are faced with poor infrastructure, poor social amenities, poor schools, bad roads, lack of power and potable water and that is what this government is working to provide for the people.

We have cut down the gains and monetary profits people get in government just to be able to provide democratic dividends to the people. In your domains, you can see on-going projects at various stages of completion.

“We are also committed to demonstrating fairness and equity in the way we execute projects all over the state. I and my deputy and all those who work under this administration, have taken oaths with either the Quran or the Bible, that we will be fair and just in our affairs. I am giving you my promise that we will be guided by this oath in all our dealings.”

On the issue of Southern Kaduna, the governor said that three measures would be put in place.

“I have met the Chief of Army Staff and he has approved the establishment of two battalions in Southern Kaduna; one in Kafanchan and the other one in Kachia.

I thought the one in Kachia will be sited elsewhere because of the presence of both the Nigerian Army and Navy Schools but I know the military has a reason of putting it in Kachia.

 

Source:

http://punchng.com/responsible-southern-kaduna-killings-will-prosecuted-el-rufai/

3rd Mainland Bridge Traffic: The Irresponsibility Of Fashola & FERMA – By Adeeko Ademola

Recently, there have been tales of terrible gridlocks in a particular part of Lagos, the third mainland bridge to be precise and this has over time had it’s toll on the traffic situation of some major routes in the metropolis.

The Third Mainland Bridge is the longest of three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the mainland, the other two being the Eko and Carter bridges. The bridge which serves as an alternative route to Agege Motor Road and Ikorodu Road especially to  motorists and commuters who work or live on the Island, is no doubt one of the busiest basically because it links the Mainland to the core Lagos Island namely; Ikoyi, Obalende, Victoria Island and even Lekki-Ajah.

The recent traffic gridlock however can be traced to the ongoing rehabilitiation of the third mainland. After findings, I was able to deduce that adequate information was not made public in terms of warnings to motorists and commuters who ply that route on a daily basis. This is an act of gross irresponsibility and negligence of duty.

This development is totally unacceptable from the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing which ironically is headed by a former governor of Lagos State.

Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, who during his term in office as governor of Lagos State ensures that the public is notified of proposed construction works on federal projects in the state. In most cases, the Lagos State Government is properly briefed on such proposals and the government in return relays such notification to members of the public. However, reverse is the case and ultimately more disappointing that the former governor who is now the Minister for Power, Works and Housing does not deem it fit to put proper measures in place to avert or reduce the resultant effect of a road diversion especially on a busy route like the third mainland bridge.

A close look at the ongoing rehabilitation of the bridge, it is clearly evident that the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) which is saddled with the responsibility of rectifying the recent damages on the bridge is far from capable and professional. Series of construction-related accidents have been recorded in the past few days and I think in my own opinion that the government agency may lack the capability to handle the task. The FG, over time has had a good work history with world renowned construction giants, Julius Berger Nigeria Limited. Why the FG has decided to overlook a more professional company for the one contracted to rehabilitate the bridge is a cause for concern.

The capability of FERMA to adequately secure lives and property during the period it has to fix the bridge is questionable as some of the heavy duty equipment being used by FERMA broke down today and caused a very terrible gridlock which created a messy backlog up to areas like Ogudu, Ojota, 7UP and Motorways area of the mainland. Also, FERMA has failed woefully to ensure it properly puts up traffic signs and warnings on the route. Any responsible construction agency should know that warning signs are integral part of their work equipment. It is grossly irresponsible of FERMA who embarked on the rehabilitation of a major road without prior notice to show up on-site without important work tools such as traffic signs and safety measure tools.

So, basically the partial closure of the third mainland bridge, broken down heavy duty equipment belonging to FERMA, added up with the irresponsibility of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing communication-wise are to blame for the un-quantifiable manpower and productive time Lagosians wasted in traffic today.

If the former governor of Lagos State do not see anything wrong with the negligence of duty as regards prompting the current governor of Lagos State about an impending infrastructural work like this particular one, then it is our duty as citizens to point it out.

Proper and well-timed communication has done a whole deal of reducing friction in recent time and it still remains the most effective tools of governance. I will implore the minister and all other public office holders to take most importantly this cheap tool called effective communication in carrying out their constituted assignments. Lagosians can only hope for a speedy rehabilitation of the third mainland bridge because it serves as a link for commercial activities for a huge percentage of Lagosians and it’s importance, value is not of little magnitude.

I also hope that measures to curb accidents and ensure safety of both workers and commuters while work is being carried out, will be in place. The ministry needs to do better to also ensure that the rehabilitation of the third mainland bridge does not totally cripple the economy of Lagos State.

President Buhari’s vacation is ill-timed and irresponsible – By Jude Egbas

48 hours after an Air-force fighter jet ‘mistakenly’ dropped bombs on the heads of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and  aid workers, the Commander-In-Chief announced that he’ll be embarking on a vacation abroad.

“I’m traveling to the United Kingdom today on a short leave; part of my annual vacation”, President Muhammadu Buhari announced. “I’ll be back at work on February 6. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will act as President”.

According to a statement from the President’s spokesperson, Femi Adesina, the trip borders on health concerns.

“During the vacation, the President will also undergo routine medical check-ups. In line with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the President of the Senate, and Speaker, House of Representatives, have been duly communicated,” Adesina said.

Here’s the thing: everybody falls ill. Everyone needs a vacation from work once in a while. That’s not even up for debate.

But when you are President of a country, discretion says you don’t announce a vacation just hours after the military which acts at your command, has just ‘accidentally’ killed innocent civilians.

Could the medical trip have been rescheduled? Is the ailment life threatening? If yes, then the people should have been duly informed of the severity of their President’s state of health; after all, the President is the servant of the people who elected him into office.

The people deserve to be told everything….oh well, almost everything.

President Buhari couldn’t even clear his desk to go see the IDP camp that was mistakenly bombed by his service chiefs.

He had to send a delegation.
When was the last time President Buhari addressed the nation on camera after a major disaster or loss of lives? He’ll issue a banal, run-of-the-mill press statement instead.

When was the last time Buhari showed up at the site of a Boko Haram bomb blast?

Yes, a President has to put up appearances, he’s got to show that he cares, he’s got to emotionally connect with the people.

Buhari comes across as cold and unfeeling–or that’s the way he appears to everyone else who isn’t holed up in the Aso Rock echo chamber.

We aren’t begrudging the President his medical trip abroad. He can travel wherever he wants and at whatever time he wants.

But this particular Buhari trip to the U.K is poor timing and in poor taste.

Again, the President has shown that perception and empathy mean nothing to him. And that should bother everyone.

Bukola Ogunyemi: Appraising Kaduna’s Smart Infrastructure Plan

Bukola Ogunyemi: Appraising Kaduna’s Smart Infrastructure Plan
Kaduna State knows that infrastructural development is a straightforward way to inject money into the economy and lay the foundation for long-term growth. This is why it has committed N108 billion of its 2016 budget to capital expenditure and will further commit N130 billion in 2017.
Already, 421 contracts have been awarded for renovation of public primary and secondary schools in the state. These renovations are complete with the provision of solar-powered bore holes and cubicle toilet blocks. The aim is to expand class sizes to the extent that they cater for school enrolment rates which have soared from about 1 million pupils in 2015 to 1.8 million currently.
In the same vein, the Dangote Group alongside the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have provided funding support to the Kaduna State Government for the renovation and equipping of 1 Primary Health Care centre in each of the 255 wards in the state. Imagine how much of the state’s health burden will be relieved if 255 PHC’s function optimally across the state.
The more attractive option for politicians is to initiate new projects at the expense of uncompleted ones inherited from previous administrations. The tragedy this poses is that the likelihood of leaving behind even more uncompleted projects becomes high.
Luckily, Kaduna’s present administration is not thinking this way. Early in his administration, Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai contracted Bain and Company to review all inherited and ongoing capital projects in the state with a view to developing a prioritization mechanism for future ventures.  Among its truly shocking findings was the fact that N87.5 billion existed in outstanding contractual obligations. Examining the outstanding obligations further also revealed that most projects were awarded for the protection of political interests as opposed to the public interest.
In the years leading up to 2015, much of the state was without potable water. This will change in early 2018 when the N50 billion Zaria water facility is completed. Thanks to funders like the African Development Bank and Islamic Development Bank, the Zaria water project will supply 150 million litres of water daily and provide water coverage for 2.2 million people across 7 local government areas. Even for agriculture, the sludge generated from the water treatment process will be used as fertilizer.
In 2012 and 2014, construction on the project was disrupted when the contractors abandoned site due to the inability of the government to offset some N3.2 billion payment for completed and future works. Now, thanks to a deal brokered by the Governor and his team, the contractors will accept staggered payments of N300 million monthly until all outstandings on the project are cleared.
It is in making smart deals like these that the state raises the required funds for most of its infrastructural projects.
Already, the state government has begun a redesign of its entire transport infrastructure. With the support of the Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Facility (NIAF) and funds from the UK Department of International Development (DFID), a transport policy was launched in 2016, the policy will ensure accessible and reliable public transport service that meets the mobility needs of the state.
The Zaria road in Rigassa, the Rabah road and Kawo roads are very major entry, intra and exit ways for Kaduna State. Unfortunately, these roads have become peculiar traffic areas.
The State Government has responded to this by implementing measures that streamline traffic inclusive of dualizations, repairs to dilapidated roads and the introduction of a bus rapid transport (BRT). The BRT will have an exclusive lane such that it can operate even at times when traffic is the most congested.
Another smart deal will fund Kaduna’s road interventions. The state receives about N1.3 billion monthly from the Federal Government to augment the prices of the fall in crude prices, it has negotiated a retainer-ship with 12 contractors who continue to work specifically on roads for an agreed monthly instalment until their contract prices are offset.
Besides these efforts, a N10 billion proposal was included in its 2016 budget to construct a Metropolitan Rapid Rail Line. The line will run through the Millennium City to Rigassa and Mararaban Rido, Zaria expressway to Sabon-tasha, Mando and Nnamdi Azikwe expressway. Expressions of interest have been sent out and a prequalification carried out on 18 companies.
The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai knows that infrastructure spending unlike any other form of government expenditure puts an economy firmly on the path of sustained progress. This is why his administration is committed to putting in place infrastructure that guarantees easier access to both education and health services, improved transportation systems that result in easy accessibility and an overall increment in the standard of living.

Aviation Minister appears before Nigerian Senate, insists on closure of Abuja Airport

The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has reiterated the stand of the Ministry to shut down operations at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for a period of 6 weeks, owing to the planned rehabilitation of the major runway of the airport.

Addressing the Nigerian Senate on Thursday, the Minister said the decision to shut down the airport was a good decision and for the “general interest of the public and all Nigerians.”

According to Sirika, there was no better time to undertake the repairs on the runway than now, adding that, “if we miss the opportunity now, we may have to wait for the next dry season. ”

He stressed that the runway was constructed over 30 years ago and no major rehabilitation had been carried out since then.

“The runway has been in deplorable state for two and a half years now and as we speak, an aircraft carrying over 300 passengers almost crashed on the 8th of January 2017, and it is still grounded in Nigeria till now “, he said.

The Aviation Minister also explained that, though the repairs on the runway would last for 6 months, the shutting down of airline operations would only last for 6 weeks.

When asked on the level of preparedness at the Kaduna Airport which is being suggested as alternative airport for the period of 6 weeks, the Minister said the Aviation ministry had sought the collaborations of the Ministry of Agriculture, the DSS, Police, Immigration, NDLEA, NAFDAC, Imams and Pastors, to make operations in Kaduna Airport smooth.

Though the Minister said the total cost of repairs at the Abuja runway would amount to N5.4bn, he however, was unable to give the estimated cost for the operations of the Kaduna Airport for the period of 6 weeks, when asked by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.

As at the time of filing this report, the Honourable Minister was still being questioned by the Distinguished Senators, even as the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi declined comments, saying “a cabinet Minister cannot oppose to the stand of another cabinet Minister.”

2017: FG to Award Oil Blocks, MarginalFfields, Pass PIB – Kachikwu

The Federal Government has unveiled a number of plans for the petroleum industry under the current fiscal year, which include conducting a new licensing round for the award of oil blocks and allocation of marginal fields in order to raise revenue for the country.

Besides, it promised that the long-awaited Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), which has been renamed; Petroleum Industry Governance Bill will be passed this year, while also reducing petrol consumption in Nigeria from an estimated 50 million to 28 million litres daily, thereby saving about N3.2 billion daily from unaccounted volumes.

Given the reluctance by the international finance community to grant Nigeria the much-sought after loans amid dwindling oil proceeds, to enable the government execute its socio-economic programmes, the current administration need to rely on other ways and means to raise fund domestically.

Licensing rounds are a veritable avenue to raise quick funds for the government, which award a large expanse of land/oil block to exploration and production companies while also expanding the country’s production capacities, which is also.

The last administration had tried to execute a licensing round, but could not pull it off due to lack of confidence in the process, as it was feared that the oil block usually awarded to oil drilling and exploration companies would end up in the hands of political cronies, who will go hawking the licences.

If the plan works, the country will be on the way to meeting new production targets of 4 million barrels daily and 40 billion oil reserves, which it had consistently missed since 2010.

The PIB on its part is expected to form the nucleus of Nigeria’s aspiration to becoming one of the most industrialised nations in the world by the Year 2020, by boosting investment opportunities in the oil and gas industry, which had hitherto been stalled due to the non-passage of the Bill.

The Minister of States for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, who disclosed of the plans in a podcast posted on his Facebook page titled: “Nigeria Petroleum Sector 2017 Outlook,” said the oil and gas sector is expected to run in ‘rocket pace’ this year.

He added that the areas of fiscal policy in the Petroleum Governance Bill is being finalised and would be looked at by the Executives and pushed out as the PIB.

He stated: “We have so much to do. We should be able to gazette our oil and gas policies and pass the PIB. We are going to accelerate Federal Government revenues by looking at more areas where the government can make more money.

“There is going to be improvement in royalty collection, improvement in early renewal of leases and every other area where we feel there is a gap.”

Kachikwu said government also hoped to finalise all the Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) it entered into with China and India on crude oil export this year, adding that it is planning some road shows in the United Kingdom, Europe and the United States, to attract more investors into the oil industry.

He noted that the industry is expected to witness more activities in the year, while also reaffirming government’s commitment to providing long-term sustainable policies that would move the industry forward.

He said: “We have embarked on market liberalisation in the downstream sector. For the first time in over two decades, petrol is available all over the country and selling at the same price in all the states. We did not have the people in the Eastern parts of the country buying at a higher price while the people in the West buy at lower rate. It has been available all over the country at the same price per litre.

“We noticed that the consumption of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) has shifted from over 50 million litres a day to about 28 million per day. This means we have been able to take away unaccounted fraud impacted volume of petrol, which is nearly 40 per cent of the country’s consumption.”

On the industry stability, he said Government will continue to look out for policies that would include a well-managed security apparatus that would bring lasting peace in the Niger Delta, adding that the engagement between the Federal Government and the Niger Delta militants has reduced the level of unrest in the region.

This, he said, led to an increase in the country’s crude oil production from 1.3 million barrels per day recorded during the unrest to 1.9 million barrels daily.

The Alpha Reach: Why Brands Need Social Media Influencers.

You probably know that word-of-mouth is one of the most valuable forms of marketing out there.

 

Using social media influencers in your marketing is the practice of building relationships with the people who can build relationships for you.

 

Business Dictionary define influencers as “individuals who have the power to affect purchase decisions of others because of their (real or perceived) authority, knowledge, position or relationship.”

 

Social Media Influencers are the key element of many social media and modern public relations cases.

 

By aligning with an influencer, you can open your brand and product to a whole new level of fans and customers.

 

It allows companies of any size to instantly connect with target prospects worldwide, with the mere twitch of a finger.

 

Per this research “Nearly 40% of Twitter users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer.”  49% of respondents said they relied on influencers who has something to say about a product either positively or negatively.  You can see that having influencers to discuss your brand experience is crucial.

 

According to Twitter sales from 2015 “90% of consumer’s trust peer recommendations. Only 33% trust ads” Out of the 90%, 72% do so base on the word of a social media influencer.

 

That is a huge power to have behind a brand.

 

Instead of simply looking at followers, a better equation for brands to consider is the following:

 

Influence = Audience Reach (# of followers) x Brand Affinity (expertise and credibility) x Strength of Relationship with Followers

 

Looking at Instagram Influencer, the reach is even far more.

 

55% of all 18- to 29-year-olds in the U.S. are Instagram users. And with about 500m users and 300m active daily users, that is a lot of potential market.

 

49% of people say they rely on recommendations from influencers when making purchase decisions. (Twitter and Annalect, 2016)

Why you need influencers?

  • Help increase your reach.
  • Know your audience.
  • They increase your brand visibility.
  • Earn Trust.
  • Inform your content.

 

Connecting to the right influencers can provide you with some great audience insights.  Just because someone has many followers, doesn’t mean they’re a great influencer for your brand. So, before you attach an influencer to your brand, you should consider the following:

 

Relevance: The influencer is sharing content and developing a following relevant to your business and the particular market segment you want to target. Read through that blogger’s archived posts to get a sense for what kind of consumer they are.

 

Engagement: The potential level of engagement the influencer can create with an audience that’s valuable and relevant to your brand. o those readers respond, comment, and share? What percentage of readers are returning vs. new? Look at comments on their blog or Instagram posts, retweets and likes. It will give you an idea of how popular these posts are, not just how big their follower count is.

 

Reach: The number of people you could potentially reach the influencer’s follower base that would bring value to your business. Traffic and followers are only meaningful to the extent that the influence is reaching your brand’s target audience.

 

Create a strategy that identifies the bloggers that lift your brand the most and segment them into an advocate group that you nurture and work with ongoing.

 

Equip your influencers with high-resolution images and photo op for their content. How can you help them create something pretty for Instagram!?

 

And remember that influencers are more than just bloggers—they include those with loyal audiences on all social networks.

 

Care to share your thought?  Drop a comment below.

 

Source: The Alpha Reach

$1b debt: Save Us, Oil Marketers Beg FG

Independent Petroleum Products Importers (IPPIs) yesterday raised the alarm over their $1billion indebtedness to banks as a result of the Federal Government’s failure to pay them for fuel imported into the country.

The oil marketers include members of Major Oil Marketers of Nigeria (MOMAN), Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA).
A N160billion interest has accrued on this debt, the marketers said.

A communiqué in Lagos by their legal adviser, Patrick Etim, said the inability to pay or service the loans had stalled further importation and “is threatening the operation of the affected banks and the nation’s financial industry”.

Many of their members, the communiqué said, have begun to close shop due to the debt.

The government’s debt, according to the communique, arose from Petrol Subsidy Scheme, which saw the Federal Government entering into a contract with IPPIs to import and supply petrol to the market on the condition that it would refund the difference between the landing cost and the selling price of petrol.

The government approved the landing cost, which fluctuated as it depended mainly on the international price of petrol and exchange rate of naira/dollar.

“A key term of the government’s contract with IPPIs is that the subsidy payments shall be paid to IPPIs within 45days of discharge of petrol cargo. It was also agreed that after 45 days the government shall pay the interest charges on the loans taken by the IPPIs to finance the importation of cargoes of petrol. The outstanding interest payments owed to IPPIs is currently over N160 billion,” it added.

The communiqué added: “Petrol cargoes were supplied and sold by the IPPIs at the selling prices approved and subsidised by government and the subsidy payments were calculated using the above exchange rate. Now at the beginning of 2017, the banks have not liquidated the Letters of Credit from 2014 because of lack of foreign exchange from the government. The outstanding mature Letters of Credit are currently over $1billion. The Nigerian banks involved and the entire Nigerian banking system is at risk on account of these transactions.

”The banks are in a quandary on account of their financing importation of petrol cargoes by the IPPIs and so far, there is little evidence that the government has seen the risks in further delaying the payments under the subsidy scheme. The exposed situation of the banks is exacerbated by the current trends in the petrol market. When the fixed pump selling price of petrol was increased from N97.00 to N145 per litre in May 2016, it was based on an exchange rate of N285/$1.00 resulting in a 45 per cent increase. On June 20, 2016 the naira was devalued from N285/$1.00 to N305/$1.00 which is an increase of seven per cent but the fixed pump selling price of petrol has not been increased. This means that petrol must be subsidised.

“The banks are worried that financing new petrol imports when outstanding loans, interests and charges have not been paid will be foolish especially when it is clear that the imports will represent an unmitigated loss to the importers based on the landing costs.
“The IPPIs claims arise largely from importation of petroleum cargoes authorised by President Jonathan’s government under the Petrol Subsidy Scheme. Government is a continuum, therefore, the contracts of the President Jonathan government with the IPPIs will remain binding on successive governments. There is a need for President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to keep improving governance especially by correcting wrongs of previous governments and making government responsible to its contracts and responsibilities.

”Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has initiated Intervention Programmes for strategic sectors, such as agriculture, manufacturing, petroleum products importation, and aviation. The CBN’s intervention programmes are primarily to stimulate growth in Nigeria’s foreign exchange (forex) earning capacity, and to prevent collapse of the banking system due to the huge exposure of the banks. The CBN has also offered foreign exchange to IPPIs under a special window aimed at liquidating outstanding matured Letters of Credit at an exchange rate of N305/$1.00. However, the exchange rate of N197/$1.00 when Letters of Credit were initially opened for IPPIs and transactions concluded and the current CBN offer rate of N305/$1.00 is an increase of 55 per cent and a significant rate differential.

“This means that for every 15,000MT of petrol imported by the IPPIs at a rate of $500 per MT and whose foreign exchange differential claims has not been paid then it means that the cargo of 15,000MT imported at the N197/$1.00 rate will now be given foreign exchange at the rate of N305/$1.00 by implication a cargo of 15,000MT at $500 per MT is S$7,500,000 or N1,477,500,000 at N197/US$1.00 rate or N2,287,500,000 at N305/US$1.00 rate. If these outstanding payments to IPPIs are made at N305/$1.00 they would suffer a loss of N810,000,000 per 15,000MT cargo of petrol. Government’s delay in paying debts to IPPIs and the difficulty they face in procuring forex at equitable rates will likely see the extinction of many of the IPPIs in 2017 thereby creating petroleum products shortages and attendant insecurity.

“The inability of the banks to receive repayments of their outstanding loans to IPPIs means they are hampered from providing loans for future petrol imports and even to other sectors of the economy. it is very scary to consider consequences of bank failure in Nigeria. Apart from the impact on individuals and businesses some economists project that it would cost the government more than N2 trillion to revive Nigerian banks in the event of failure. The sums owed to banks by the IPPIs and aviation operators threaten the safety of these banks and the government must take timely action.”
The marketers praised Buhari’s war against corruption, improvement of electricity supply, and sufficient fuel supply.

 

New Factional Shi’ite Group Uncovered in Borno

The Nigeria Security Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Borno State has discovered a new factional sect of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), popularly known as Shi’ite, in Borno, the state capital.

Commandant Ibrahim Abdullahi stated this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), yesterday.

Abdullahi said men of the command discovered the group in Kwaya Kusar local government through intelligence gathering and surveillance, adding that the group was different from the El-Zakzaky-led group.

“As part of our statutory responsibility in monitoring the activities of religious bodies in the country, we have discovered this strange group.

“When we invited the leader (names withheld), he claimed to be non-violent and that they are against the teachings of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

“But we must detest and distance ourselves from all acts of violence and illegal groups in all its manifestations under whatever guise.

“We agree that it is their fundamental right to practice their own religion, but we are not unmindful about factors that gave rise to the calamitous catastrophe which engulfed us in the recent past.”

Abdullahi added that investigations would be sustained and shared with other security agencies to forestall any breach of peace in the country.

Pastor Bakare to President Buhari – ‘Nigerians are suffering, reshuffle your cabinet now’

Nineteen months into his administration, President Muhammadu Buhari’s ‘change’ slogan has become a sad reality for Nigerians, a preacher has said.

Tunde Bakare, founder of Latter Rain Assembly and former ally of the president, said on Sunday during his annual state of the nation speech in Lagos that “it is unfortunate” that the ‘change’ mantra “that was once the rallying cry for progressive development has now become associated with retrogression and suffering.”

Mr. Bakare, a politician and former vice presidential candidate to Mr. Buhari in his failed 2011 bid, said the hard times Nigerians are grappling with are the consequences of the policies of the Buhari administration.

Mr. Bakare said the policies, especially on exchange and interest rates, should be discarded forthwith and more pragmatic ones be implemented instead.

“To begin with, the confusing and discriminatory multiple dollar to naira exchange rates – favourable to some and not so favourable to others, and without doubt confusing for potential investors – must be discarded while a more reliable and predictable exchange rate, mutually beneficial to our people and economy and attractive to foreign investors, should be put in place,” Mr. Bakare said.

“Similarly, prohibitive and punitive interest rates must be lowered in order to liberate the creative ingenuity of our people as well as encourage those who can access mortgages at affordable rates to become homeowners, especially if our Pension Scheme is up-to-date and robust.
“The multiplier effect of the removal of these bottlenecks in our economy will cushion the effect of the current recession on our people,” the preacher said.

Mr. Bakare also decried alarming levels of inflation in the country, which he said had seen the prices of everything —from staple food supplies to electronic appliances and automobiles — skyrocketed.

He said this year will be crucial in the life of the current government, warning the president to immediately reshuffle his cabinet because “we have no more time to waste.”

“Mr. President must galvanise his team to get the job done; square pegs in round holes must be removed or put in appropriate places; the wicked who surround the righteous must be led away from the presence of the king. Those who cannot stand the heat must get out of the kitchen.

“It is time to demonstrate leadership, wise judgment and astute public policy that guarantees stable and prosperous nationhood upon a foundation of peace; it is time to build a well-ordered nation with strong institutions dispensing justice; it is time to arise with patriotic zeal to build a great nation such that, years from now, generations yet unborn will look back at their history, not with disdain, but with gratitude to God that our generation preceded theirs.

“May 2017 be the year we look into the future with the eyes of faith and take steps to accomplish all that we know is possible,” Mr. Bakare said.
But he gave the president a pass mark on counterterrorism and internal security.

“On insecurity, Nigerian Security Tracker 10, a portal of the United States Council on Foreign Relations, which maps violence in Nigeria, reported a decline in deaths per month from violence perpetuated by a combination of state and non-state actors, including Boko Haram, from 767 deaths in May 2015 when this government came into power, to 250 deaths in December 2016, nineteen months into the administration.

“The group’s capacity had also diminished significantly from the control of 13 local governments just before the 2015 elections to a resort to suicide attacks by the turn of 2016.

“Under this administration, 21 of the abducted Chibok girls were also released to their parents in October 2016, and, last Friday, Rakiya Abubakar, the latest rescued Chibok schoolgirl, was reunited with her parents in Abuja,” Mr. Bakare said.

PRESS RELEASE: I remain General Overseer of RCCG Worldwide – Pastor Adeboye

Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye remains the General Overseer, Worldwide of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG.

 

A statement signed by  Leke Adeboye, the clergyman’s last son and Personal Assistant said the clarification is coming on the heels of misrepresentation of Pastor E. A  Adeboye’s announcement at the Annual Ministers Thanksgiving held at the redemption camp today that the Church Nigeria is now to be led by Pastor Joseph Obayemi.

 

The statement clarified that the latest development is sequel to the new legal requirements set up by the Financial Regulations Council, guiding all registered churches, mosques, and CSOs.

 

The regulation stipulates that heads of non profit organisations like churches now have a maximum period of twenty years to lead their organizations while  in retirement, they are not permitted to hand over to their families.

 

Leke Adeboye reiterated that Pastor Funsho Odesola, will now serve as the new Church Secretary while Pastor Joseph Adeyokunu, is the new Church Treasurer.?

 

He advised  all members of RCCG to understand this new structure and go about their service to God and humanity in holiness and soul winning.

 

He also appealed to members to educate people around them and not spread inaccurate information stressing that Pastor E.A Adeboye remains the General Overseer of RCCG Worldwide.

Pastor Adeboye Steps Down as General Overseer of RCCG

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye has announced his retirement.

After over 35 years of functioning as the spiritual father (General Overseer) of the world’s fastest Pentecostal church, Pastor Adeboye has officially stepped down.

Pastor Adeboye, on Saturday named a new General Overseer (GO), Pastor J.O Obayemi, as his his successor, ahead of his 75th birthday on 2 March. The new GO was unveiled at the Annual Ministers Thanksgiving at Shimawa, in Ogun State.

RCCG Newly Appointed General Overseer, Pastor J.O. Obayemi

Pastor J.O Obayemi was the former Special Assistant to the General Overseer (SATGO) on Finance

A statement which was shared by Stealth Scounts. A PR company affiliated with the G.O;

PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE STEPS DOWN AS THE OVERSEER OF THE REDEEMED CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF GOD NIGERIA.

PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE FONDLY CALLED DADDY G.O. ANNOUNCES THAT HE WILL BE STEPPING DOWN AS THE OVERSEER OF THE REDEEMED CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF GOD.

IT WAS WITH GREAT SHOCK THAT THE CONGREGATION OF ALL RCCG PASTORS AND MINISTERS RECEIVED THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE GENERAL OVERSEER OF PASTOR E.A. ADEBOYE THAT HE WILL NO LONGER BE GENERAL OVERSEER. HE IMMEDIATELY ANNOUNCED THE NEW OVERSEER AS PASTOR J.O OBAYEMI, PASTOR J.F ODESOLA AS SECRETARY AND PASTOR J.A. ADEYOKUNNU AS THE NEW TREASURER.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT WAS MADE DURING THE CHURCH’S ANNUAL THANKSGIVING HELD AT THE 3KM BY 3KM NEW AUDITORIUM TODAY 7TH JANUARY 2017.

HE REQUESTED THAT THE CONGREGANTS PRAY FOR THE NEW LEADERSHIP AFTER WHICH HE ALSO PRONOUNCED BLESSINGS UPON THEM.

ALSO PRESENT AT THE MEETING WAS THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, PROF YEMI OSIBAJO AND OTHER SENIOR PASTORS OF THE CHURCH.

INDEED THE FOCAL WORD FOR THIS YEAR REMAINS “SURPRISE” OR HOW ELSE DO YOU DESCRIBE THIS?

Adeboye also announced the appointment of Pastor J.F Odesola at the new Secretary and Pastor J.A Adeyokunnu as the new Treasurer.

The RCCG structure is made up of a Governing Council which Adeboye is the chairman, then the General Overseer, Deputy General Overseer, Assistant General Overseers, several Special Assistants to the General Overseer (in charge of various departments, regions, countries).

New mega party ADP zones 48 national positions

All is now set for the birth of Nigeria’s mega party, Action Democratic Party, ADP.

This is just as those behind the formation of the new party, with the aim of unseating the current administration in 2019 have zoned National Executive Committee slots to the various regions of the country.

According to reports, they have also concluded plans to submit their documents for registration as a political party to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, next week.

According to a document released by the political association, the National chairmanship position has been zoned to the North Central; South West, Deputy National Chairman; South East, National Secretary and National Legal Adviser; North-West and South South, National Treasurer.

See full zoning below:

North Central

National chairman

National Welfare Secretary

National Vice Chairman

Vice National Organising Secretary

Deputy National Woman Leader

Assistant National Secretary

Deputy National Treasurer

National Vice woman leader

National Vice Youth Leader and Ex-Official (2 males, 1 female).

North-West

National Woman leader

National Vice Chairman

National Legal Adviser

Vice Publicity Secretary

Deputy National Secretary

Deputy National Youth Leader

Deputy National Welfare Secretary

National Vice Woman Leader and Ex-Officio (2 males,1 female).

North-East

Deputy National Chairman,

National Vice Chairman

National Auditor

Deputy National Financial Secretary

National Vice Woman Leader

National Vice Youth leader and Ex-Officio (2 males, 1 female).

South South

National treasurer

Vice National Welfare Secretary

National Vice Chairman

National Youth leader

Deputy Woman Leader

National Leader- PLWD

Deputy National Legal Adviser

National Vice Youth Leader and Ex-Officio (2 males,1 female).

South-West

Deputy National Chairman

National Publicity Secretary

National Vice Chairman

National Financial Secretary

Vice National Organising Secretary

Deputy National Youth Leader

Deputy National Auditor

National Vice Woman Leader

National Vice Youth leader and Ex-Officio (2 males,1 female).

South East

National Secretary

Vice Publicity Secretary

National Vice Chairman

National Diaspora Adviser

Deputy National Organising Secretary

Deputy National Leader- PLWD

National Vice Woman Leader

National Vice Youth Leader and Ex-Officio (2 males, 1 female).

Reacting to the development, convener of ADP, Alhaji Yabagi Sani, told the Vanguard that the association would submit all the required documents to the electoral commission, next week.

 

Source: nigerianeye

WITNESS REPORT: How ‘One Million Boys’ are terrorizing Ibadan residents.

Unchallenged by elders in the community and without fear of law enforcement agents, they conduct their menacing activities in the open and residents are well-aware of their sophistication with dangerous objects. ?Sikiru Akinola writes about the deadly activities of young boys who are not up to 100 but are popularly called “one million boys”.


Kudeti, one of the most popular communities in Ibadan, Oyo state, houses the Cathedral Church of Saint David. Many successful Nigerians have lived in that community. The house of Adelabu Adegoke ‘Penkelemesi’, the late populist politician, is a stone’s throw from Adebipon Street, where ‘One Million Boys’, a notorious group, has recently turned to a ‘cathedral of violence’. Anytime they strike, the innocent residents and those who are unlucky to be at the right place at the wrong time always count their losses.

The crisis

Their base, which is opposite the Cathedral?, was always lively until tragedy struck, forcing many residents to leave their homes and abandon their shops for fear of being injured or killed.? The place is now like a graveyard.

On December 19, nobody had premonition that something bad was going to happen. At about 8 pm, while Muslims were almost ending the Ishai prayer, sounds of gunshots filled the air. Many could not wait till the end of their prayer.

A witness said the attackers arrived in a Micra car, one tricycle and more than five motorcycles. Some women later returned to pick their children. Innocent people were beaten and injured, shops and property were razed. While the operation lasted, the place became a no-go-area.

The casualties

A hairdresser, who had returned to get some things from her shop, got a bullet on her shoulder. She died before help came her way. A fragile old man, who could not escape, also sustained injuries and died the next day.

One Sikiru Muftau, leader of a rival gang, was unlucky as the lower part of one of his hands was chopped off. Muftau died before the severed part could be located.

?While families of those who lost their lives are still mourning, those who shops were razed have started appealing to government to help them.

Ayodele Opeyemi, who could not hold back tears, explained that she lost everything she laboured for, to the incident.

“From where I was hiding, something was thrown into my shop. They shot at the thing and it ignited fire,” she said.

“?One of them ordered them to set all other shops ablaze. Every shop close to the place was razed. It was after a part of where we hid caught fire that we decided to find another escape route.”

?She displayed the remnants of the burnt N90,000 that she kept in the shop before the incident.

?Ayinla Adededji, a barber who was in his shop when the incident happened, revealed that petrol-soaked bread was thrown into his shop. He said he was unsure whether the police were aware initially when ?the groups clashed three weeks earlier.

“In preparation for the festive season, I used my savings and loans to renovate my salon: tiled the floor, bought two new generators and four new clippers but everything is gone,” he lamented.

“I am grateful to God that I escaped their bullets, which were shot sporadically.”

How the fight started

Another resident said the fight broke out after a rival gang, led by one Indomie, 29,refused to lead his boys to join the group. However, another person gave a different account.

“There was a guy from the ‘Indomie’ camp who was caught with a stolen phone,” he said.

“Though A-bila was not around, his boys ‘disciplined’ the guy. The guy later went to inform ‘Indomie’ about the punishment meted out to him. Indomie’ led his boys to a reprisal, but he suffered severe injuries and was in the hospital for more than two weeks.

?”When they first clashed, the elders settled it for them. Both of them, ‘A-bila and Indomie were invited at the ‘State’ ( short word for the State headquarters of the Oyo State National Union of Road Transport Workers, Olomi) and they resolved it. They are not members of the NURTW but they just decided to invite them so that peace will reign in the community. ?We never knew they were going to clash again until that evening.”

Adekunle Ajisebutu, spokesman of Oyo police command, said nine suspects had been arrested in connection with the incidents.

Breakdown of the groups

?Before 2014, Abiola?, who leads the gang, was relatively unknown. It was learnt that the Soka issue — the ritual killer’s den of kidnappers that was discovered in Ibadan — brought him to limelight. ‘A-bila’, as he is fondly called, led others to search for his missing motorcyclist friend. And he immediately became the leader with the ‘victory’ recorded.

“There was a time a rival gang came to fight them. While others ran away, ‘A-bila?’, who was almost the youngest of the gang, led his boys and they overpowered the ‘enemies’. Since then, he has been accorded the right to lead and speak on behalf of the group,” a resident who knew Abiola from childhood said, asking not to be named.

“He should be around 28. His father is late but he has a mother, though I don’t know where she lives.? He was not that violent when he was in secondary school; he attended St. Lukes. Grammar School, Molete.

“It was after he returned from Lagos that his popularity as a thug began to soar. He is the darling of many politicians. In fact, the ‘Golf 3? car he uses was bought for him by a politician. He has contacts. His wife just packed in.”

?Most of the boys in his camp, it was learnt, are those who had nowhere to go after the demise of late garrison commander of Oyo politics, Lamidi Adedibu, whose Molete residence is a distance of less than 10 minutes to the area. ?They are all between the ages of 18 and 30, most of them in secondary schools, terrorising their teachers and colleagues.

The source continued: “Anytime they go to ‘war’, they come back with guns and other dangerous objects seized from rival gangs. And their arsenal increases, thereby threatening a peaceful future. Every day, they buy new clothes, okadas and are boyfriends to many beautiful girls, hence they see it as a gainful enterprise. Younger ones living in the community see their behaviour as one to be emulated.

?”The group formed by Abiola is populated by like minds he brought them together from one junction to the other. ‘One-million boys’ has more than one sub-group — from Beere, Born Photo, Mapo, Idi-Aro and Isale-Asaka, Kudeti, Idi-Arere, Eleta, Odinjo, Modina etc. They are more than these and that is why they are referred to as ‘one-million boys’. I cannot give the precise number of its member but they are up to 100. A-bila is the leader.

“‘Indomie’ does not belong to Abe-igi. Abe-igi Aanu, has been in existence for long. ‘Indomie’ is not the leader in the place because they don’t have caucus. What they do at the ‘base’ is to drink alcohol and smoke marijuana. But since fight broke out, he has been made leader of the base.”

?An end in sight?

The State government, through Toye Arulogun, its commissioner for information, culture and tourism, has condemned the incident, threatening to use the full apparatus of government to deal with any individual who engages in any act that is inimical to the peace of the state.

But only time will tell if it’s just a threat or the police is indeed ready to incapacitate the ‘one million boys’

We’re Ready for Dialogue, Niger Delta Militants Reply Buhari

NIGER Delta militants on Tuesday expressed their readiness to engage the Federal Government in dialogue to ensure that peace reigned in the oil-rich region.

The militants said the decision to embrace dialogue was reached after a meeting held on Tuesday under the auspices of the Coalition of Niger Delta Groups.

The militants, who made their position known in a statement via an electronic mail to newsmen, said they had no personal grudge against President Muhammadu Buhari and were ready to work together with his administration to make Nigeria better.

President Buhari had on Sunday called on the militants to come forward for dialogue over the Niger Delta crisis.

The leader of the Niger Delta Watchdogs, General John Duku; General Ekpo Ekpo of the Niger Delta Volunteers, Commander Henry Okon Etete of the Niger Delta Peoples Fighters and Commander Asukwo Henshaw, the spokesperson for the Bakassi Freedom Fighters who signed the statement, agreed to embrace peace.

“We wish to assure Mr. President that the Niger Delta militants and the people are 100 per cent ready for dialogue. We have no personal grudge against him and his government and we promise to work together to make Nigeria better,” the agitators said.

The militants commended President Buhari for calling on the Niger Delta militants to negotiate with the Federal Government.

They, however, condemned the call by the Senate for the resignation of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Dr. Babachir Lawal, saying such a call was not in the interest of the country.

Explaining that they had uncovered a plot by some politicians to sponsor militants to protest for the removal of Lawal, the militants warned that they would resist any attempt to sack the SGF.

“We strongly condemn the recent call for the resignation of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation by the Senate. The call on Mr. President to remove the SGF is uncalled for, unpatriotic and not in the interest of the nation.

“The allegation levelled against Mr. Lawal is baseless, without facts and the handiwork of saboteurs, who are planning to bring down and destroy this government by all means, knowing very well that the SGF is the engine room of this government, hard working, 100 per cent loyal to the President and a threat to some self-centred politicians.

“It is on record that the SGF has resigned his position as the Managing Director of the company (his accusers talked about) as soon as he was appointed as the SGF.

“He neither presided over nor acted on behalf of the company anymore. However, a Senate committee refused to invite the SGF for public hearing because they know what they were up to and must deliver based on the directive from their paymasters,” the statement read.

The agitators stated that they were aware of plans to move millions of naira into the Niger Delta to mobilise some youths and militants to protest against the SGF, using some powerful governors in the oil-rich region.

Buhari Asks States To Clear Workers’ Outstanding Salaries With Paris Club Debt Refund

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on state governors to use at least 25 per cent of the refunds made to them from excess deductions for external debt service of Nigeria’s Paris Club debt to clear outstanding workers’ entitlements.

A statement by his media aide, Mr. Garba Shehu revealed that the president approved N552.74bn to be paid in batches to all the states, which were entitled to the refund.

They are, however, expected to get 25 per cent of their approved sums in the first instance before this week ends. About 33 states are affected.

Shehu said that the refunds arose from claims by the states that they had been overcharged in deductions for external debt service between 1995 and 2002.

He said, in a directive through the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, the president said the issue of workers’ benefits, particularly salaries and pensions, must not be allowed to continue and should be handled with urgency.

The statement read: “When he assumed office last year, the president declared an emergency on unpaid salaries, following the discovery that 27 out of the 36 states had fallen behind in payments to their workers, in some cases for up to a year.

“Following this, a bailout loan was issued to the states twice, with a first batch of about N300 billion given to them in 2015 in the form of soft loans.

“The administration also got the Debt Management Office to restructure their commercial loans of over N660 billion and extended the life span of the loans.

“Because this did not succeed in pulling many of the states out of distress, the federal government this year gave out a further N90 billion to 22 states as yet another bailout under very stringent conditions.

“President Buhari is of the opinion that the payment of salaries and pensions must be given priority to save both serving and retired workers and their families from distress.”

A recent report by BudgIT showed that of the 36 states in the country, only Lagos, Rivers and Enugu, were capable of meeting their obligation to their workers.

Credit: thisdaylive

FG To Reward Whistleblowers With 5% of Recovered Loot

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved a whistleblowing policy to expose fraud and other related crimes in both the public and the private sectors.
Also yesterday, FEC approved the outline business case for discussions on the concession agreement that will facilitate private capital for the conclusion of work on the Second Niger bridge.

Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun disclosed this to State House reporters after the FEC meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In order to encourage Nigerians to key into the whistleblowers’ scheme, Adeosun said: “If there is a voluntary return of stolen or concealed public funds or assets on the account of the information provided, the whistleblower may be entitled to anywhere between 2.5 per cent (minimum) and 5.0 per cent (maximum) of the total amount recovered.”

She said the policy devised by her ministry was aimed at encouraging anyone with information about a violation, misconduct or improper activity that impacts negatively on Nigerians and government to report it.

According to her, the policy’s objective is to increase exposure of financial or financial related crimes; support the fight against financial crimes and corruption; improve the level of public confidence in public entities; enhance transparency and accountability in the management of public funds; improve Nigeria’s Open Government Ranking and Ease of Doing Business Indicators; and recover public funds that can be deployed to finance Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit.

She listed information that could be submitted to include: mismanagement or misappropriation of public funds and assets (e.g. properties and vehicles); financial malpractice or fraud; collecting/ soliciting bribes; corruption; diversion of revenue; fraudulent and unapproved payments; splitting of contracts; procurement fraud (kickbacks and over-invoicing etc.).

The ministry defines a whistleblower as any person who voluntarily discloses information in good faith about a possible misconduct or violation that has occurred, is ongoing, or is about to occur.

The minister, who noted that there was a secure online portal where information could be submitted, said: “If you have already submitted your information, you can also check the status of your report on the portal.”
She however said that the policy would not apply to personal matters concerning private contracts or agreements.
She said whistleblowers could submit their information through the online portal by e-mail or by phone.

On whether a whistleblower is entitled to a financial reward, she responded: “It depends, if there is a voluntary return of stolen or concealed public funds or assets on the account of the information provided, the whistleblower may be entitled to anywhere between 2.5 per cent (minimum) and 5.0 per cent (maximum) of the total amount recovered.

Read More: thisdaylive

47 Career Ambassadors Assigned Portfolios

The Federal Government has assigned portfolios to all the 47 career ambassadors cleared by the Senate.

A document seen by our reporter listed the envoys and their portfolios as Abia: Obinna Chukwuemeka Agbugba (Togo), Adamawa: Salisu Umaru (Senegal), Paragalda Ilyasu Audu (Turkey), Akwa Ibom: Inyan Udo-Inyang (Gabon), Anambra: Okeke Vivian Nwunaku (Spain), Nonye Udo (Austria); Bauchi: Liman Munir (Congo), Benue: Ndem Jane Ada (Sweden), Demenongu A. Agev (Equatorial Guinea), Borno: Mohammed Hassan Hassan (Kenya), Toko Ali Gongulong (Sao Tome & Principe), Lawan Abba Gashagar (Mali), Cross River: Martin Nyong Cobham (Thailand), Odeka Janet Bisong (Zimbabwe), Delta: Janet Omoleegho Olisa (Jamaica), Edo: Itegboje S.Sunday (Permanent Mission in New York), Queen I. Worlu  (Cuba).

Others are: Ekiti: Olatunde Adesesan (Angola), Emmanuel Kayode Oguntause (Benin), Enugu: Lilian Ijeukwu Onoh (Namibia), FCT: Adamu Onoze Shuaibu (Rwanda), Gombe: Manaja Tula Isah (Israel), Habu Abubakar Gwani Ibrahim (Zambia), Imo: Ngozi Ukaeje (Portugal), Kenneth C. Nwachukwu (Cameroon), Jigawa: Bello Kazaure Huessini (North Korea), Kaduna: Enoch Pear Duchi (Ireland), Kano: Garba Baba (Poland), Rabiu Akawu (Algeria), Katsina: Usman Bakori Aliyu (China), Ibrahim Hamza (Iran), Kebbi: Umar Zainab Salisu (Botswana), Kogi: Momoh Sheidu Omeiza (Liberia), Kwara: Kadiri Ayinla Audu (Permanent Mission, Geneva) and Olufemi Abikoye (Ghana).

The federal government also assigned Nigerian mission in Indonesia to Balogun Hakeem from Lagos, Nasarawa: Inusa Ahmed (Ethiopia), Niger: Ibrahim Isah (Australia), Ogun: Bankole Adegboyega Adeoye (Belgium), Sonaike Adekunbi Abibat (Philipines), Osun: Ibidapo-Obe Oluwasegun (Port of Spain T&T), Oyo: Ogundero Sakirat (Washington), River: Eric A. Bell-Gam (Argentina),  Sokoto: Attahiru Halliru (Niger), Taraba: Rahmatu A. Dunama (Burkina Faso), Yobe: Musa Saban Mamman (South Sudan) and Zamfara: Kabiru Bala (Mozambique).

Credit: dailytrust

#SaveSeyi: Mr. Otufodunrin Adedoyin Oluwaseyi Urgently Needs Our Help!

Here is an honest cry for urgent help to the world at large to please save the life of Mr, Otufodunrin Adedoyin Oluwaseyi. A student of Nigeria law school at Victoria Island, Lagos. Who has been battling with kidney failure (Chronic renal disease) since June this year, and he has been on weekly dialysis which has engulfed huge amount of money from family members and friends. It has gotten to the stage where he needs 3 dialysis in one week which sometimes costs as much as N60k –N80k per dialysis.

 


It has been confirmed that the sum of Eight Million Naira (N8M) is needed for kidney transplant overseas. GOD Bless you immensely as you support with prayers, in JESUS’ mighty name (Amen). Cash of any amount is highly appreciated.

 

Account details are as follows:

 

Banker: Diamond Bank Plc.,
Account holder: Otufodunrin Adedoyin Oluwaseyi
Account Number: 0041164595 

 

 

He uses the hospital called Dialyzer at 60 Arowojobe street, Oseni b/stop. Oshodi Lagos ..just in case you need any proof. GOD Bless as you join hands to save his life by passing this message to all your contacts!

 

 

 

 

You can reach @KoredeOyewoga on Twitter for any question.

Unconfirmed Report Indicates Shekau’s ‘Capture’

There were indications yesterday that leader of the Boko Haram insurgents, Abubakar Shekau, may have been captured in Borno State.
Unconfirmed reports said Shekau was nabbed by the ‘king of hunters’ around Gafa Mountain in Borno State.
Efforts to get official confirmation from the military failed, but a key said on phone that speculation about Shakau’s capture had been on for over a week. He however, revealed that troops of the Nigerian Army fighting in the area had surround the Gafa Mountain area last week over intelligence report that top Boko Haram leaders were hiding there.
The source said that with the cordon thrown around the area, there was no way Shekau and others would leave the place alive or without being captured.
Severally, the Nigerian military had pronounced Shekau either arrested or killed and severally the Boko Haram leader had bounced back alive, with YouTube video releases.
The Nigerian military had in September 2014 said that it had subdued Boko Haram leader, but shortly after that statement he appeared in a new video denouncing moves by the Nigerian Army to eliminate him.
On May 12, 2014, the DSS, through its former spokesperson, Marilyn Ogar, insisted that the man in the videos released by the sect was not the real Shekau.
She had stated:  “Boko Haram has become a franchise; anybody can assume and lay claim to any name. What I know is that the original Abubakar Shekau is dead; the person claiming to be the national leader now is not the original Abubakar Shekau.”
Earlier this year, the Nigerian Army had announced the death of three key commanders of the extremist Boko Haram sect. The army said the terrorists were killed in a major air strike on their location in the dreaded Sambisa Forest.
The spokesperson for the Army, Sani Usman, said Shekau was also inflicted with “fatal injury” during the operation.
According to him, the bombardment was carried out on Friday while Shekau, who the Nigerian military had pronounced dead several times in the past years, was leading his group in performing the Friday prayers at a secret location called Tayye, in the heart of the vast forest.

Credit:

http://sunnewsonline.com/unconfirmed-report-indicates-shekaus-capture/

We Need To Improve On Governance, Accountability, Buhari To ECOWAS Leaders

President Muhammadu Buhari has stressed the need to review the ECOWAS Treaty in order to make the regional organisation more responsive to new national, regional and global challenges.

The president made the call at the opening of the 50th Ordinary Session of the Authority and Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS, held in Abuja on Saturday.

He also called for the speedy conclusion of the reforms of all ECOWAS institutions to put ECOWAS on a much stronger footing and to prepare member nations for the challenges of such Institutional reforms.

President Buhari also stressed the need to make conscious efforts to improve on governance and accountability at all levels. “We also need to make conscious efforts to improve on Governance and accountability at all levels.

“This calls for the speedy conclusion of the reforms of all ECOWAS institutions to put ECOWAS on a much stronger footing and prepare us for the challenges of such Institutional reforms.

“To this end, we should ensure that priority is given to the implementation of development programmes, while the ECOWAS Parliament should be entrusted with more functions.

“In addition, the cost of governance must be reduced across all ECOWAS Institutions while resources should be devoted to programmes and projects that will have direct bearing on the lives of ordinary citizenry and create jobs fast enough to absorb our teeming youth population.

“In this regard, it is necessary that measures be taken to review the ECOWAS Treaty in order to make ECOWAS responsive to new national, regional and global challenges.”

On economic integration, Buhari observed that the modest achievements in regional integration were being challenged by globalisation. According to him, most member countries continue to record low volume of trade, occasioned by declining level of economic activities, caused by the sharp fall in commodity prices.

Read More:

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/12/need-improve-governance-accountability-buhari-ecowas-leaders/

 

FG Unveils N7.02trn Package To End Recession

As part of moves to get the country out of recession, the Federal Government has outlined new revenue sources to fund the 2017 budget.
This is even as the House of Representatives also yesterday passed for the Second Reading the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP).
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, who unfolded the new revenue measures, stated this when he appeared before a joint committee of the Senate on Appropriation and Finance, to defend the MTEF/FSP. He said the Federal Government will issue new oil licences, review the current joint venture arrangements with oil companies, review marginal oil fields and mount pressure on revenue generating agencies to surpass expected targets.
Also, the government has stated that the 2017 budget oil benchmark will be pegged at $42.50. This is a departure from $38 per barrel which was used for 2016 budget.
Daily oil production volume for next year was retained at 2.2 million barrels. The exchange rate was put at N305 to the dollar. The new exchange rate is significantly higher than that of 2016. The 2016 budget exchange rate was pegged at $197.
Udoma said N10 trillion is being targeted by the government as revenue during the 2017 fiscal year. Out of this amount, about N5 trillion is expected to be generated from sales of crude oil.
Non-oil revenues will rake in about N5.06 trillion. These revenues are expected to come from corporate and company taxes, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, Stamp Duties, capital gains tax, Value Added Tax (VAT), Customs, Excise, fees, surcharges on luxury items, special levies and Federal Government independent revenue.
The 2017 budget which was initially pegged at N6.6866 trillion, has also been raised to N7.298 trillion. In 2016, the government submitted an ambitious N6.059 proposal to the National Assembly.
Out of this, the government is expected to expend N1.488 trillion in servicing domestic debts. In 2016 budget, the Federal Government earmarked N1.307 trillion.
On foreign debt, the Federal Government will spend N175.882 billion. It spent N54.480 on foreign debt servicing in the 2016 budget.
On capital expenditures, the Federal Government budgeted N2.058 trillion. In the 2016 budget, N1.587 was earmarked by the Federal Government for capital projects.
Recurrent expenditures will gulp N1.866 trillion. About N1.748 was budgeted for the same purpose in the 2016 Appropriation. The new figure is coming, despite claims by the Federal Government that thousands of ghost workers have been yanked off from government’s payroll.
The Federal Government also intends to borrow N2.321 trillion. Out of this, N1.253 will be sourced locally, while N1.067 will be gotten from foreign sources. In the 2016 budget, N1.182 was reportedly borrowed locally, while N635.8 billion was gotten through foreign borrowing.
On budget projections, Udoma said: “I know N7 trillion seems larger than N6 trillion. In actual dollar term, the 2017 budget is smaller. We have had challenges in revenue generation in funding the 2016 budget. We are trying to get to the bottom of revenue generating agencies in order to raise more money.
“We want to issue a presidential order to ensure that revenue generating agencies are unable to spend money unless payment of salaries until their budgets are passed.
President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to present the 2017 budget proposal today before a joint session of the National Assembly.
Unlike in the past, the budget submission will go ahead,  despite the non-passage of MTEF and FSP by the Senate.
Meanwhile, the House  of Representatives yesterday passed for Second Reading, the 2017-2019 MTEF/FSP submitted by Mr. President.
The document was referred to the joint Committees on Appropriations, Finance and Loans, Aids and Debt Management. It contains plans for capital expenditure for 2016 increased to N635.77 billion.
It also has a revenue target of N4.169 trillion (against N3.856 trillion in 2016) and total expenditure of N6.687 trillion.
A further breakdown of the MTEF showed the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is expected to grow at 3.02% in 2017, with crude oil benchmark pegged a $42.5 per barrel and 2.2mbpd oil production; foreign exchange pegged at N350/$ while fiscal deficit was pegged at 3 percent.

Read More: sunnewsonline

Gambia’s Jammeh Receptive To Mediators- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday that Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh was receptive to a delegation of West African leaders who visited Gambia to urge the long-ruling leader to step aside following a poll defeat.

Asked if Jammeh had been receptive, he told reporters shortly after the meeting: “Yes, very much so.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Gambia’s security forces entered the building of the Independent Electoral Commission, instructed its chairman to leave and have since barred other employees from entering, the chairman, Alieu Momarr Njai, told Reuters.

President Buhari and other West African leaders including, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra-Leone and out-going President of Ghana, John Mahama met with Jammeh who lost the presidential election penultimate week.

A statement by the presidential spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, said Buhari and the other leaders also met the president-elect of Gambia, Adama Barrow.

President Jammeh had earlier conceded defeat in the election, after a 22-year rule, but recanted a week later, asking for fresh polls to be conducted by a “God-fearing and independent electoral commission.”

A senior official of regional bloc Ecowas, Marcel de Souza, would not rule out sending in troops. “We have done it in the past,” he told Radio France Internationale.

“We currently have troops in Guinea-Bissau with the Ecomib mission. We have had troops in Mali. And therefore it is a possible solution.”

Jammeh’s ruling APRC party filed a petition on Tuesday with the Supreme Court, asking it to annul the election results.

The president had questioned the validity of the count after the electoral commission changed some results, even though it insists the outcome was not affected.

Credit: dailytrust

OPINION: The Yahya Jammeh problem By Reuben Abati

When President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia conceded defeat after the December 1, Presidential elections in that West African country of 1.9 million people, the gesture was widely hailed and described as an indication of great hope for democracy in Africa and particularly for The Gambia, which Jammeh had ruled with an iron fist for 22 years. That election was also perhaps the most important political development in The Gambia in 52 years – the first change of government through democratic elections. The winner of the Presidential election, Adama Barrow, was the product of a coalition of opposition parties who provided the platform for the people’s yearning for change. Adama Barrow (the British press should please stop referring to him condescendingly as a former Argos’ security guard!), became the symbol of the people’s hopes, and of freedom from Jammeh’s tyrannical rule that was benchmarked by its brutality, love of witchcraft and human rights abuses. Jammeh’s concession made it seem as if all his past sins would be forgiven.

       

But on December 9, he made a volte-face going on state television to say he could no longer accept the results of the election and that he had decided to annul the results. It is alleged that Jammeh may have resorted to this because of an alleged missing 365, 000 votes and the adjustment of the final results by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) which showed that Adama Barrow had won with less than 20, 000 votes, hence Jammeh cited “unacceptable errors” which had come to light. This, if of any consequence at all, seems contrived.

      

If Jammeh as candidate in the election has any grouse, the appropriate place to seek redress is in court, and the Gambian Constitution provides for a 10-day window within which to file a petition. That 10-day period of grace expires today. By annulling the election single-handedly without recourse to the courts (the promise to do so by his party, the APRC, is an after-thought), Jammeh is guilty of an assault on the sovereignty of the Gambian people.  His conduct is objectionable and should be considered an act of high treason. Jammeh suffers from the delusion that his love of power and personal ambition is more important than the stability and progress of his country. The people’s will as confidently expressed on December 1 is supreme. Jammeh should be made to realize that he is just another citizen and that The Gambia is not his personal estate.

      

The African Union, ECOWAS and the UN Security Council as well as the international community in general have condemned the infamy that Jammeh is seeking to foist on his people. But the AU and ECOWAS should take the lead in coming to the rescue of The Gambian people. The long-term objective, in case Yahya Jammeh does not relent, is to invoke the Constitutive Acts and Principles of both bodies on democratic transition and thus “criminalize” any further attempt by Jammeh to violate the democratic process. We appreciate the fact that ECOWAS leaders: chairperson Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, and the Presidents of Nigeria (Muhammadu Buhari), Sierra Leone (Ernest Bai Koroma), Ghana (John Dramani Mahama) and Guinea (Alpha Conde) are in fact meeting with President Jammeh today in Banjul. They will also meet with opposition coalition leaders. The primary task of that team should be to bring all parties concerned to the negotiating table, insist on the supremacy of the people’s will and advise Yahya Jammeh to obey the rule of law.

       It is possible that he would refuse to listen. Before now, this Gambian anti-hero has shown a capacity to defy the international community. He once turned himself into a herbal doctor and claimed he had found a cure for HIV/AIDS. In 2013, he pulled his country out of the Commonwealth. He is also opposed to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Ironically, the current chief prosecutor of the ICC is a Gambian, Fatou Bensouda. Yahya Jammeh is also an incurable megalomaniac, given his love of titles: H.E. Sheikh Prof. Dr. Alhaji President Yahya AJJ Jammeh Babili Mansa. On many occasions, he wanted to be Chairman of the ECOWAS, but his colleague-Presidents always turned him down in favour of much junior Presidents who met him in office. For a while he shunned many international engagements, sending his Vice President instead. To be fair to him though, he is not as stupid as he is made to appear internationally and he has probably realized that the game is up. But could Yahya Jammeh be playing a game, to negotiate, to gain amnesty?

      

His relapse out of that moment of lucidity that saw him conceding defeat on December 2 may well have been caused not by his claim of “unacceptable errors”, but fear. The Gambian situation may end up providing special lessons in how triumphant opposition parties should manage victory in order not to provoke a succession crisis. Dictators in general are afraid of what will happen to them when they are no longer in power and hence, many of them hang on to office until they die or they are disgraced out. While the antidote to this is good governance, it is also pragmatic to situate certain responses within the context of post-election realities.

       

In The Gambia, the post-election situation has been poorly managed. Jammeh and Barrow have met only once since the election was won and lost. They are practically not on speaking terms. The opposition, apparently due to lack of knowledge and tact, has also been busy threatening to deal with Jammeh as soon as he hands over power. Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang, who led the victorious coalition has been busy taunting Jammeh. She is a perfect illustration of how much damage reckless windbaggery can do to opposition politics.

     

Madame Fatoumata says Jammeh will be prosecuted.  Gambia will rejoin the International Criminal Court and Jammeh will be sent to The Hague for trial. Jammeh says he’d like to retire to his farm in his native Kanilai, Madame says he will not be allowed to do so, because he has “bunkers and treasure” there and enough weapons to start an insurrection. He won’t even be allowed to go abroad. “He can’t leave. If he leaves, he’s going to escape us”, she says. And she adds: “we don’t trust him. The longer we leave him, the more possibilities he has to leave the country to escape the country and even do an insurgency…Senegal is very alert. Nobody trusts him…” She further referred to Jammeh’s wife as a “gold-digger” who should be put on trial and jailed. It is precisely this kind of reckless post-election rhetoric that threatens peaceful ruling-party-to-opposition-tra nsition in Africa. Fatoumata Jallow-Tambalang’s tactlessness has to be managed. She and Samsudeen Sarr should shut up, at least for now!

       

Yahya Jammeh’s response has just been as vengeful. He quickly promoted loyal officers in the military and got the military hierarchy to recant. He also sent soldiers onto the streets of Banjul and Serekunda and other parts of the country to subdue an already frightened populace. He had admitted the result of the Presidential election as the “will of Allah”, but now he is relying on his own will to protect and preserve himself. The early exposure of the mind of the opposition has driven Jammeh back into the trap of tyranny and unless the situation is well managed, we may have a serious crisis in The Gambia with a well-resourced dictator turned rebel. What is playing out in The Gambia right now is a two-way politics of vengeance, which leaves both the people and the governance process stranded. Getting the country out of that logjam should be the main remit of the ECOWAS mission.

        

The ECOWAS leaders visiting Banjul must engage The Gambian military hierarchy. Jammeh is in the process of using them to carry out another coup. His first coup was against Dawda Jawara, 22 years ago, the current effort is designed as a coup against the people and the opposition. And even if he does not get away with it, he is determined to plant enough problems that would make The Gambia impossible to govern after his exit. Right now, The Gambian military has lost its mind. Chief of Defence Staff General Ousman Badjie endorsed the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election and pledged loyalty to the people and the elected in-coming government, but after the bribery of military promotions, the same CDS started insisting on another election. A divided, psychopathic military is a serious problem to any country. We saw that in Guinea-Bissau and Mali. The ECOWAS team must make it clear to The Gambian military leaders that there will be no regional backing for any act of lunacy. 

      

ECOWAS has its own problems. Oftentimes, ECOWAS leaders succumb to unnecessary compromises. They should not return from The Gambia with any unholy compromise. Yahya Jammeh lost the election on December 1. He boasted before then that any election in The Gambia is “rig-proof” and “fraud-proof”. In four previous elections, he won with a landslide. Now, all of a sudden, elections conducted under him are no longer “rig-proof”. He should pack out of the Presidential Villa and allow The Gambia to move on without him. He is the latest victim of coalition opposition politics in Africa. His defeat should send a clear message to the other sit-tight, royalist leaders across the continent. The long-term solution to the Yahya Jammeh problem should be the introduction of a Constitutional term limit for The Gambian Presidency to prevent Jammeh from ruling as he once claimed for “one billion years!”  

       

Above all, Yahya Jammeh is a spoilsport. He jumped out of his moment of lucidity just when we were celebrating the good news from Ghana. John Mahama is Ghana’s first one-term democratically elected President since 1992, but he has been gallant in defeat and most gracious. There is no chance he will behave like Jammeh. He is educated. He has a good head. He is a thinker and a writer. He certainly has a brighter future ahead of him.

$30bn loan: President Buhari To go Ahead Despite Senate Rejection – Senator Ita Enang

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang has explained that the federal government will go ahead with the $29.9billion borrowing plans despite Senate’s rejection.

Giving clarification on Senate’s stance, Ita Enang explained that the Senate needed some information that were strategic to the borrowing plans which the budget office was already working on it.

“What is happening is that there are strategic information that should be made available to them before considering it and the DG, Budget was already working on it”, he noted.

Enang was optimistic that the Senate would approve the loans as soon as all necessary information were made available.

He added that the Senate understands that economic recession confronting the nation deserves sincere approach, while insisting that the proposed external borrowing of the President would properly fund the budget in the interest of National development.

2017 Budget Will Pull Nigeria Out of Recession- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Nigerians not to lose faith in the ability of his administration to make a difference in their lives, saying the 2017 Budget contains measures that will pull Nigeria out the current economic recession.
The president in his 2016 Eid-el-Maulud message to Muslim faithful, urged Nigerians not to despair as he was doing his best to redress the situation, particularly with a number of policies he had embedded in the 2017 budget proposals, which he would lay before the National Assembly on Wednesday.
He said: “As we use the memorable occasion of this celebration to reflect on our current challenges, I urge you not to lose faith in the ability of this administration to make a difference in the lives of our people.
“The 2017 Budget proposals, which I will lay before the National Assembly on Wednesday, will contain measures that we are confident will get the nation out of its economic woods.”
The president, while wishing all Muslims a happy and memorable celebration of the birth of the great Prophet, said through His (Prophet)  teachings, particularly on peaceful living, tolerance, sobriety, generosity, sacrifice and honesty, and wisdom, the nation had gained immensely in building a harmonious and prosperous society.
Buhari said the universal truth of the Prophet’s values remained unchanged.
He said: “Against all odds, we have used these pillars of strength in securing a just and fair society, and our efforts are beginning to yield dividends in curbing terrorism, militancy, corruption and other crimes that devalue our humanity.”
Buhari called on Nigerians not to allow the reality of the temporary challenges to undermine “our hope, reverse our collective will to succeed, or divide us”.
Rather, Buhari said, it should remind us of “why we need to stay together, fight together and succeed together”.
According to him, we all share a vision of a better Nigeria, and we will all share in the responsibility of building the country of our dreams.
He said: “As we look forward to 2017 with hope and huge expectations, let me assure you that with collective dedication and hard work, we will overcome the mountain of economic difficulties, and return our country to the path of prosperity.”
The president described the occasion of the Prophet’s birth as, “another period of celebration, and deep reflection”.
“Celebration, because we are marking the birth of Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him), and deep reflection, because it is another opportunity of pausing, taking a deep breath and reflecting on the current realities before us,” he added.
Credit: thisdaylive

Don’t lose faith in my government, Buhari tells Nigerians

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians not to lose faith in his administration.

In his 2016 Eid-El-Maulud message, the president said “the reality of the temporary challenges should not undermine our hope, reverse our collective will to succeed, or divide us..”

Read Mr. Buhari’s full message:

Again the calendar of life has brought us into another period of celebration, and deep reflection. Celebration, because we are marking the birth of Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him), and deep reflection, because it is another opportunity of pausing, taking a deep breath and reflecting on the current realities before us.

First of all, I wish all Muslims a happy and memorable celebration of the birth of the great Prophet, through whose teachings, particularly on peaceful living, tolerance, sobriety, generosity, sacrifice and honesty, and wisdom, the nation has gained immensely in building a harmonious and prosperous society. The universal truths of the Prophet’s values remain unchanged.

Against all odds, we have used these pillars of strength in securing a just and fair society, and our efforts are beginning to yield dividends in curbing terrorism, militancy, corruption and other crimes that devalue our humanity.

As we use the memorable occasion of this celebration to reflect on our current challenges, I urge you not to lose faith in the ability of this administration to make a difference in the lives of our people.

The reality of the temporary challenges should not undermine our hope, reverse our collective will to succeed, or divide us; rather it should remind us of why we need to stay together, fight together and succeed together. We all share a vision of a better Nigeria, and we will all share in the responsibility of building the country of our dreams.

As we look forward to 2017 with hope and huge expectations, let me assure you that with collective dedication and hard work, we will overcome the mountain of economic difficulties, and return our country to the path of prosperity.

The 2017 Budget proposals which I will lay before the National Assembly on Wednesday, will contain measures that we are confident will get the nation out of its economic woods.

As we celebrate and reflect, I wish all Nigerians a peaceful Eid-el-Maulud.

MUHAMMADU BUHARI

PRESIDENT, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA

DECEMBER 11, 2016

High Court Orders Immediate Arrest, Sack Of Rotimi Amaechi, Ogbonnaya Onu

Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division has granted an order of mandamus seeking the arrest and immediate sack of Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and his Science and Technology counterpart, Ogbonnaya Onu, over recent allegations levelled against them by two justices of the Supreme Court.

The applicant, Human Rights Foundation International, sought the order in its substantive suit where it prayed the court to compel the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to “perform their statutory obligations” by immediately arresting and prosecuting the two ministers.

The group also sought an order of mandamus compelling President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack both ministers “in the interest of the public and morality” based on allegations of attempts to influence court decisions as claimed by the two jurists.

A copy of the enrolled order made on December 1 specifically called for the disengagement of the ministers pending when they were cleared by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Two justices – Justices Inyang Okoro and Sylvester N. Ngwuta – had in two separate correspondences to former Chief Justice Mahmud Mohammed accused the ministers of attempting to influence court decisions in some election cases between 2015 and this year.

The matter has, however, been slated for mention on December 15.

 

Source:

http://guardian.ng/news/court-grants-order-to-arrest-sack-amaechi-onu/

FG Set to Launch Buhari Mobile App

Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has stated that the accomplishments of the Muhammadu Buhari regime are under-reported.

As a result, the federal government will launch a mobile app that will give a real time update about the achievements of the government, he said.

He spoke on Thursday at a meeting with Resident Information Officers (RIOs) in the ministry on the forthcoming launch of the information dissemination App.

“..government is doing so much, yet people keep saying they do not know because we are not communicating through the right channel,” he said.

The minister said the new app to be launched before the end of the month would bridge the gap by using the social media to “tell the world what the government is doing’’

 

ThinkAfrica Touches Down in Lagos, Nigeria!

ThinkAfrica is a non-profit organization that seeks to connect the Diaspora and Africa, provide a platform for those individuals collaborate, and in turn, create ideas that empower and promote Africa.

 

The organization is comprised of six founding members based in the Washington DC metro area: Fadekemi Adetosoye, Kinya Alexander, Collins Nzekwe, Kofo Olamide, Emmanuel Ogunsalu, and Hakeem Temidayo.

 

Overview:

 

ThinkAfrica presents its first annual Young African Professionals in the Diaspora (YAPD) trip that will take place from December 16th—December 28th in Lagos, Nigeria. The trip offers individuals representing the diaspora the opportunity to experience the corporate and social life in Nigeria. Individuals will network with top entrepreneurs and corporations in Nigeria.

 

ThinkAfrica (TA) participants will be visiting a number of corporations in Nigeria, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Nigeria, Deloitte Nigeria, Jobberman, and more. Additionally, participants will be visiting a number of tech startups in Lagos. ThinkAfrica will also host a startup roundtable that will feature CEOs from successful startups in Nigeria across various industries.

 

Event Lineup:

 

Friday, December 16th, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.—ThinkAfrica presents: YAPD Welcoming & Commencement Event, a fun networking mixer that includes an introduction of ThinkAfrica and an exciting evening of empowerment and open discussion regarding Nigeria’s current socioeconomic environment highlighting opportunities for entrepreneurs and innovators in the Diaspora held in Lagos, Nigeria. The event will take place at The Event Room Nigeria, 6B Ogbunike Crescent Way by Avalon House, Admiralty Way, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, Nigeria. Speakers include Abike Dabiri, Chima Anyaso, Debola Williams, Japheth Omojuwa, Bayo Rotimi, and more.

 

Tuesday, December 20th, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.— Startup Nigeria: Innovation, Collaboration & Creation: The likes of Opeyemi Awoyemi, Kunle Oguneye, Taiye Aliyu, Jide Ipaye, and more will be present to share their personal experiences. Speakers will be addressing challenges relevant to starting businesses in their respective industries and how they were able to overcome them. We are inviting local residents in Nigeria and abroad to have the opportunity to attend and receive excellent exposure to a plethora of renowned entrepreneurs in the Nigerian community. This event will take place at the Le Paris Continental Hotel in Lekki Phase 1, 16 Babatunde Dabiri Street, Lagos, Nigeria. The mission of this event is to identify opportunities for collaboration in business amongst those in the diaspora and those currently living in Nigeria.

 

Follow us on social media to stay updated on all events. Instagram: @ThinkAfrica Facebook & Twitter: @WeThinkAfrica or visit our website at: www.wethinkafrica.com, e-mail us at info@wethinkafrica.com or call 08141399365.

Shi’ites Is The Next Boko Haram – Nothern Elders Tell Buhari

The Borno Elders Forum via its Chairman Usman Galtimari has written a letter to President Buhari advising him to intervene and put a stop to the power tussle btw security forces and Shi’ites in Kaduna State

The letter read in part, “From what we read and heard in the print and electronic media, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria has been branded as an insurgency group and therefore outlawed. We see what is happening in Kaduna State as similar to what happened in Borno State back in 2009 leading to a sorry state of affairs in the State.

“Your Excellency may concur with us that there is the need to draw lessons from our recent and indeed ongoing crisis in the North-East and pockets of other crisis across the country. It is therefore necessary to take all the available routes to avert any further incidents.

“We wish to appeal to you to arrest the Kaduna situation and amicably settle all contending issues so that peace will reign in central Nigeria. Our harrowing experiences in the North-East should be enough to guide us as a nation to cultivate peace and peaceful co-habitation.”

Why FG’s Ban on Land Border-Importation of Vehicles Makes NO Sense – Adeeko Ademola

BusinessDay search shows that before the implementation of the new auto policy, which raised duty paid on imported vehicles from 20 to 70 percent to encourage the upcoming assembling plants in the country, about 30,000 new cars and trucks used to arrive Nigeria every month across all the Roll-on Roll-off (RORO) terminals, but the volume has now dropped to about 10,000 monthly. 

 

Most times, I can’t help but chuckle at the sheer incompetence and shallow reasoning employed in drafting government policies in Nigeria. These attributes are evident in almost every decision the Nigerian government has taken over time. Such of these ill-advised policies is the latest ban on land border imported vehicles into the country.

 

Yesterday night, I got a message circulated via WhatsApp. As I read through the message which was laden with the intention to sway public opinion about the government’s decision to place a ban on land border-imported vehicles.

 

After reading the ridiculous reasons the government gave for the ban, I was compelled to address what seems to me like a damning decision by a government that has done little to nothing to alleviate the suffering of it’s own citizens especially in a period of economic recession. Therefore, I will share with you the points circulated by the FG as reasons for the ban before addressing them:

 

Why FG’s ban of vehicle imports through land borders makes sense

 

1. Ensures the proper documentation and duty collection on vehicles that comes into the country. Many vehicles brought in through land borders find ways and means to avoid payment of duties thereby shortchanging Nigeria.

2. Reduction in smuggling of vehicles older than 15 years into the country. Many of these vehicles have a lot of harmful exhaust which could be responsible for increasing cases of lung cancers seen in younger people in Nigeria. The government cannot control the vehicles imported through land borders with some as old as 20 years!

3. Reduction of corruption and bribery of customs by smugglers through land borders and of course the attendant security challenges whereby arms and other dangerous products can be smuggled in along with those vehicles.

4. Avoidance of double payment of duties on imported vehicles. Most Nigerians who buy used vehicles brought in through land borders still have to pay as much as extra 300,000 Naira as duties to customs within Nigeria, with many vehicles impounded along with the pains to the affected individuals.

5. Reduction in 419, armed robbery and several other losses to Nigerian buyers who travel all the way through land to buy used vehicles in neighboring countries.

6. Helps to protect the local auto industry and makes government more responsible.

 

Laughable, isn’t it? I have read the reasons over and over again and nothing in it suggests that a total ban will eradicate or in any way reduce the vices listed in those reasons. As a matter of fact, whoever came up with those reasons, either has a low reasoning capacity or just lacks critical thinking abilities and I will tell you why.

 

In order to solve a problem perpetually or let me say; put an everlasting solution to a problem, you should be ready to go as far as the root causes of the problem. Once it is evident that you’re not ready to tackle the causative factors of a particular problem, then you have no business holding any leadership position. Nigeria, as it is now, does not need cosmetical or short term solutions. We need thoroughly thought out solutions to be able to solve our systemic problems.

 

If you remember, some years ago, Ex-President Jonathan increased sea port importation tariff by 70% in a bid to discourage importation of automobiles and to encourage a ‘non-existent’ local automobile industry or let’s just say; “Innoson Motors”. The increment in importation tariff resulted to spike in the price of imported automobiles as Nigerians continued to demand for imported automobiles. At a point, the tariff was unbearable and due to the natural demand for foreign brands of automobiles, importers, willing to meet the demand and also sell at affordable rates resorted to land border importation otherwise known as smuggling. What they do basically, is; ship their merchandise to a neighboring country where the importation tariff is relatively low and then they bring the cars into Nigeria via porous borders, hereby cutting off the costs of paying government the necessary monetary dues which also means government has continued to lose revenue in Billions of Naira to smuggling over time.

 

Going back up to the reasons listed by the FG for the ban, you’ll realize that the ban will have very little effect on the listed reasons except for number 1 which clearly states that; “the ban will ensure the proper documentation and duty collection on vehicles that comes into the country. Many vehicles brought in through land borders find ways and means to avoid payment of duties thereby shortchanging Nigeria.” Truth is the Nigerian government cannot really be bothered about the type or the age of cars brought into the country. The government cannot be bothered about the respiratory problems that come with driving very old cars. The government cannot be bothered about the rate of armed robbery and 419 schemes people may go through traveling all the way to neighboring countries to purchase automobiles. The only thing the government is interested in is the loss of funds involved in the land border importation venture. Simple!

 

Moving on, why does the government need to place a ban on land border importation when it encouraged the venture some years ago by increasing tariff at the seaports? Why is it so hard for the government to reduce the throat-cutting tariff at the seaports to encourage importers abandon the land border importation? After all, seaports are safer and closer to the importers’ customers. Importers who make use of the seaports readily know that seaports are way better than using land borders especially when you put into consideration, the treacherous journey from the borders to the inner cities coupled with bad roads and security risks. The question we should ask ourselves is; why do importers risk everything to use land borders over seaports? The answer is simple; cut-throat tariff at the seaports.

 

Innoson

 

That period Innoson started it’s operations in Nigeria, the FG under Goodluck Jonathan, in a bid to support the locally manufactured cars by Innoson, decided to hike the importation tariff at the seaport to discourage importation and encourage the growth of the local automobile sector. It would have been a very good move if Innoson had taken the opportunity to widen it’s business scope. First off, Innoson is yet to be a trusted brand and it’s market penetration has barely left the surface even years after inception. Instead of Innoson, in what is expected of it to penetrate the market targeting the low/middle income earners in it’s production, was busy competing prices of automobiles with world renowned brands like KIA and Hyundai and Toyota. If Innoson is not a trusted brand yet in terms of quality and it’s cheapest car is at same price with say; Hyundai. Honestly, I don’t think there is any Nigerian who will buy an Innoson over a Hyundai, all on the altar of supporting locally made cars. In general, I doubt any Nigerian will buy a car because it’s a local brand as opposed to quality. At least, not at this time. As a matter of fact, an average Nigerian will buy a product for it’s longevity/durability (at a reasonable price) over luxury, even at same price.

 

This why I have always opined that Innoson needs to follow the market penetration model of a company like Tecno. Target low/medium income earners, who are the majority first, then rise through the ranks to compete with other brands over time especially with advance in research on latest technology. With the untested nature of Innoson vehicles, no one is willing to risk hard-earned money to buy vehicles they’re not certain about the availability of it’s body parts and durability.

 

Given the current state of the economy, how many Nigerians can actually afford brand new cars from Innoson now that we have placed a ban on cheap land border-imported cars? How many Nigerians can even afford Tokunbo cars with the high tariff demanded by the seaport? To go back to the root of the problem, why in the first place did importers choose land border importation? Simply because the tariff at seaports is too high. If a car merchant buys a car worth 500, 000 Naira and ends up spending almost 300k to clear it, how much do you think he’ll put up the car for, after adding his profit? Who is willing to buy such car at that imagined price especially with the recession in the country?

 

If the government is really serious about growing the local automobile industry, then it should look inwards to ensure the cost of production is relatively low so that companies like Innoson can drop their prices to create an edge over imported brands or better still, make the country business-friendly enough to invite automobile companies to set up manufacturing plants here in Nigeria which is also a good avenue to boos employment.

 

Solution

 

The only move that is appropriate right about now, is for the government to embark on a downward review of the seaport importation tariff before ever considering a ban on land border importation. The government has enough to gain by reducing the tariff and the reason I propose this is quite straightforward;

 

1. A reduction in importation tariff will encourage car importers to rescind on their decision to smuggle. It will encourage them to make use of the seaports in as much as they don’t have to break the bank to clear their imported merchandise from the ports.

2. The ripple effects of a tariff reduction will be felt immediately as government’s revenue generation from seaports will soar as a result of the increase in the importers who will patronize the ports over smuggling.

3. Their will be a reduced friction between smugglers and men of the Customs service. The less smugglers we have to deal with, the more effective the Customs service will be.

4. There will be a huge reduction in the corrupt practices of Custom officials basically because patronage will definitely fall to the barest minimum and this also grants the agency a clearer opportunity to rid itself of corrupt officials.

5. Fewer Nigerians will patronize smugglers when they know they can purchase vehicles at a reasonable price without the unnecessary risks of traveling long distance to neighboring countries and also they can get proper documentation for their vehicles without the risk of being caught and asked to pay double for import duties.

6. The Nigerian government can keep tabs on the necessary info it needs about every imported vehicle.

 

However, if the FG strongly believes the ban on land-border importation despite maintaining a high tariff  at seaports will deter smugglers, then it has really got jokes because a country like Nigeria with absolutely porous borders will only see a shift in entry point for smugglers not a reduction. In brevity, we will only succeed in overstretching our already overstretched Customs service.

 

Those who advised the presidency to place a ban on land imported cars while maintaining a high importation tariff at the seaports didn’t take their time to think it through properly. I sincerely hope that they get time to read this piece and make appropriate adjustments.

 

However, I won’t leave you without this piece of information to corroborate my stand on this issue. These are words from Asconio Russo, managing director/CEO, Ports and Terminal Multi-Services Limited (PTML), operators of Nigeria’s biggest RoRo terminal. And I quote:

Our business is down by about 60 percent, which is a significant drop and this has to do with the auto policy, which increased duty on imported cars and buses from 20 to 70 percent since July 2014. As a result, there was huge diversion of traffic to Benin Republic such that Benin Republic that used to be one of the major reason why Nigeria has been losing revenue from imported vehicle, became the most important port for Nigerian vehicles,” he said.

Allegations Of Corruption In The Justice Delivery Sector: Implications For Rule Of Law & Democracy By Femi Falana

Introduction 

For the past three decades, I have been involved in the struggle against human rights violations, corrupt practices and abuse of powers by certain principalities in Enugu State. In the 1980s I was here to defend the late Chima Ubani and other leaders of the student union of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka when they were expelled on grounds of political extremism. I also defended them when they were later charged before a Special Military Tribunal which sat at Enugu. In the 1990s I was equally here to launch legal battles against the proscription of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) by the Sani Abacha junta and the expulsion of Malachy Ugwumadu and his colleague by the Vice-chancellor the UNN. Even though the country was under the jackboots at the material time the military dictators and the UNN authorities lost all the criminal and civil cases to our clients.

Three years ago, I was briefed to take up the case of the illegal detention of the then first lady of the State, Mrs.Clara Chime. She had been locked up in a room in the government house for weeks. She briefed me, through SMS and emails which she secretly sent to me, to secure her freedom from the illegal custody. When it was discovered that she had contacted me her phones and IPAD were impounded. I took up her case pro bono. As soon as I reported her illegal detention to the National Human Rights Commission, the Nigeria Police Force and the State Security Service my locus standi to intervene in what was regarded as a family affair was challenged by her husband who was then the State governor. In defending my own intervention in the matter I referred the detainer who is a senior lawyer to the celebrated case of Fawehinmi v Akilu. where the Supreme Court held that we are all her bothers’ keepers.

Shortly thereafter, I led a team of colleagues to challenge the illegal impeachment of a former deputy governor in the State, Mr. Sunday Onyebuchi by the House of Assembly. The ground for the removal of the public officer from office was that he had engaged in poultry in the government quarters. Since the Constitution has excluded engagement in farming from the management or running of private business by public officers which is prohibited the Enugu State High Court had no difficulty in voiding the illegal impeachment.  Sometime last year, Mr. Peter Eze was subjected to intimidation by the then Chief Judge of Enugu State for reporting him to the National Judicial Council (NJC). Apart from securing the enforcement of his personal liberty at the Federal High Court we fought against the official moves to cover up the gross misconduct alleged to have been committed by the Chief Judge. Through personal sacrifice, courage and perseverance Mr. Eze was able to say like Paul the Apostle,”bonum certamen certavi” (I have fought thegood fight). I am therefore delighted to return to a familiar terrain of struggle to address the Enugu branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on the controversial issue of judicial corruption in our country.

Danger of raiding Judges’ homes at night

Even though I support the purge of the judiciary I am unable to persuade myself not to endorse the nocturnal raid of the official quarters of corrupt judges. More so, that leading politicians of the ancient regime and scores of military officers accused of criminal diversion of public funds have not been subjected to such bizarre indignity. In any case, since the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) has admitted that he authorized the raid he is vicariously liable for the illegality of the invasion of the house of Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court. From the information at my disposal the ‘offence’ committed by the judge was that he had ordered the SSS to produce a detainee in a fundamental right application pending in his court.  Since Justice Dimgba has never been associated, even remotely, with corrupt practices, he deserves an unreserved apology from the federal government. In prosecuting the war against corruption the SSS should not be allowed to harass judges whose fidelity to integrity cannot be questioned.

Under successive military dictatorships in Nigeria the NSO/SSS carried out several nocturnal raids on my home in a desperate move to cow me to submission. I always opened my doors ajar whenever the security operatives came calling. However, on  April 8, 1990, after the night raid of my house I was arrested at about 4.15 am and driven to the outskirts of Lagos along the lonely Epe road and dumped in the bush by the operatives of the SSS. Simultaneously, the home of the late Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti was invaded. He too was arrested and driven to Ijanikin along Badagry road where he was abandoned in the bush by his abductors. It was not a commercial venture as no ransom was demanded or paid before our release. As soon as we returned to our homes we addressed the press to alert Nigerians of the new tactics of kidnapping political opponents by the military junta. To our utter chagrin, the SSS denied any involvement in our abduction. Although we dismissed the official denial we and our colleagues in the human rights community resolved never again to open our doors to midnight marauders. And we never did until the end of military rule in May 1999.

However, when the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN, the late Dr. Ransome-Kuti and I returned to Kuje prisons in July 1993 we met a security officer who was in detention for alleged security breach. In the course of our interaction he informed us that the April 1990 abduction was carried out as part of the preparation for the Gideon Orkar-led coup. According to the officer, our abductors wanted to incite the human rights community against the Babangida junta.  I have recalled the personal encounter with the semi official kidnappers to draw attention to the danger of invading the homes of judges in the middle of the night. As kidnapping has become rampart in the country corruption may fight back by recruiting criminal elements to wear masks and abduct innocent judges at night and kill them andthereby embarrass the Buhari administration. To avert such ugly development the federal government is advised to stop security forces from further raiding the homes of judges at night.

Allegations of Corruption in the Justice Delivery Sector

Notwithstanding the arrest and the raid of the homes of judges where sums of money were recovered. And notwithstanding the arraignment of some of arrested judges in court the charges are mere allegations until they are proved beyond reasonable doubt. To that extent, we cannot comment on the contents of the charges since the criminal cases are sub judice. In this presentation, we shall therefore limit ourselves to the allegations of judicial implications.  At the same time, we shall call on the Nigerian Bar Association to take advantage of the ongoing purge of the judiciary to reorganize the courts. It has to be realized that we cannot successfully fight judicial corruption if we fail to stop the service of originating processes through extortion by court bailiffs, the execution of judgments through extortion by deputy sheriffs, the compilation of records of appeal through extortion by the record section and obtaining judgments of courts through extortion by court registrars.

It is often said that the court is the last hope of the common man. This is a myth in every capitalist society like Nigeria where the common man is economically disabled to access the court for redress. Within the ambit of a neo-colonial legal system the judiciary has performed fairly well. But the judiciary has not impacted on the masses of our people. We have over 40,000 poor people who are languishing in prison custody because their cases are awaiting trial in the criminal courts. All attention is largely concentrated on the High Courts and the appellate courts patronized by the elite which is constituted by a tiny fraction of the society.

The judiciary in Nigeria is yet to appreciate that it has the duty to lead the battle against corrupt practices and abuse of power or impunity in order to consolidate the democratic process. So much is expected of the judiciary due to the crucial role of the judicial arm of government in any democratic society. But in spite of the shortcomings in the legal system the judiciary has continued to uphold the rule of law to sustain the status quo in the overall interests of the ruling class. However, allegations of corruption in the judiciary are rife. According to Samson Uwaifo, a retired Supreme Court Justice, “If a judge is corrupt he is no longer a judge, he is a thief and therefore he should be treated as such, according to the law and sent to jail. The substantive issue is corruption. Is it true that these people are actually corrupt and that huge sums of money were found in their place? If that is so, the question of the procedure that taken would be a secondary thing – DSS can be punished for what they did (wrong) but focus should be on the result of the action”

In his reaction to the arrest of judges who are under investigation for corrupt practices a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Yemi Candide-Johnson has categorically asserted that, “I believe that there is nothing uglier or more dangerous than a corrupt judge. A judge accepts an oath to administer justice without fear or favour, it is a trust and practically a holy obligation. Corruption at this level poisons public confidence in the entire system of government and threatens the peace and stability of our entire community. It is shameful and a disgrace to the memory of generations who built the Nigerian legal profession. It is vital that examples are made and I would like to see corrupt judges shackled and on their way to long prison sentences.”

I fully agree with Mr. Candide-Johnson SAN that “a corrupt judges is dangerous to the society.” In fact, judicial corruption is the worst form of corruption because judges have been empowered to exercise the power of life and death over other human beings. The judiciary is not a perfect institution. But unlike other arms of government it has devised inbuilt mechanism for removing corrupt or indolent judges. Under the Buhari administration a number of judges have beensacked for corrupt practices, dereliction of duty or abuse of office. Some have been charged to court while others are under investigation for corrupt practices. But no minister has been sacked. No legislator has lost his or seat on ground of corruption. To that extent, the judiciary has fared better than the executive and legislature in the sanitization of the political system.

I have said in another forum of lawyers that the judiciary cannot be an oasis of integrity in a corrupt society. But as prosecutors and defence counsel in corruption cases lawyers should refrain from manipulating the law to promote corruption. Asinterpreters of the law our judges should stop conferring immunity on politically exposed persons. As a defender of human rights and rule of law the Nigerian Bar Association should monitor lawyers and judges and ensure that the bad eggs among them are reported to the appropriate disciplinary bodies. The point I am labouring to make is that the legal profession can reduce the menace of corruption to the barest minimum in the society. In order to consolidate the democratic process the NBA should activate the human rights committees in its 120 branches with a view to defending the human rights of the Nigerian people.

More importantly, the NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL) should join the campaign for the enforcement of the rights of Nigerian Citizens to education, adequate health, safe environment, etc which have been guaranteed by the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation, LFN, 2004. Since there is equality before the law the Public Officers Protection Act and all laws which require service of pre-action notices as well as the fiat of Attorneys-General to garnishee the accounts of the governments should be abolished. Our judges should be prepared to promote public interest litigation in order to empower citizens to challenge executive lawlessness and official impunity in the country.

The Bar and judicial corruption 

In a critical assessment of the state of judicial independence in Nigeria Professor Osita Nnamani Ogbu has opined that: “In practice, however, the Nigerian judiciary has been far from being independent and impartial. The executive branch has overwhelming influence on the judiciary. Other factors that affect the independence of the judiciary include the politicization of the issue of appointment of judges and the membership of secret cults by some judges. The Nigerian judiciary is not free from the pervasive phenomenon of corruption in Nigerian society. The executive also disobeys some court orders.”

In recent time there is no bar President who has not publicly accused the judiciary of corruption of hawking justice to the highest bidders. Convinced that the disciplinary measures put in place by the NJC were not sufficiently effective, a former NBA president, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN once called for the setting up of a panel of enquiry like the Kayode Eso panel, to inquire into the allegations of judicial corruption in the country. And while commenting on the sack of Justice Shadrack Neabosike as Chief Judge of Abia State, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN, also a former president of the NBA, said that “the decision of the NJC is laudable as it is part of the ongoing cleansing process of the judiciary”. He further stated that it was important for the judiciary to be rid of all forms of forms of corrupt and fraudulent officers so as to forestall a collapse of the system.”

In spite of the condemnation of judicial corruption by bar leaders the NBA has refused to expose, name and shame corrupt judges and lawyers. Consequently, the entire legal profession is now at the receiving end. Having regard to the monetization of NBA elections and inducement of voters by bar politicians it is not surprising that the national officers of the NBA lack the moral right to fight judicial corruption. The local branches of the NBA are also involved in the racket as they have specialized in extorting money from contestants. In view of the expenses incurred in the elections bar leaders do not hesitate to sacrifice the basic objectives of the NBA in order to recoup their huge investment. The implication of corrupt NBA electoral process is that bar leaders who bribe voters may see nothing unprofessional or illegal in bribing judges. The same thing applies to lawyers who sell their votes to the bar leaders during elections. It is therefore my submission that the fight against judicial corruption has to start with credible elections of bar leaders.

However, one of the dangerous implications of judicial corruption is that cases are no longer won on the basis of industry of counsel as justice is sold to the highest bidders in many courts including the appellate ones. The prize fixed on cases is chasing many hardworking lawyers out of practice. A high court judge has just been dismissed from the bench and recommended for prosecution by the NJC for allegedly fixing a case for the sum of N197 million. However, the NJC merely recommended for retirement Justice Hassan Tsiamiya of the court of appeal who demanded N200 million from an appellant. Last week, Chief Robert Clark SAN disclosed on Channels Television that a serving governor once told a senior counsel that the fee charged by him was much lower than what the judges in an election petition tribunal had demanded.

Whereas before now legal practitioners could not meet judges in chambers for any discussion whatsoever in the absence of colleagues on the opposing side it is not uncommon these days for litigants to inform counsel that they had met and negotiated with judges trying their matters. In many jurisdictions, the lawyers and court registrars who are couriers for corrupt judges are well known to all and sundry. Instead of taking steps to flush out the judicial merchants who have turned our courts to supermarkets for the rich lawyers are falling over themselves to fix cases. Meanwhile bar leaders have specialized in verbalizing the commercialization of the justice sector.

Another area where the NBA has failed to call its members to order is the deliberate delay of the prosecution of corruption cases and pre-election matters.  In other jurisdiction all pre-election matters are tried and concluded before elections. For instance, on the day of the United States election the Donald Trump campaign organization had filed a suit praying  the courtto direct a county registrar of voters in Nevada State to preserve and segregate ballots from voting machines in four early voting areas where there were suspicions of fraud. The claimant asked for an order that the ballots cast after the designated polling hours be not “co-mingled or interspersed” with other ballots. The judge heard the arguments and delivered his judgment in view of the urgency and implication of the case.

But in Nigeria our courts have turned pre-election matters to post election affairs with dire consequences for the democratic process. Contrary to the letter and spirit of the Electoral Act the dispute over the governorship primary conducted by the PDP in Enugu state is still pending in the Supreme Court even though the term of office of the governor who won the contest expired in 2011. Equally pending in the apex court are the appeals arising from the disputes over the governorship primaries conducted about 2010 in Abia and Cross River states. Although a winner has emerged in the governorship election held in Ondo state on November 26, 2016, the pre-election legal battles over the primaries of both the APC and PDP together with possible election petitions are going to be fought in the courts throughout the tenure of the winner of the election.

In the hearing of such cases for years politicians become desperate and are ready to win the cases at all costs. To stop judicial corruption through pre-election matters the judiciary should ensure that they are heard and determined with dispatch before election are held while election petitions are concluded before the inauguration of elected governments. The NBA and other stakeholders should propose relevant amendments to the Constitution and the Electoral Act to fast track the hearing of election disputes. Delay in the trial of politically exposed persons has also exposed the judiciary to ridicule before the generality of Nigerians and the international community. It is interesting to note that the manipulation of the criminal justice system is perpetrated by the politically exposed persons with the connivance of their counsel who are members of the inner bar. The deliberate manipulation of the criminal procedure to keep corruption cases in court indefinitely was decried by the Supreme Court in the case of Dariye v FRN where Ngwuta J.S.C held:

“It is not the duty of learned counsel to resort to motions aimed principally at delaying or even scuttling the process of determining whether or not there is substance in the charges as laid. In my view, this motion is a disservice to the criminal process and a contemptuous lip service to the fight against corruption. The tactics employed here is only one of the means by which the rich and powerful cripple the criminal process.

There are cases which the accused develop some rare illness which acts up just before the date set for their trial. They jet out of the country to attend to their health and the case is adjourned. If the medical facilities are not available locally to meet their medical needs it is only because due to corruption in high places the country cannot build proper medical facilities equipped with the State of art gadgets. There should be no clog in the process of determining whether or not a person accused of crime is guilty irrespective of his status in the society…

Lawyers are engaged to espouse the case of their clients. It is a monopoly and they should bear in mind that like all monopolies, there conduct are subject to strict rules of accountability for adherence to set ethical standards. They can fight the cause of their clients but as lawyers they must act within the rules regarding ethical conduct. They owe a duty to their client but they owe a higher duty to a higher cause-cause of justice .”

However, the Federal High Court has taken advantage of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 to accelerate the trial of criminal matters including corruption cases. In the last one year, the EFCC has secured about 200 convictions. This was why I was vehemently opposed to the recent call of the NBA leadership that the EFCC be divested of prosecutorial powers. Politically exposed persons have found that they can no longer manipulate the criminal justice system, at least in the Federal High Court. The appellate courts have also refused to suspend any trial by granting stay of proceedings. Interim orders of forfeiture of assets of criminal suspects are being granted while some of the suspects have been remanded in prison custody by judges and magistrates to facilitate investigation. Very soon, the fat cats are going to be convicted and jailed for looting the treasury.

The NJC and judicial corruption

Upon a critical analysis of the arrest of judges I have blamed the NJC and NBA for the cover up of cases of judicial corruption which led to the mess that the legal profession has found itself. Many petitions alleging misconduct against senior judges and members of the NJC have been suppressed. A Chief Judge has just been removed for collecting N10 million from a litigant at a book launch. But nothing has happened to another Chief Judge who raised over N40 million from a similar book launch. Is he a sacred cow because he is a member of the NJC? In defending the arrested judges the NJC claimed that it had treated all complaints of misconduct against judges with dispatch. The Civil Society Network Against Corruption, a civil society organization challenged the claim by referring to not less than 10 complaints which were not treated by the NJC.

Notwithstanding that it is incongruous for judges who are on trial for corrupt practices to continue to sit in judgment over other people the NJC said that it was not going to suspend the suspects. I had to remind the NJC that in 2006, it requested the SSS to investigate the members of the Akwa Ibom election petition tribunal who were alleged to have collected bribes to pervert justice.  Before the investigation was ordered the NJC had suspended the judges. In April 2014, I was the only lawyer who condemned the removal of Justice Peter Agwumagu as chief judge of Rivers state and his suspension before investigation was ordered by the NJC? Thisday published my article on the illegality of the removal. The NJC wrote a rejoinder to the article. The NJC was  also reminded that it suspended Justice Ayo Salami as President of the Court of Appeal before the investigation of the allegations levelled against him by the then Chief Justice. Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu.

It was at that stage that the NJC accepted the request of the NBA President, Mr. A.B. Mahmoud SAN to suspend the judges from performing judicial functions until they have been absolved of the allegations of corrupt practices.  However, the NJC has refused to consider the serious implications of the conflicting judgments and orders of judges of the federal high court and other judges of coordinate jurisdiction. Hence, the federal high court and the Ondo State High Court have just issued conflicting orders with respect to the governorship candidate of the PDP in the November 26 election.

The NBA has 5 members in the NJC who are usually members of the inner bar even though the Constitution provides that at least one of them shall be a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. Through its members in the NJC the NBA has continued to allow corrupt and incompetent lawyers to be appointed judges without a whimper. The comments on the character of candidates applying for appointment to the higher bench which are compiled by the various branches of the NBA are usually ignored by the NJC with the connivance of the NBA representatives. Instead of insisting on the appointment of judges on the basis of merit and integrity the NBA has never kicked against the politicization of the process of appointment. If we want an incorruptible judiciary the bar and bench should address the mode of appointment of judges, security of tenure as well as the working condition and retirement benefits of judges.

A former Chief Justice, Lady Justice Alooma Muktar put some measures in place to curb the excesses of itinerant judges. For instance, no judge could travel out of the country without a written permission of the NJC. Even a judge could not leave his/her duty post without the approval of the Chief Judge. Appointments to the higher bench were substantially based on merit.  As she would not allow the appointment of incompetent judges one of the heads of court refused to set the engine in motion for filling the vacancies in his Court.  But as soon as she completed her tenure it became business as usual in the judiciary. It is on record that the unprecedented impunity of the last three years encouraged the primitive accumulation of wealth by the judges who are currently embroiled in the miasma of corrupt practices.

In another move to protect corrupt judges the National Judicial Council has barred publication of allegations of misconduct against judicial officers or employees of the judiciary. Part of the policy reads: “It shall be the policy of the judiciary on complaints that allegations of misconduct against judicial officers or employees of the judiciary shall not be leaked or published in the media” and if and when it leaks, that would be the end of the investigation. Instead of gagging the media the NJC should be advised to learn from the NBA. Apartfrom advertising the names of lawyers being investigated the trial of indicted ones is conducted publicly by the legal practitioners disciplinary committee of the NBA. Even though the proceedings are covered by the media heavens have not fallen!

In any case, a petition against a judge may be leaked to the media without the knowledge or consent of a petitioner. In other words, it may be leaked to the media through the secretariat of the NJC or at the court where an accompanying affidavit has been sworn and deposited or by the respondent judge or through a member of the investigative panel or through any other member of the NJC.  Since any petition published in the media is liable to be dismissed by the NJC the respondent judge may leak it to the media if he/she has no defence to the allegation contained in the petition. The NJC ought to realize that it is the constitutional responsibility of the media to promote public accountability   and transparency in public institutions. Since the NJC is a public institution it cannot gag the press from reporting its activities. The NJC lacks the power to restrain the press from discharging the constitutional duty conferred on it by section 22 of the Constitution.  Since the petition against a judge is a public document it shall be made available to any Nigerian journalist pursuant to section 4 of the Freedom of Information Act. Furthermore, the NJC cannot prevent a petitioner from imparting information to the media in respect of a petition against a judge as it is an exercise of the fundamental right to freedom of expression guaranteed by section 39 of the Constitution and article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act.

Corruption encouraged to fight back by Government

President Buhari has said that corruption is fighting back. This is not unexpected given the enormous resources in the soiled hands of the politically exposed persons who have been investigated or charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission. However, the federal government is needlessly encouraging corruption to fight back by frustrating the trial of some of the suspects. In fact, the government has continued to play into the hands of the suspects by refusing to comply with the orders of courts which have admitted them to bail.

Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), a former National Security Adviser, has refused to make himself available for trial on the ground that the SSS has illegally revoked the orders of three courts admitting him to bail. The government has also ignored the declaration of the ECOWAS Court to the effect that the further detention of Col Dasuki is illegal and unconstitutional. As if that is not enough, the federal government has refused to comply with the order of the Federal High Court to the effect that Commodore Umar Mohammed (rtd) be admitted to bail. Consequently, the Federal High Court has adjourned the arraignment of the retired military officer until the order admitting him to bail is complied with by the government.

When Olisa Agbakoba SAN was the President of the NBA a ledger was opened in the secretariat for recording judgments that were not been complied with by the governments. Even though many judgments were recorded in the ledger the NBA did not take any step to enforce them.  We cannot claim to operate under the rule of law if judgments of courts are treated with disdain by governments with the connivance or silence of Attorneys-General. The payment of judgment debts has been frustrated in many instances by Attorneys-General who refuse to give fiat to judgment creditors.Since the judgments of courts are binding on all authorities and persons the NBA should sanction Attorneys-General who fail to ensure compliance with the judgments of courts by the governments.

I cannot but concur with one of the leading lights in the legal profession, Chief Folake Solanke SAN who has rightly observed that “It is contrary to the rule of law that anyone or any institution should disobey a court order. Every lawyer must see that his clients obey court orders. It is a professional duty which must not be compromised for any client. A ‘person’ who disobeys a court order today may need the due process of law tomorrow to redress a wrong or an infraction of his right. The ambivalence of disobedience is exposed when a favourable court order is obeyed promptly and an unfavourable order is disobeyed.”

The NBA should wake up from its lethargy in the face of incessant disobedience to court orders. If the NBA under the presidency of Alao Aka-Bashorun could boycott courts over the flouting of a single court order by a military junta the NBA cannot afford to remain indifferent to executive lawlessness under a democratic dispensation.  As a matter of urgency, the NBA ought to prevail on the federal government to comply with the following court orders:

1.The orders of the Federal High Court,  the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory and the ECOWAS Court  directing the federal government to release Col. Sambo Dasuki(Rtd) on bail.

2.The order of the Federal High Court admitting Commodore Umar Mohammed (Rtd) to bail.

3.The order of the Federal High Court mandating the federal government to publish the amount recovered from those who looted the public treasury.

4.The order of the Federal High Court directing the SSS to release Sheik Ibraheem Elzakzaky and his wife from illegal custody.

5.The orders of the Federal High Court directing the federal and state governments grant autonomy for the judiciary.

6.The order of the Federal High Court directing the federal government to restore the Peoples Bank.

7.The order of the Federal High Court directing the federal government to establish the Nigerian Education Bank.

8.The order of the ECOWAS Court directing the federal government to ensure that every Nigerian child is given access to Universal Basic Education.

Criticisms of judgments of Nigerian Courts

In December last year, I had cause to criticize the granting of stay of proceedings by the Supreme Court in the case of Saraki v FRN . My criticism was based on section 306 of the ACJA 2015 which has prohibited the suspension of the hearing of a criminal case. Upon the publication of my views a retired judge called to warn me that I could be stripped of the rank of SAN for my impetuosity. The counsel to the appellant threatened to commence contempt proceedings against me. The then NBA president, Mr. Austin Aleghe SAN apologized publicly on our behalf and announced that we were going to be sanctioned for subjecting the decision of the apex court to criticism. I reacted by daring both Messrs.Daudu SAN and Aleghe SAN to file contempt proceedings and initiate disciplinary proceedings against me for exercising my freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

Contrary to the misleading impression that it is contemptuous to criticize the judgments of courts, it is not uncommon for judges of appellate courts to criticizethemselves through dissenting opinions. In Awolowo v Shagari Eso J.S.C. held that it was illogical to fractionalize a state and therefore said that 2/3 of 19 states was 13. In Abacha v The State Ejiwunmi J.S.C. held that disagreed with the majority judgment of the Supreme Court which had said that the appellant had no case to answer in a charge of conspiracy to murder. In justifying his minority decision his lordship said that, ‘”To hold otherwise is in my respectful view, to submit to the tyranny of the majority in its capricious interpretation of settled principles laid down.” In Buhari v Yaradua Oguntade and Muktar J.J.S.C. could not agree with the majority decision. As far as they were concerned, a valid election could not be based on illegal ballot papers.

If members of the apex court could deliver dissenting opinions it is not out of place to criticize the judgments of the Supreme Court. In welcoming the review of the judgments of courts Justice Jackson of the United States Supreme Court once remarked: “We are not final because we are infallible. We are infallible because we are final”. David Pannock  Q. C. has said that “Judicial independence was not designed as, and should not be allowed to become, a shield for judicial misbehaviour  or incompetence  or a barrier to examination of complaints about injudicious conduct on apolitical criteria.”

Justice Khrishner Iyer, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court of India once said that, “Judges are humans though they are ordinarily of high standard and rarely commit serious solecisms, fundamental flaws and grave goofs. Justly, therefore, even High Bench pronouncements do desiderate decisional review and correctional reversal. So we must abandon the populist superstition of judicial supremacy or curial papacy. Judges are under the Constitution, not over it. It becomes necessary to make a thorough scrutiny of the moral, materialist and value-based opinions of the ‘robed brethren’ which stultify established principles of justice and violate constitutional vision.”

In Blackdurn (No. 2) Ex parte R. v. Metropolitan Police Lord Denning said:

“Let me say at once that we will never use this jurisdiction as a means to uphold our own dignity. That must rest on surer foundations. Nor will we use it to suppress those who speak against us. We do not fear criticism, nor do we resent it. For there is something far more important at stake. It is no less than freedom of speech itself. It is the right of every man, in Parliament or out of it in the Press or over the broadcast, to make fair comment, even outspoken comment, on matters of public interest. Those who comment can deal faithfully with all that is done in a court of justice. They can say that we are mistaken, and our decisions erroneous, whether they are subject to appeal or not. All we would ask is that those who criticize us will remember that, from the nature of our office, we cannot reply to their criticisms. We cannot enter into public controversy. Still less into political controversy. We must rely on our conduct itself to be its own vindication. Exposed as we are to the winds of criticism, nothing which is said by this person or that, nothing which is written by this pen or that, will deter us from doing what we believe is right.”

Having regard to many contradictory judgments of our appellate courts and the conflicting orders of high courts of coordinate jurisdiction it is dangerous not to review the judgments of our judges on a regular basis. When the Supreme Court held that the use of card readers was illegal I thought it was like saying any judgment typed by computer was illegal. But when I found that the apex court did not advert its mind to the Electoral Amendment Act 2015 which has empowered the INEC was use card readers. In the circumstance, I was compelled to criticize the judgments of the apex court in an article titled “The Legal Validity of Card Readers”.

Even though the Supreme Court has ruled that any legal process not stamped and sealed by the NBA is illegal the judgment ought not to be accepted as the gospel truth because the attention of their lordships was not drawn to the fact the NBA is a voluntary society of lawyers.  The legal implication is that lawyers who are not members of the NBA and other citizens who may want to handle their cases without the services of lawyers cannot be required to seal and stamp their documents with the imprimatur of the NBA. Since the Constitution recognizes the fundamental right of litigants to defend themselves court processes filed by him cannot be stamped and sealed if they decide not to engage the services of legal practitioners who are members of the NBA. After all, the late Professor Ayodele Awojobi, a mechanical engineer, prepared and filed all his cases and argued them from the High Court to the Supreme Court.

Conclusion

A few months ago, the Presidential Advisory Council on Corruption headed by the renowned Professor Itse Sagay organized a seminar in Abuja on corruption in the judiciary.  I was privileged to have taken part in a symposium along   with the Chief Justice of Ghana, Lady Justice Georgina Theodore Wood. She was the cynosure of all eyes at the occasion because 22 corrupt judges had then been sacked in Ghana on grounds of corruption and abuse of office. At that seminar I warned Nigerian judges not to allow the Ghanaian experience to repeat itself here. In Ghana, the legal profession did not move against corrupt judges. So an investigative journalist, Mr. Anas Aratemew Anas inquired into judicial corruption and caught over 100 judges and judicial staff on tape demanding or receiving bribes. In order to prevent a situation whereby the reform of the judiciary would be externally instigated I was compelled to plead with the NJC to move speedily against the few bad eggs and lawyers who are corrupting the Nigerian judiciary. Unfortunately, my plea was ignored.

However, permit me to conclude this presentation by referring to Justice Krishner Iyer’s book on Law Versus Justice where wrote:

“Central to a democracy of rights and remedies, for people who had suffered irremediable wrongs from lawless law makers and callous, cruel Authority and influential brackets of society, was a judiciary upright, independent, equally accessible, activist and creative and geared to the promotion of social justice revolution.”

Be Patient with Buhari, All Will Be Well Soon – Osinbajo Begs Nigerians

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has tasked Nigerian to exercise patient with President Muhammadu Buhari that all will be well soon.

Professor Osinbajo who spoke in Kano during a Town hall meeting with selected audience said that “I’m confident everyone of us would come out of this recession happy”

The Vice President further stated that “let’s be patient, let’s work hard, and we are lucky with the kind of President we have, he is an honest man”

Professor Osinbajo said he had no doubt in his mind that President Buhari would lead us out of the economic wood, stressing that Mr President honesty would do the magic.

The Professor of law explained “this country needs honest leadership, we need somebody like Buhari who is not going to steal your money”.

Professor Osinbajo revealed that the drop in oil revenue was worsened by the activities of militants in the Niger Delta which drastically reduced foreign exchange earning.

“This is the situation where 60 percent of foreign earning is being lost to the activities of militants in the Niger Delta and we are doing our best to address it”,Osinbajo said.

He therefore tasked Nigerian to continue to support the Federal Government in her efforts to stir the country out the wood.

Governor Ambode Increases Death insurance Benefit For Police to N10 million

Lagos state Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has increased to N10 million the death insurance benefit for police officers, who die in active service.

Ambode announced this in his office yesterday after he was presented with two awards recently won in South Africa by the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the State Police Command.

Promising that his administration would stop at nothing to ensure the safety of all citizens, he said security and safety of the people remains one of the focal objectives of his administration, and that government would continually embrace measures to motivate and encourage officers.

The RRS, at the awards presented by Security Watch Africa (SWA), emerged the best anti-crime police squad in West Africa. The RRS Commander, Olatunji Disu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, won the award of most outstanding police operational officer in Africa.

The government also bagged the award as the best security and most safety conscious state in Africa.
Ambode congratulated the commander and men of the RRS for the feat, saying that the people were appreciative of the gallant efforts of the unit at reducing crime rate, especially in the last one year.

He praised the Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, for his purposeful leadership, saying it was evident that the police were performing creditably well.

Alluding to the need for increment in the death insurance benefit of officers, the governor recalled the recent loss of some officers in active service, adding that while government was not praying for a recurrence, it was appropriate to reasonably reward the family of any officer in the event of eventual death.

He said his administration was raising the stake of death insurance policy from N1million to rank and file and N2million to senior officers to N10 million.
Ambode presented three patrol vehicles and 45 power bikes to the RRS.

He directed the police to ensure hitch-free yuletide celebration across the state.

TIME Announces 2016 Person Of The Year, Meet The 11 Finalists

The shortlist of candidates for the 2016 Person of the Year—TIME’s annual selection of the person who most influenced the news, for better or for worse—was revealed Monday morning on NBC’s Today.

In alphabetical order, the 11 candidates chosen by TIME magazine’s editors are:

Simone Biles

Making her Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro, the talented 19-year-old gymnast earned four gold medals and one bronze, leading her “Final Five” team to victory and affirming her status as the best in the world.

Hillary Clinton

The former First Lady, New York Senator and Secretary of State became the first woman to receive the U.S. presidential nomination of a major political party, going on to lose the election but win the popular vote—the culmination of a hard-fought, divisive presidential race.

CRISPR Scientists

These scientists have developed a groundbreaking new technology that can edit DNA, a technique that has the potential to transform science and the human experience, as it could be used to find and remove mutations responsible for incurable diseases.

Recep Tayyip Erdo?an

After an attempted military coup failed in July, the Turkish president has tightened control over the country, arresting political opponents, firing thousands of state employees and shutting down news organizations.

Nigel Farage

As head of the U.K. Independence Party, Farage was a face of the successful campaign for Britain to leave the European Union, positioning the referendum as the start of a global populist wave against the political establishment.

The Flint Whistleblowers

Local residents, along with civil-engineering professor Marc Edwards and local pediatrician Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, blew the whistle on the lead-poisoned water in Flint, Mich., drawing national attention to an environmental crisis that still has yet to be fully resolved.

Beyoncé Knowles

With a headline-worthy Super Bowl halftime performance, a world tour and a powerful second visual album, Lemonade, Beyoncé continued to surprise and provoke a global audience, using her platform to speak out about racial injustice, police violence and feminism.

Narendra Modi

At the head of a powerful government, the Indian Prime Minister has guided his country’s economy into position as the “emerging-market world’s most positive story.” Late in the year, however, he also stoked concern when he unexpectedly banned 500- and 1,000-rupee bills—a move that aimed to curb untaxed wealth but now threatens to slow the country’s economic growth.

Vladimir Putin

The Russian president made headlines this year with his country’s intervention in Syria and evidence showing that Russian operatives were responsible for the hack of Democratic National Committee servers.

Donald Trump

After campaigning as an anti-establishment, populist candidate, Trump was elected the 45th President of the United States—a stunning end to a presidential bid that repeatedly broke with political precedent.

Mark Zuckerberg

In the year that Facebook surpassed the 1 billion mobile daily users mark, the social-media titan has an unprecedented global reach. The CEO has also faced pressure to take responsibility for the site’s role in spreading fake or misleading news, amid criticism that those stories influenced the outcome of the U.S. presidential election.

The 2016 Person of the Year will be unveiled on Today on Wednesday morning, when the news will also be shared on Time.com.

Credit:

http://time.com/4589502/person-of-the-year-2016-shortlist/

Senate Begins Final Work on Economic Recovery Bills Today

The Senate will this week inch towards passing half of its historic and the much needed economic reform package as six of the 11 priority economic growth and reform bills have been scheduled for public hearings between today and Thursday.

The legislation scheduled for public hearing today includes the National Development Bank of Nigeria Bill, which is intended to provide short, medium and long term financing to participating financial institutions for loans to small scale, medium and industrial enterprises in agro allied businesses, manufacturing, mining; and the National Road Fund Act to fund the rehabilitation and maintenance of the national road system.

Also, public hearing on the Federal Roads Authority Act, which is to manage the federal roads network so that it is safe and efficient, with a view towards meeting the socio-economic demands of the country; and the Customs and Excise Reform Act, which seeks to reform the administration and management of the Customs Service for greater accountability and revenue generation, will hold the same day.

Tomorrow, Land and Marine Transport Committee will hold public hearing on the National Transport Commission Act. The legislation establishes a National Transport Commission as an effective, independent and impartial authority in the transport sector.

On Wednesday and Thursday, the Committee on Upstream Petroleum will hold public hearings on the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIB).

This long-awaited legislation will establish a framework for the creation of commercially oriented and profit driven petroleum entities that ensures value addition and the internationalisation of the petroleum industry.

Procedurally, legislation is referred to the committee with the appropriate jurisdiction for it to hold public hearing after the bill has passed the first and second reading during the Senate plenary session.

Once the committee submits the public hearing report to the full Senate, the legislation is subject to a third reading, or final passage by members sitting at plenary as a committee of whole.

Read More: thisdaylive

We’ve Paid Some Aggrieved Herdsmen To Stop Killings In Southern Kaduna– El-Rufai

Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir el-Rufai has said his government has traced some violent, aggrieved herdsmen to their countries and paid them to stop the killings of Southern Kaduna natives and the destruction of their communities saying that the renewed violence is carried out by bandits.

El-Rufai made this known while fielding questions from some select Journalists in his office in Kaduna.

He said: “For southern Kaduna, we didn’t understand what was going on and we decided to set up a committee under Gen. Martin Luther Agwai (rtd) to find out what was going on there. What was established was that the root of the problem has a history starting from the 2011 post election violence.

“Fulani herdsmen from across Africa bring their cattle down towards Middle Belt and Southern Nigeria. The moment the rains starts around March, April, they start moving them up to go back to their various communities and countries. “Unfortunately, it was when they were moving up with their cattle across Southern Kaduna that the elections of 2011 took place and the crisis trapped some of them.

“Some of them were from Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Senegal. Fulanis are in 14 African countries and they traverse this country with the cattle. “So many of these people were killed, cattle lost and they organised themselves and came back to revenge.

“So a lot of what was happening in Southern Kaduna was actually from outside Nigeria. We got a hint that the late Governor Patrick Yakowa got this information and he sent someone to go round some of these Fulani communities, but of course after he died, the whole thing stopped. That is what we inherited. But the Agwai committee established that.

“We took certain steps. We got a group of people that were going round trying to trace some of these people in Cameroon, Niger republic and so on to tell them that there is a new governor who is Fulani like them and has no problem paying compensations for lives lost and he is begging them to stop killing.

“In most of the communities, once that appeal was made to them, they said they have forgiven. There are one or two that asked for monetary compensation. They said they have forgiven the death of human beings, but want compensation for cattle. We said no problem, and we paid some. As recently as two weeks ago, the team went to Niger republic to attend one Fulani gathering that they hold every year with a message from me.”

Credit:

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/12/weve-paid-fulani-stop-killings-southern-kaduna-el-rufai/

JUST IN: Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh concedes defeat, ends 22 year rule.

President Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled The Gambia for 22 years, has conceded defeat to opposition leader Adama Barrow, the chairman of the independent electoral commission said Friday.

 

“It’s really unique that someone who has been ruling this country for so long has accepted defeat,” Alieu Momar Njie told reporters ahead of the release of the results of Thursday’s presidential election.

Gambian state television told AFP that the 51-year-old head of state, who seized power in a coup in 1994, would make a statement later in the day to congratulate Barrow.

 

Jammeh was running for a fifth term with his Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), while Barrow ran for eight political groups who united for the first time to field a single candidate.

 

The African Union sent a handful of observers to this country of 1.9 million but there are no observers from the European Union or the West African regional bloc ECOWAS because the Gambian government did not grant them accreditation.

 

Jammeh said before the vote that he would not allow even peaceful demonstrations, dismissing them as “loopholes that are used to destabilise African governments.”

 

In a statement Thursday, rights groups criticised the circumstances under which the vote took place, especially the cutting of internet services and international calls.

 

All internet services were blocked at about 8 pm Wednesday night, while messaging services such as Whatsapp and Viber were blocked weeks before the vote, Human Rights Watch said.

The 2017 Budget Can’t Make Any Difference – VP Osinbajo

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday put the figure of the 2017 Appropriation Bill yet to be presented to the National Assembly at about N7trillion.

He however said the budget size was not big enough to have a huge difference in the nation’s economy.

Osinbajo who is the Chairman of the Economic Management Team spoke during a tour of some firms in Sagamu, Ogun State on Thursday.

A transcript of his speech at one of the firms was made available to journalists by his spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande.

The Vice-President said the private sector has a big role to play in the nation’s economy while the Federal Government will only serve as a catalyst.

According to him, the Federal Government believes that there is no way of delivering on its economic agenda without a serious partnership with the private sector.

He said, “Our entire budget size for 2016 is something in the order of just over N6trillion and we will probably be moving to about N7 trillion in the 2017 budget.

“But N7 trillion is certainly not the kind of money, it does sound like a fair amount of money, but certainly, it is not the kind of size that can really make a huge difference in a N90trillion economy such as we have.

Ronaldinho and Riquelme ‘to Come Out of Retirement to Play For Chapecoense’

SOUTH AMERICAN legends Ronaldinho and Juan Roman Riquelme are reportedly considering coming out of retirement to play for Chapecoense following a huge social media campaign.

Chapecoense tragically lost 19 players when a plane crashed on route to Colombia – killing 71 people on board.

Ronaldinho could come out of retirement to play for the Brazil side
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Ronaldinho could come out of retirement to play for the Brazil side
Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA: Juan Roman Riquelme of Boca Juniors team celebrates after scoring against Velez Sarsfield during the Libertadores Cup footbal match, at La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 02 May 2007. AFP PHOTO/Alejandro PAGNI (Photo credit should read ALEJANDRO PAGNI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Juan Roman Riquelme has offered to play for free

The footballing world has come together to pay tribute to the side and their families that left just three Chapecoense players surviving the plane crash.

Whilst Brazilian sides have offered to loan players to the club free of charge, reports are circulating that Ronaldinho and Riquelme have offered to dust off their boots pull on the green and white of Chapecoense.

Riquelme, who last played for Argentinos Juniors in 2014, has won Argentina’s Footballer of the Year four times whilst Ronaldinho was crowned the world’s best player in 2005.

 
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Why Zahra Buhari`s Wedding Was Postponed

The wedding ceremony of Zahra, the 21 year old daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari, earlier scheduled for this weekend has been postponed.

The postponement is reported to be as a result of President Buhari`s insistence on a low-key wedding as he is not comfortable with the attention the media is giving to his daughter’s wedding.

Recall that there were media reports that the family of the groom, Ahmed Indimi presented about 30 LV bags to the bride, Zahra.

The 30 bags which allegedly cost about £120, 000 (approximately N47,144,502, using the official rate of N392.87 to a pound) are said to have been delivered in 30 exotic cars.

An introduction ceremony between both families had earlier held at the Aso Villa, Abuja on Friday, November 18, with the wedding programme scheduled between Wednesday 30th November and Sunday 4th December, 2016.

Read More: dailytrust

My Problem With Leadership Teachings – By Boluwatife Akindele

I’ve been privileged to attend a whole lot of leadership seminars, listened to many “leadership experts” and read many leadership books and articles but One big flaw I’ve noticed in many of these leadership trainings and books is that they prepare people for the number 1 position – Number 1 position meaning the head. We have even spiritualized this belief with the “I shall be the head and not the tail prayer” which in turn means that we are only meant for the topmost position and nothing else.

 

This, in itself is not particularly wrong. I make such declarations too. It’s only that it creates a feeling in the hearts of people that true fulfillment in any institution lies only in the topmost position. We equally need to prepare people for effectiveness and outstanding leadership in whatever position they carry in their organizations. It’s rare to hear people talk about serving as effective assistants and subordinates.

 

The result of this has been tragic. Hence, we have seen very effective managers, Presidents of Institutions, and CEOs of corporations who lack the basic rudiments of leadership because they had their eyes on was the “juicy” position of the head or very excellent management at the head flawed by a poor management by the number 2, 3, and 4s.

 

This would translate into increased work load for the positional leader which can in turn breed frustration.

 

In my little life, I’ve had a fair share of both topmost leadership and leadership as the number 2 man. One of the books that effectively led me through a journey of complete mindset change is 360 degree leader by John Maxwell. I had mentors too who made themselves available to help me through.

 

Is leading as a number 2 easy? No it isn’t. It never is. But the overall effect of a number

2 man taking responsibilities and playing his/her role most effectively is overwhelming.

 

One thing I’ve never stopped to hear is “Your Own is too much” and at many times, I have been assumed to be “recognition – hungry”. To be honest, some of the time, in a bid to lower to pressure from externals, I took the chill pill and reduced the amount of efforts I was giving to my superiors and I bet you, I paid dearly for it. Not in my pay exactly but I saw somethings we came up with crumble.

 

Funny enough, the assumed recognition thing is just a wrong assumption. All credits go to the superior as expected because no leader will give much credits to the subordinate over the boss.

 

In all, one major lesson I’ve learnt from the Bible is that the only one who can effectively reward us for all the hard work we do as workers is God himself [this doesn’t in any way mean that we aren’t entitled to our cash pay].

 

In fact, most times if we knew the importance of being an effective number 2, we would stop fighting over being number 1 and effectively manage our stand at the different doors to which we have been assigned.

 

Moreover, the superiors themselves need to value the importance of an effective number two and stop treating them like they’re worthless. It doesn’t all happen in a day but the process begins on the day you take a resolve to respect the position you are in any Institution. Value it with your life and do all you can to be the best person that would occupy that position. Value and provide mentoring for others who seem to look up to you. Then, the real leadership unleashes itself & the sky would just be the beginning for such an institution.

 

The Author of this piece is BOLU AKINDELE

bolutifearemo@gmail.com

2018 Census to Cost N222 Billion

The Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Chief Eze Duruiheoma, says the 2018 national population census is to cost N222 billion.

He said the figure was arrived at after a careful assessment of the imperatives and requirements for the conduct of a truly scientific exercise.

Duruiheoma spoke at the commission’s review workshop of phase 1 and 2 as well as equipping of trainers currently taking place at Akwanga, Nasarawa State.

According to him, “the fund will not be required at once but to be spread over a period of four years.

“We therefore appeal to state and local governments, traditional institution and communities to support the commission in carrying out the 2018 Census EAD by allowing unfettered access to facilities and places to demarcated’’.

EXCLUSIVE: Governor Ambode presents 2017 Budget today. [FULL PRESENTATION SPEECH]

The Lagos State 2017 budget has been presented by Governor Ambode today at the Lagos State House of Assembly in the presence of all lawmakers from all constituencies in Lagos. Below is a transcript of his full presentation speech:

 

PROTOCOL

 

At the commencement of this administration, we began a journey with the people of Lagos with a promise to make the State work for all. We undertook this journey with great hope for tomorrow. We set forth not alone, but with the Almighty who has been faithful and very generous to us as a State in spite of the present economic situation we have found ourselves as a Nation.

 

On behalf of all the people of Lagos State, I wish to commend the Honourable Speaker and all Honourable members of this hallowed chamber for their unrelenting strides in growing and developing the economy of the State and being worthy ambassadors of our people.

 

The Year 2016 budget of N662.588bn was approved and signed into Law on January 4th, 2016 to focus on the expectations and priorities of our people. As at the end of October, 2016, the overall performance of the budget was 71%. Total revenue stood at N350bn/77.5% while Capital Expenditure closed at N200bn/62% and the Recurrent Expenditure performed at N180bn/82%.

 

As you are all well aware, we shall continue to render our performance/activities through in our Quarterly Town Hall Meetings in which the last Three meetings showcased all our activities in all sectors.

 

It is my strong belief that by the end of this year; there would have been more improvements in the performance indices due to our strong investment in infrastructure. It is worthy to note also that the reforms and restructuring in the Public Service have continued to yield positive and encouraging results as we continue to invest the resultant savings in other economic sectors of the State.

 

Mr. Speaker, Honorable Members, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, “The People’s” budget of 2016 has positively impacted the lives of Lagosians and I am confident that the year 2017 budget will consolidate on our modest achievements and propel our State to enviable heights.

 

The Year 2017 Budget will be in effect at an auspicious time when our State will be celebrating its Golden Jubilee Anniversary. The proposed budget with a size of N812.998billion will continue the massive renewal of our infrastructure and the enhancement of Lagos as one of the foremost tourism and investment destination in Africa.

 

While we focus on physical infrastructure, we shall continue to pay due attention to social infrastructure especially health, education, youth and social development in 2017.

 

The key components of “The Golden Jubilee Budget” are:

Budget Size N813bn

Recurrent   Expenditure N300.535bn

Capital    Expenditure N512.464bn

Capital/Recurrent ratio 63:37

 

We have maintained a conservative approach in estimating our Federal Allocation due to falling oil prices that was about $41.98 per barrel at the time we finalized this budget; however the State expects an increase in Federal allocation through 13% derivation from Oil & Gas in 2017.

 

In view of our financing gap, we shall continue to sustain deficit financing in the short-to-medium term; enhance revenue growth throughout the year on several initiatives including automation and efficient revenue administration.

 

We would explore more collaborations with local and international investors through Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) especially in the areas of Road network expansion, Transport; Housing, and the Environment.

 

The sectoral allocations as proposed in this budget will be distilled further by the Commissioner of Finance later today.

We will equally continue implementing the ease of doing business reforms – starting a business, property registration, tax payment, e-GIS/ Smart  City project, continue to encourage investments in Lekki Free Trade Zone (FTZ), Badagry Deep Sea port and the Eko Atlantic project.

 

We will remain steadfast in our responsibility to make the State safe and secure for all our citizens. We will continue to invest in Security. The Neighbourhood Safety Agency will become fully operational by 2017 with presence in all our Local Governments and LCDAs.

 

A key focus of the budget for the 2017 is road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance. Our government will focus on roads that will open up the hinterlands, improve connectivity in the State and reduce travel time. Some of these projects will include:

  • Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road from Oshodi.
  • Agric-Isawo-Owotu-Arepo Road in Ikorodu
  • Igbe-Igbogbo Phase II- Bola Tinubu Way in Ikorodu.
  • Ijegun Imore Phase II Amuwo in Ojo axis.
  • Oke-Oso-Araga-Poka in Epe.
  • Epe-Poka-Mojoda in the Epe axis.
  • Completion of the Abule-Egba, Ajah and Pen Cinema flyovers.

Our administration shall enter into PPPs for the following projects;

  • Oke Oso-Itoikin dualisation Project in the Epe axis.
  • Okokomaiko-Seme Road Project in Badagry axis
  • Ikorodu-Agbowa-Itoikin-Ijebu Ode Road Project in Ikorodu axis

We will commence the Phase II of the 114 Local Government Roads project and the Fourth Mainland Bridge in 2017.

 

In the course of the 2017 Financial Year, we shall carry out fundamental reforms on all our modes of transportation – Roads, Water and the Walkways. In this wise, a Public Transport Infrastructure Bond will be issued in the course of the year.

 

The State government will embark on the Urbanisation of the Marina axis, Waterways Channelization, establishment of more Parks and Gardens as well as the Community Sports Centres and Stadiums in different locations across the State.

 

We will fully implement the Medical Health Insurance Scheme and deploy e-Health/ e-insurance Health Service solutions; and complete the on-going upgrading and extension work in the State General Hospitals and Ayinke House in Ikeja. Work will commence on our Medical Park in the 2017 fiscal year.

 

With the aim of making Lagos State the next technology frontier in Africa, we will invest in Digital Libraries (e-Libraries) as well as Code Lagos projects to prepare our younger ones to meet the new workforce demands, harness the benefits of technology and communicate in the language of the future.

 

Our administration is committed to various projects in the area of Tourism. Our vision is to create a Tourism Hub around the Onikan-Lagos Marina Axis. We will also develop the Epe and Badagry marinas to harness the tourism potentials of these areas. We will establish Museum for Art and Culture in Ikeja, construct 5 Arts/Culture theatres in Alimosho, Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu and Ikeja with a 400-seater hall in each of them.

 

We will accelerate the food expansion programme with a special focus on rice production, animal husbandry and root crops. We will intensify our collaboration with other States in the development of a commodity Value Chain specifically for food commodities. We will invest more to boost fish production in the State, by improving the production capacity of Ayobo Fish Farm Estate in Alimosho area in addition to providing employment opportunities for the youths.

 

The Employment Trust Fund has commenced financial support to our youths and entrepreneurs and this will be intensified throughout next year.

 

In the area of environment, we will improve water supply through Public Private Partnership (PPP) and increase the capacity utilization of water treatment plants, ensure efficient waste management system by increasing the number of Transfer Loading Stations from three (3) to fifteen (15), mitigate the effect of climate change through the conservation of the natural environment and promotion of biodiversity, as well as minimizing flood through effective erosion control.

 

Mr. Speaker, Honorable Members, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, in our bid to ensure that Lagos works for all, we have presented an all-inclusive budget. However, we are constrained by rising inflation as well as limited financial resources.

 

We seek the cooperation and understanding of all residents in prompt payment of taxes and for the information of our citizens, the State Government has embarked on extensive revenue collection reforms. We will soon introduce more effective multi-pay channels to improve the administration and collection of Revenue. Our Central Billing System and efforts to fully automate revenue collection for ease of payment have reached an advanced stage.

 

The successful implementation of this budget   depends on all Lagosians. We all have a huge responsibility to ensure that it succeeds as we cannot just afford to fail even at this critical period of economic recession.

 

As we approach the end of the year, we implore all citizens to be conscious of their environment and take all preventive measures as appropriate. We will continue to ask for your support at all times as we continue to build the Lagos that works for all.

 

I wish you all, a prosperous and more fulfilling Year ahead.

 

Thank you for listening.

 

Itesiwaju IpinleEko, Lo Jewalogun!!

 

AkinwunmiAmbode

Governor of Lagos State

November 29, 2016

June 12 Saga: I Warned Abiola Not to Declare Himself President —Anenih

Twenty- three years after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, supposedly won by late business mogul and candidate of the defunct Social Democratic Party, SDP, Chief M.K.O. Abiola, National Chairman of the party at the time, Chief Tony Anenih, has said Abiola refused to heed his warning not to declare himself president.

Anenih, who revealed this in his autobiography, titled My Life and Nigerian Politics, said:  “ I wish he had listened to my advice not to declare himself president of this country.

‘’If he did, I believe he would, in all probability, still have been alive today.

Frustration arising from the collapse of his scheming drove him into the extreme step which, in the end, set up a chain of events that ultimately cost him his life.’’

According to Anenih, after declaring himself president, Chief Abiola was detained and efforts were made to secure his release, but his friend, late General Sani Abacha, refused. He noted that Abacha wrote, saying “The case of Chief Abiola who is standing trial for treason has gone widely distorted in the orchestrated campaign to mislead the world. ‘’An act of treason is as serious as it is grievous. It is an assault on one’s fellow citizens.

Those who describe Abiola as a political prisoner seek to trivialize the grave offence for which he is charged…” Chief Anenih, who was Chairman of Board of Trustees, BoT, of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, also revealed that late General Shehu Yar’Adua played a significant role in his life, adding that the late general and politician made him what he is in politics today.

“Any account of my role in Nigeria’s political centre stage cannot end without a discussion of my relationship with Shehu Musa Yar’Adua.

‘’As I indicated earlier, it was Shehu Yar’Adua who made me what I am in politics today. While he was alive, he was a good leader, a strong politician who was ready to do anything to achieve success in politics as he did in the army.” he said.

In the 257-page book, made up of eleven chapters, appendices and colourful pictures, Chief Anenih  opened up on what took place and the political intrigues that characterized the political scene at the time.

Tinubu Is a priceless Asset To APC – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday denied reports that he and the National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu were not in good terms.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said he was in contact with Tinubu during and after the Ondo governorship election.

He described the reports as mischievous, while stating that Tinubu was a priceless political asset to the party whose contributions are known to all.

The statement read, “President Buhari commended Tinubu’s spirit of comradeship in promptly congratulating Rotimi Akeredolu who was elected Governor.

“The President also noted that at a time his administration is preoccupied with governance issues, rumours of divisions and alleged scheming within the party are counterproductive to internal unity and cohesion in APC.


“He appealed to APC members and supporters to ignore rumours that could harm party unity.”

From Libya With Tears: Story of Trafficked Nigerian Woman

Peju Akins (not real name) was offered a poisoned chalice in a Lagos church in January 2015; she embraced it hook, line and sinker!

A lady she met during Sunday service painted the rosy picture of Libya, with the streets of Tripoli “flowing with milk and honey,” and the promise that after making money in the North African country, she would easily migrate to Europe.

“I’m lucky to be back in Nigeria alive; many died during the one-month trip through the desert, especially between Agadez in Niger Republic and the Libyan capital, Tripoli. My ‘burger’ (trafficker) succeeded in convincing another lady to make the trip with us from Lagos. We were seeking better life, but it was a regrettable trip and a waste of almost two years of my life.’’

Peju, 26, holds a National Diploma (ND) in business administration from a polytechnic in Nigeria’s South-West. She says the first leg of the ill-fated trip, from Lagos to Kano, was fun. Then the next call between Kano and Agadez in Niger Republic, a distance of 715 kilometres, was stressful as they had no travelling documents.

“Border officials exploited us; checkpoints mounted by Nigerien gendarmes did the same. But, the horror started in Agadez. Any semblance of a road network ended at Agadez; all I could see was endless sand dunes like I have seen water at the ocean shore in Lagos. The heat and the dust were horrible.

“In addition, we were considered as mere merchandise over which people haggled for prices that could favour them. We spent five days in Agadez because the trip through the desert starts from there only on Mondays.

“In Agadez, our group met hundreds of black people from across the ECOWAS sub-region, assembled for the suicidal desert trip to Libya.’’

According to Peju, only four-wheel-drive, double-cabin pick-up vans are being used for the desert trip, with each taking between 20 and 30 migrants.

She says they were loaded in the cargo cabin of each pick-up van, with most of their bodies hanging out of the van, each hapless traveller holding a stick tied to a rope in the cabin, to stop them from falling off during the bumpy ride.

“Between Agadez and Qatroun, (in Niger Republic) and Sabha in the middle of Libya, we were kidnapped many times by militia groups that raped some of the ladies. There was so much shooting, though nobody in my vehicle was hit.

“We were told of rotting corpses littering some areas of the desert, but our driver must have avoided such spots so as not to further scare us. Each kidnapping meant being locked up in ‘prison’ until ransom was paid. My human trafficker saw to the negotiations.’’

Peju finally got to Tripoli, after covering about 3,500 kilometres of road, mostly uncharted desert.

“I thought my nightmare was over when we got to Tripoli; little did I know it had just begun. I and my fellow church member were allowed to scrub off the smell and dirt of the desert in a bathroom, and a change of dress, before being driven to a large compound they call ‘connection house’.

“The ‘connection house’ is the alias for a brothel. Without much hesitation, two elderly ladies, a Yoruba and an Ibo from Nigeria, casually asked if we would like to start with ‘one-round’, ‘short time’ or ‘all-night’ patrons’’.

She says she later understood that ‘one-round’ means having sex with a man once for the equivalent of N1,000 in Libya dinar, ‘short-time’ means three hours of sex for N3,000 equivalent, while ‘all-night’ means copulation from dusk to dawn for N6,000.

“We both protested that we would not do ‘asewo’ (commercial sex work) and that our ‘burger’ (trafficker) only promised to get us housemaid jobs. The next five days was hell as the two of us were locked up in a room, without food and water, and constantly beaten up.

“Close to death on the fifth day, they called in a nurse to clean us up, feed us and allow us to change clothes. Then they told us we had to contact our families in Nigeria to wire N500,000 each to them or we would be drugged and forced into prostitution.’’

Peju says they were then allowed to have a mobile phone and alerted families back home in Nigeria of their predicament.

“The Yoruba woman spoke with my father in Lagos and in tears, he promised to send the money within a week. My father begged them not to harm or force me into prostitution.

“My co-traveller was the first to control (wire) money from Nigeria. My daddy finally sent my ransom — which he borrowed here and there.

“The matron then converted me to her salesgirl. I was in charge of selling brandy and whisky, condoms, diapers, creams and other materials the ‘asewos’ needed for their carnal jobs.

“Yes, there are no babies in need of diapers, but the absorbent in them were being removed, creamed and forced down the private parts of the commercial sex workers to protect their womb (cervix) from being ruptured by their clients.’’

Peju says the absorbents were usually ‘popped’ out by the girls after sex, washed and creamed for reuse. She says this is because the men coming to sleep with them usually take sex enhancers that prolong the act and often bruise the girls to the extent that they bleed from their private parts.

“The men who come to the brothel use cocaine, ‘tramadol’, hashish (the Arab equivalent of marijuana), and many other illicit drugs, so that they can punish the girls who stay four in a room, separated by mere curtains.

“I spent five months in the brothel, but not into prostitution. I was sleeping on a bare floor all the while, disturbed by the groaning and crying of the sex workers.

“One night, a girl was screaming — more than usual — and the matrons have to burst into her bed-space. An over-drugged man was stuck to her like dogs in mating!

“He had to be physically ‘removed’ from the girl and his money refunded! Another girl ran mad and was defecating everywhere and putting the mess in her mouth. Her legs and face were swollen; she was always murmuring. She later died and was secretly taken to the desert for burial in an unmarked shallow grave. Her death was not even relayed to her family in Nigeria.’’

Peju left her vendor’s job at the brothel to become a khaddamah (a maid) and she was paid the equivalent of N60,000 a month by a kind Arab family.

“But my main problem was the language barrier. Even though I could then understand and speak a few Arabic words, I was making mistakes when sent on errand within the house. I was with the family for about six months as maid; I saved most of my salary.

“I then became a seller of African (mostly Nigerian) foodstuffs, such as beans, gari, seasoning cubes, etc, being ferried across the desert by Nigerian businessmen from Kano. I was sharing an apartment with a Nigerian family.’’

However, she finally reconsidered her stay in Libya when her apartment was raided one night by gun-toting Libyan officials and all the residents locked up in jail for being illegal immigrants.

“The raid happened when I had started making money; I was free and I even had a Yoruba boyfriend, an engineer, who was always going to Malta (Europe) by boat to fix doors, POP ceilings and other building materials.

“We were put in jail and after some days, asked to pay the equivalent of N100,000 each to secure our freedom. I’ve had enough; so, refused to pay and told them I wanted to go back to Nigeria. From then on, they never allowed me to get back to my apartment and properties.’’

Peju says the Libyan immigration allowed her to purchase temporary travelling documents and escorted her to the airport to board a plane for Niamey in Niger Republic.

“All the money my friends were able to raise while I was in jail was spent on travelling documents and the one-way flight to Niamey. I spent two days at the motor park in Niamey before I met a kind Nigerian man who gave me 25,000 francs (CFA) with which I came back to Lagos.

“The jogging trouser and blouse I wore to bed the night I was arrested were all the possession I came back with in mid-November 2016. Giant mosquitoes feasted on me so much in Libyan prison that I was pockmarked as if I had measles.’’

Peju never contemplated being smuggled across the Mediterranean Ocean to Europe again because her eyes had opened to the mass death suffered by those who dared.

“I am appealing to Nigerian youngsters to dissuade their minds from planning to get to Europe through Libya, especially taking the desert routes.

“Yes, there is more money in Libya than Nigeria for hustlers, so is death in the desert or in the Mediterranean Sea. Besides, the suffering the girls go through in the brothels is worse than death.’’

Unlike migrants’ drowning in the Mediterranean that is often documented by European navies and coastguards, death through shooting, starvation and dehydration in the vast desert is largely unaccounted for. Only a small fraction of those who dare will make it to Europe.

Apart from the militia elements of Islamic State, al Qaeda and others involved in the ongoing Libyan civil wars, armed Touaregs and Berber groups use the desert routes for kidnapping and ransom collection.

Some of the kidnapped migrant males are often sold into slave labour, forced to join the militias or get killed. The ladies among them, according to Wikipedia, can be converted to wives of bandits or fighters, and even sold as sex slaves to owners of brothels. A captured migrant is a slave to the desert warlord who got him or her.

The Sahara desert is in a “state of nature’’ and might is right. AK-47 assault rifle is king. Travel through the desert as “economic migrants’’ is a perilous and unworthy risk.

Fitch Rates Kaduna State ‘B’ As El-Rufai’s Reforms Yield Positive Results

Global rating agency Fitch has assigned Nigeria’s Kaduna State  has assigned Long-Term Foreign and Local Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) of ‘B’ and a National Long-Term Rating of ‘A+(nga). Fitch Ratings in its latest report indicates that the ratings take into account Kaduna State’s developing economy focused on agricultural activities and low per capita revenue by international standards.

The ‘B’ ratings put Kaduna on the same level with Lagos State and comes on the heels of widespread economic reforms by current governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai. The report also reflects the gains of recent policies by the Nasir el-Rufai administration to increase the state’s internally generated revenue in light of declining statutory allocations from the federal government.

The former FCT Minister has also drastically reduced the cost of running government and made public expenditure in Kaduna State more transparent.

Read the Fitch Ratings report below:

High Weak Institutional Framework

As with other Nigerian states, Kaduna’s finances are affected by weak revenue predictability, and by high budgeted capital spending being rolled over into following financial years due to a lack of funding and limited implementation capacity. Waning transfers from Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) amid the oil sector down-cycle provide renewed stimulus for tax revenue diversification but benefits may be visible only in the medium- to long-term.

Long-term Debt Challenge

Kaduna State is increasing borrowing rapidly to fund capex in core infrastructure to sustain GDP growth and diversify revenue sources. Total debt at the end of fiscal year 2015 totalled NGN73bn and Fitch envisages it will more than double by end-2018 to 160% of current revenue, to finance projects mainly in the power, transport, water supply, education and healthcare sectors.

Fitch expects annual debt service requirements up to NGN8bn-NGN10bn, which will continue to be covered by the current balance and may be balanced with faster growth of internally generated revenue (IGR) in the medium term.

Fitch expects Kaduna’s cash position to remain strong at around NGN30bn, hence providing adequate cushion for debt cash calls in the short-term.

Medium FAAC Impacting Fiscal Performance

The FAAC is the primary mechanism for funding Nigerian states. Its process, which determines funding levels allocated on a monthly base, is derived from revenues accruing to the federal government, largely sourced from the oil sector. In line with plummeting oil prices and falling production, Kaduna’s statutory allocations declined to NGN52bn or 66%-70% of revenues, a trend Fitch expects to continue in 2016 with a further 20-25% decline.

Under our base case scenario, Fitch expects Kaduna to partially compensate for lower FAAC revenues in 2016 with a flexible expenditure framework that will see spending decline through the economic cycle. We forecast an operating margin of 10% in 2016, down from 16% in 2015 and a 10-year average of 40%.

Fitch believes Kaduna can return to its 40% mark over the medium-term if it is able to raise local taxes. IGR totalled NGN13bn in 2015 or nearly 20% of operating revenue, having languished at around NGN12bn over the last five years. However, given the low level of tax compliance and slowing growth from an agricultural economy, non-oil revenues should increase slowly as the administration pushes to expand the tax base.

Weak Socio-Economic Profile

Within the context of Nigeria, Kaduna’s fast-growing population and a traditionally strong primary sector contribute to weak socio-economic standards, including growing unemployment. A dominant agricultural sector drives the economy while Kaduna’s 2016-2020 plan is focusing on the state’s rich minerals resources by attracting foreign investors to key industrial projects.

Low Transparency to Stimulate Investments

To attract private and foreign investments, Kaduna’s administration is committed to improving the state’s transparency and disclosure. Fitch believes that the transition from cash to a more sophisticated accrual-based accounting is a credit positive, as it restricts the scope for discretionary initiatives and human errors visible in the past.

Ondo Election: ‘Prof. Soremekun Rigged For APC in Edo’– PDP Rejects INEC’s Returning Officer

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the decision of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to appoint Kayode Soremekun as the returning officer for Saturday’s gubernatorial election in Ondo State.

Mr. Soremekun, who is the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, was the returning officer during September’s gubernatorial election in neighbouring Edo State, which the party’s candidate lost.

The PDP claimed Mr Soremekun was a party to the alleged widespread rigging during the election won by the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Godwin Obaseki.

Banji Okunomo, the publicity secretary of the PDP in Ondo State, said the party had confirmed that several officials who perpetrated the “rigging” of the Edo election were being escorted to the state capital, Akure, on Friday by policemen from Ekiti State, with instructions to repeat what they did in Edo State.

“Just like the experience in Edo State, the PDP has gathered that results have already been written for Prof. Soremekun and his team to announce after the election,” he said.

Rejoinder: The Second Coming of Goodluck Jonathan – By Ayantunji Benjamin Gbenro

I have refrained myself from reading Chief Dele Momodu’s weekly articles for some months simply because of his penchant for churning out outright lies or half truth and my allergy to misinformation. I once responded to his article and the furor my response generated made me to resolve out of respect as a well brought up Yoruba to avoid his articles. My reason for doing that is what you don’t know won’t hurt you.

 

His latest article with the above title first came to my notice via comments that strayed into my TL on twitter but I never bothered to read it. I knew the penchant of our dear Chief to do PR job for the highest bidder without really being convinced about the things he writes. I cannot fault him for this because it is his job, believe me, he is very good at it. My opinion changed however due to calls I received from friends about the said article. I was forced to read it to know what could have so much infuriated a gentleman of honour to that extent. The article is riddled with misinformation as expected and I will try to correct them.

 

The article went through memory lane to justify his assertion that the Former President Goodluck Jonathan can become President again in 2019. Though I don’t have power of clairvoyance to be able to predict what will happen or not, I can say the premises for the assertion were faulty. Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe loss to Alhaji Shehu Shagari in 1979 cannot be said to be a surprise or be compared to Trump’s triumph, at the recent US election. Shagari was clearly the candidate of the military establishment, which made the two political colossi to be engaged in an apparently unwinnable fight.  Aside that, the two political juggernauts hardly have any identifiable political structure beyond their respective regions. The political dexterity of Awolowo and the philosophical mind of Azikiwe all disappear into oblivion in the face of the factors above. Not to sound disrespectful, Dr. Jonathan has neither the political dexterity of Awolowo nor the philosophical mind of Azikiwe. His electoral value even within his region and beyond is questionable. He might also be fighting against the establishment. All this factors will make Chief Momodu’s conclusion almost impossible.

 

The writer also tried to draw a parallel between the victory of Chief Kashimowo Abiola at SDP’s convention in Jos in 1993 and his subsequence victory at the national poll without recourse to factors that may help the younger ones in understanding the time in reference. First, MKO Abiola was not a political neophyte as the article portrayed. He took on Chief Awolowo in the Southwest in 1983 and his party, NPN, won some states against all odds. Whatever means that was employed, the fact is NPN won some states and MKO was an active player. MKO was also a close friend of General Ibrahim Babangida who invited him to join the Presidential race in 1993. He was one of the richest Nigerians, if not the richest, as at that time. His philanthropic gesture extended to all regions and religions. He was arguably the most visible and popular civilian of that time. All these combined to make his emergence not a surprise as portrayed. Dr. Goodluck doesn’t possess these qualities and that makes the comparison a daydream.

 

The emergence of Trump in the US can also not be said to be a surprise to some of us though we silently wished it never happened. To those that are close to me or follow my ideas, I said before the election in the US that there is a silent majority that saw Obama’s Presidency as an aberration. These silent majorities are intrinsically racist, bigoted and wanted a closed nation. These sentiments were what Trump appealed to and it worked for him. What are the national sentiments that Jonathan will appeal to? There is hunger in the land no doubt but Nigerians are not as stupid as assumed. When the chips are down, blame will be apportioned appropriately. Nigerians will remember the bazaar that preceded Buhari. The wastage of national resources. The fact that at inception of Buhari’s administration he had to bailout twenty eight states across the federation that couldn’t pay salary despite coming out of a period of record oil sales in price and volume. We will remember the infrastructural deficit despite record earnings from oil. We will remember the killing field that was Nigeria before Buhari. We will remember that there was a time that stealing was not corruption. We will remember there was a time that the measure of our national prosperity was the number of private jets that landed in Kenya when our President went for a State visit while majority at home languished in abject poverty. We will remember there was a time we were laughing stock in the comity of nations. We will remember so many things. The fact that we demand more from Buhari does not mean we forgot where we were.

 

The writer also made it to look as if this administration has been fighting Jonathan. This is far from the truth. President Goodluck Jonathan has visited Aso Rock on several occasions since he left office and it has never been reported that the meetings ended in fisticuffs with Buhari or that he was not accorded the respect due to him. Just as the visit of Trump to Obama never resulted in a brawl. Are we applauding that because it is Obama and turning blind eye to happenings in Nigeria because it is Buhari. President Buhari is an honourable man. He is trying hard to keep whatever agreement reached before handing over; else, I cannot fathom why neither President Jonathan nor his wife has been brought in for questioning despite odiferous revelations of financial recklessness against them. Many of Buhari’s supporters are not happy about this but we still accuse him of going after Jonathan. President Obama recently said he will go against the tradition of former Presidents not publicly going against incumbents if Trump decided to carry out his campaign rhetoric, but we are blind to that. Like Obama, Buhari’s loyalty should be to the nation and not an individual. If a crime is committed against the state it is his responsibility to ensure such criminals are brought to justice.

 

The writer also alluded to the economy inherited by Buhari’s administration. Which economy are we talking about? Are we talking of the economy that was borrowing over 400 billion naira to pay salaries despite record oil sale in price and volume? The economy where millions of barrels of oil was stolen daily without solution? Economy where large chunk of our arable land was taken over by insurgents? Which economy did Buhari inherit? Let’s not pretend about it Buhari inherited a carcass. It is actually a miracle that the carcass is stuttering.  He was supposed to be an undertaker.

 

The funniest of all alluded to by the writer was the placard carrying crowd in Sokoto urging Jonathan to come back as a sign of rising popularity. How much does it take to rent a crowd anywhere in Nigeria? How much will it cost the likes of Bafarawa from the over four billion naira for spiritual consultation to put up such a show? Anyway, let’s pretend we don’t know.

 

To conclude, I will like to advise three sets of people. First, I want to advise PDP to please give its party presidential ticket to former President Jonathan come 2019. It will save the party the hassles of primary election and give him ample time to campaign. Secondly, to President Goodluck Jonathan, please don’t allow bootlickers to hoodwink you into an exercise in futility. Remember the billions of dollars they pushed you to spend in 2015 that went into their private pockets. Now that you no longer have access to national treasury, they will strip you naked and you will be left to rot away. You will be sixty by next year (Happy 59th Birthday in arrears); please don’t allow the hawks to deceive you.  Finally, I want to advise President Muhammadu Buhari, you’ve done much, but more is still expected. Do all you can to get us out of recession. Kudos for the two hundred thousand youths employed under N-power but it’s just a drop in the ocean. We need massive infrastructural development. There are three sets of people criticizing you, those whose access to national till has been blocked, and those whose parents, leaders or financiers have lost access to our common patrimony and those genuinely interested in the progress of this country. Please listen for the sake of the third group and posterity.

 

Ayantunji Benjamin Gbenro (PhD) can be reached via Twitter handle @bengbenro

What has recession taught us? – Tijani Sheriffdeen

Every condition, incidence or contingency has a lesson to teach, even though many don’t understand this, it’s exactly so. A whole lot has happened in our country in the last 6 months, one would think this should have thought us lessons we wouldn’t ever forget, but unfortunately, we have learnt a whole lot of nothing out of the recent happenings. One reason Nigeria would continue to grow in leaps and bounds.

 

Hardly would you see a forth thinking Nigeria who wouldn’t accede and acquiesce to the fact that we are fast to forget our worries. When the sun refuses to shine, we would all find our hands around our cheek, expecting the light to our day; the sign of the sun finding its way out lightens us up forthwith. We wouldn’t ruminate on the reason why the sun refused to shine at first, and even when those who care talk, it is welcomed only in a dustbin.

 

What a country! Some months back, we were all complaining and expressing our dissatisfaction at the style our currency adopted in sinking. Things were not only hard; the situation we found ourselves was so disturbing that no morning would brighten up without complaints. But now that things are starting to take shape again, we have started consigning to oblivion the lessons this unwelcomed period has brought.

 

Analytic and critical thinking Nigerians feel buying “naija products” would help us grow our dying currency and help resuscitate our low and stygian looking economy. The government in town saw it the way to thread and showed support by being a part of a fair that exhibited Nigerian products.

 

Yes, our products were flaunted to the public, but what do we have today? What policy has been put in place to sustain this move? Or better still, how has the government ensured the economic safety of the companies producing goods and offering services in our dear country? All we are good at is making deafening and sonorous noise about things which would only get people’s attention for weeks. Oops! I said weeks?

 

Agriculture is the way out; it would help our country stand tall again. This among other numerous statements was seen flying around in voices and prints during the deepest part of the unwelcomed friend- recession. It then dawned on us to look that part after long years of abandonment for the oil sector.

 

Recession brought with herself a whole lot of lessons, but we haven’t learnt anything, or maybe those who have learnt something are the no body in Nigeria. The “let us return back to agriculture” made us understand agriculture of this time goes hand in hand with the industry sector. Africans are hardworking, energetic and industrious, but then our myopic thinking only helps us get a little of our endless toils and labours.

 

Taking Cote d’Ivoire has a case study; this country produces 33% of world’s cocoa and exports to manufacturers like Hershey’s, Nestle, Mars Inc. among other manufacturing firms. Unfortunately, this country earns $2.5 billion early, while the companies they sell out their products to make more than seven folds of the money they earn. Why? This is not unconnected to the fact that they are leveraging the sweats of Africans for their own unflinching success. Don’t you take beverages? And if you don’t, are you children incognizant of chocolates? Now you see!

 

We would only continue to deceive ourselves by wanting to improve the agricultural sector and neglecting the industrial sector, nobody is saying it wouldn’t work; it would, as we would all have to share a loaf of bread together, trust me, after deriving maximum satisfaction, we would still have more to keep.

 

The Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on Media and publicity, Garba Sheu in an interview with Pyramid Radio in Kano said that aggressive exportation of grains may lead to famine in the country starting from January 2017. He said that no fewer than 500 trucks of grains depart the country every week, following a huge demand in the global market that is targeting the country’s surplus production. And now, we are talking of famine too!

 

Do you want to blame farmers who have no markets where their goods can be sold for churning out their harvests to countries where they would make money to sustain theirselves and family?  Or you want to wail at poor farmers who would have a huge part of their sweat waste on their own farms before they harvest the little they can and sell out to get something to put on their table?

 

The government is not taking responsibility for protecting these farmers by providing the required for them; all they can come out to do is force another set of bitter pills down our throats. When the right things are in place, the right things would be done.

 

Tijani Sheriffdeen is an undergraduate of the University of Ilorin.

Buhari’s Government Shameless for Talking About 2019 – Junaid Mohammed

Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, has kicked against a recent comment from the Presidency that Nigerians will rally behind the President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, stressing that, “It is very unfortunate and shameless that a government that is yet to do anything is already talking of 2019.”

The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, on Monday, gave an indication that his principal may be seeking a second term in office when he vehemently dismissed comments by a former member of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Alhaji Buba Galadima, that the people of Nigeria would abandon the President should he choose to seek re-election.
Shehu, who stated that the “suggestions that the masses will desert President Buhari in 2019 was unfounded and utterly ridiculous,” adding that: “President Muhammadu Buhari is far from isolation. He enjoys a very strategic relationship with ordinary Nigerians.”
Reacting, however, Mohammed was quoted by Vanguard, as saying: “It is very unfortunate that a party like APC that is fast becoming moribund is already talking of 2019 when they have nothing to show for the four years Nigerians gave them. This development shows they are power-hungry, hypocritical and corruption-ridden.
“This entire 2019 discussion is ridiculous. I believe a government that has performed will rely on its performance before being considered for another four years in office. We are not even in the middle of the four-year term given to them and they are already talking of 2019. This is an unfortunate development and it shows the ineptitude of the government. For a man that has led us into the worst recession ever and has got nothing to show Nigerians since he assumed office to be talking of 2019, shows how shameless the government can be.”

Our Fighter Jets Attacked Boko Haram, Killed Scores – Nigerian Airforce

The fighter pilots of the Nigerian Air Force have killed several Boko Haram insurgents in multiple operations in the north of Borno State.

The Director, Public Relations and Information of the NAF, Grp. Capt. Ayodele Famuyiwa, said in a statement on Tuesday that fighter jets bombarded a Boko Haram location at Kadari and killed an unspecified number of the insurgents.

Famuyiwa said that the fighter jets also carried out airstrikes on selected Boko Haram targets at Ngoshe on November 18, 2016.

He said that the airstrikes were carried out following intelligence gathered by an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft which spotted a large number of insurgents under a meeting at Kadari.

He said that the attack carried out by a three-ship formation of the Alpha jet was part of the Operation Rescue Finale of the Nigerian Army.

He said, “The Nigerian Air Force fighter jets have attacked a number of Boko Haram terrorist locations in northern Borno, killing several insurgents. On 16 November, 2016, an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft reported a gathering of BHTs under a tree at Kadari.

“An Alpha jet on armed reconnaissance was called in to strike the location thus killing a number of the insurgents and causing survivors to flee in different directions. On November, 18 2016, NAF fighter jets again carried out a series of coordinated air strikes against BHT locations at Ngoshe.

“The strike, carried out by a 3-ship formation of Alpha Jets against five carefully selected BHT targets, was part of Operation Rescue Finale by the Nigerian Army. A similar air strike was conducted on another BHT location near Kangarwa on 19 November, 2016.”

He added that another Alpha jet was also in action against the insurgents at a location close to Kangarwa.

Nigerian Air Force Continues Offensive In Borno

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) last week attacked several Boko Haram Terrorist (BHT) locations in Northern Borno killing several insurgents and providing cover for many of its own troops.

According to a newly declassified video of the operation made available to The Nation by the Director Of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, the attacks were carried out at Kadara, Ngoshe and Kangarwa.

Active in the operations were NAF Alpha Jets, many of which was weaponised by local technicians before being deployed to the Northeast. According to Famuyiwa, on November16, 2016, an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft reported a gathering of BHTs under a tree at Kadari. An Alpha Jet on armed reconnaissance was called in to strafe the location thus killing a number of the insurgents and causing survivors to flee in different directions.

Also on 18 November 2016, NAF fighter jets again carried out a series of coordinated air strikes against BHT locations at Ngoshe. The strike, carried out by a 3-ship formation of Alpha Jets against 5 carefully selected BHT targets, was part of OPERATION RESCUE FINALE by the Nigerian Army.

In Ngoshe, the Alpha jets hit their targets five times while a similar air strike was conducted on another BHT location near Kangarwa on 19 November 2016.

In Kangarwa, based on ISR aircraft request, an Alpha Jet was scrambled for air interdiction at a location close to Kangarwa. The area was strafed with cannon at least two times. On the same day, the NAF provided ISR cover for own ground forces advancing from Ngoshe to Pulka.

Policies, Partnerships and Projects: Lessons in Healthcare Reforms From Kaduna State by Ibrahim Jato

Our programs are structured to ensure that a pregnant woman does not die due to her inability to access quality services during pregnancy and childbirth, that a child is not lost from preventable diseases that communities are not overburdened with endemic diseases, and that community linkages are harnessed and promoted. – Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State.
 
 
With less than 100,000 qualified medical doctors to a population of about 180 million, oil-rich Nigeria has one of the worst doctor to patients ration in the world. This explains, in part, why Nigeria is among the seven countries with the lowest life expectancy in the world, averaging just 54 years. For perspective, countries like South Sudan and Afghanistan, ravaged by war in recent years, have higher life expectancy rates than Nigeria.
 
 
Nigeria also has the 7th largest infant mortality rate in the world, as well as one of the highest maternal mortality rates. If the statistics are disheartening, the reality is even more depressing. A typical 70 percent of health budget is spent in urban areas where about 30 percent of the population resides. Thus, there is a conspicuous absence of health facilities in many rural communities across the country. Where any exists, the absence of a qualified health professional or lack of drugs and other essential medical supplies hamper service delivery.
 
 
With a population of 6.4 million, Kaduna is the third most populous state in Nigeria and the situation of public health system there is hardly any deviation in from the trend observed in the country. As at 2013, only 40 percent of the over 1,000 primary health centres in Kaduna were functioning. A general lack of political commitment to health development coupled with poor funding, corruption has led gross inequity in the distribution of health facilities and personnel.
 
 
Today however, that trend has been completely reversed. A change in political leadership in the state eighteen months ago ushered in a new regime under renowned technocrat and Harvard alumni, Nasir El-Rufai. In a clear departure from the old, and rather retrogressive, style of administration, El-Rufai’s healthcare reforms in Kaduna is built on a foundation of solid policies. In an environment where the construction of a handful of hospitals counts as major achievements, El-Rufai has ditched mediocrity for excellence by instituting remarkable reforms with wide-reaching impact in Kaduna’s health sector.
 
 
Just three months into El-Rufai’s administration, the Primary Health Care Under One Roof Bill was signed into law. Essentially, the law permits the state to operate its primary healthcare activities on the same platform. The law also enables the transfer of workers in primary healthcare centres from local councils to the state civil service.
 
 
It is not uncommon for governments to bridge social welfare gaps by introducing subsidies. Unfortunately, however, subsidies schemes are often fraught with corruption and gross mismanagement. Kaduna State has managed to subsidize healthcare in such an efficient manner that other states in Nigeria should certainly learn from. For example, patients pay as little as N20,000 for dialysis treatments that cost as high as N200,000. This was achieved by supplying eight dialysis machines to four hospitals.
 
 
The sum of N180 million was committed to routine immunization through the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency to ensure no child eligible for immunization in Kaduna is missed. Also, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS selected Kaduna as the best performing state in Nigeria. Kaduna State won the prize because its hospitals counselled and tested 84,000 pregnant women for HIV during the period and referred everyone that tested positive to a treatment facility.
 
 
The decision in April to transfer all doctors, nurses, drugs and equipment at the Government House Clinic in Kaduna (used by the Governor and other top officials) to Dantsoho Hospital in Tudun Wada (used by the public), effectively eradicated the culture of privilege in Kaduna’s public health system. Policies like this make Kaduna the pacesetter in healthcare reforms in Nigeria and worthy example for not just other states but also the federal government to emulate. Kaduna’s people-centric and cost saving government house clinic policy contrasts sharply against the federal government’s decision to allocate 2 billion for capital projects as the State House Clinic in Abuja, an amount which far exceeds the combined allocations for capital projects in all teaching hospitals in the country.
 
 
To reduce maternal and infant mortality rate in Kaduna State, the El-Rufai administration re-engaged 800 retired nurses and midwives after a gap analysis revealed huge personnel shortage. This move has boost service delivery at primary health centres across the state and made quality and affordable healthcare accessible to people at the grassroots.
 
 
In Kaduna State, pregnant women, children under five years and the elderly have access to free health services at state-owned facilities. To widen the net of coverage and ensure all residents of the state have access to healthcare without incurring out-of-pocket expenditure, the El-Rufai administration approved the establishment of a Contributory Health Scheme. Under the scheme, a pool of funds contributed by residents will be supplemented with funds from the state coffers and the federal government through the National Health Insurance Scheme.
 
Thus, the financial barriers to healthcare that often exclude the poor and vulnerable will be removed. The corruption that often trails bills payment and out-of-pocket expenditure by patients at government hospitals will also be completely eradicated. This contributory model of universal healthcare coverage has proven to be successful in more advanced economies and is also being considered by Lagos State.
 
In what could be considered a leap towards stronger primary healthcare services in rural communities in Kaduna State, the government signed a strategic partnership with UK Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The four-year partnership will no doubt transform the primary healthcare system in Kaduna State and advance ongoing efforts in polio eradication, routine immunisation, family planning and maternal and child health services.
 
The biggest ever refit of public healthcare infrastructure in Kaduna State is the recent partnership agreement signed with global corporate giant, General Electric. Under the agreement, 278 healthcare facilities in Kaduna State will be equipped and units of relevant medical technology including ultrasound, heart monitors, neonatal incubators and anaesthesia machines will be made available to medical professionals. into the hands of our health workers.
 
The partnership, which includes a training package for the healthcare professionals and a three-year equipment maintenance agreement, is poised to deliver a comprehensive solution to the healthcare challenges in the state, including maternal and infant mortality, communicable illnesses and the problems caused by the growth of chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
 
Governments at state and federal levels in Nigeria often focus on projects as a vehicle for healthcare delivery. As such, emphasis is placed solely on building hospitals, even when such are not properly equipped and capacity gaps are not bridged. This explains why major health indices in Nigeria remain poor despite billions budgeted annually for health, in addition to donations from international organisations.
 
The Kaduna State approach of blending sound policies with strategic partnerships to birth meaningful projects is on course to deliver at least one refitted hospital in each of the 255 wards in the state. This is in addition to 23 well equipped and staffed general hospitals. With all these in place, all residents of Kaduna are assured of comprehensive and affordable healthcare coverage for the years ahead.
 
This innovative approach should no doubt be a model for other states desirous of accelerated development in healthcare services.
 
Ibrahim Jato is a public finance expert based in Kaduna.

Buhari To Attend 4th Africa-Arab Summit In Malabo

President Muhammadu Buhari is to attend the 4th Africa-Arab Summit in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, on Nov. 23.

Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Monday.

According to Adesina, the summit, which will be attended by Heads of State and Governments from Gulf and African countries, is expected to endorse the Malabo Declaration and Action Working Plan for 2017-2019 to promote trade and economic ties.

The two-year plan seeks to implement priority projects in trade, investment, transportation, communication and energy in Africa.

“In Malabo, President Buhari is also expected to hold discussions with Arab leaders aimed to review agreements to strengthen partnerships that bolster agriculture and infrastructure development in Nigeria through long term concessionary loans and technological skills transfer.”

Adesina stated that the President would also explore the opportunity of getting support for the ongoing fight against Boko Haram and the humanitarian situation in the North East.

The summit is jointly organised by the African Union Commission and the League of Arab States.

It focuses on promoting development by strengthening trade, investment, transport, communication and energy among Gulf and African states.

Credit:

http://guardian.ng/news/president-buhari-to-attend-4th-africa-arab-summit-in-malabo/

Buhari Begs Niger Delta militants – ‘Stop Destroying Oil Pipelines’

President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the people of the Niger Delta to embrace peace and focus on agriculture for sustainable economic development and wealth creation.

Buhari urged them to take advantage of the huge potential in agriculture and stop the destruction of oil and gas pipelines which only served to destroy the country’s ecosystem and economy.

The President, represented by the Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, made the appeal on Saturday at the 20th anniversary of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company’s Green River Project Farmers’ Day in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.

Buhari said, “I wish to acknowledge the unrelenting efforts of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, which, in its bid to prove that oil production and agriculture can coexist, has for the past 29 years supported its host communities to focus on agriculture through the GRP, a corporate social responsibility initiative, which has resulted in sustainable development in these communities.

“I appeal to the people of the Niger Delta region to embrace peace and focus on agriculture for sustainable economic development and wealth creation.

“I urge you to take advantage of the huge potential in agriculture and stop the destruction of oil and gas pipelines, which only serve to destroy our ecosystem and economy.

“The present administration is committed to doing everything possible to support the people of the Niger Delta to achieve their potential in agriculture, which is far more than its endowments in oil and gas.”

The occasion, with the theme, ‘Sustainable Farming for Sustainability’, had in attendance representatives of governors of Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and Imo states; Chairman, Agip, Mr. U. Carrara; and the Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Agip, Massimo Insulla.

Others are General Manager, District, Marco Rotondi; former military Governor of the old Rivers State, Alfred Diete-Spiff; Vice-Chancellor, Niger Delta University, Prof. Humphrey Ogoni; and a leader of the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, Mr. Elvis Donkemezuo, among others.

Buhari said the focus of his administration was to redirect attention to agriculture and empower Nigerians in a productive and sustainable manner.

He said the process entailed treating agriculture as a business to create wealth and provide employment and take the country from being an import-dependent country to a self-sufficient nation with surplus for export to earn foreign exchange.

The President noted that Nigeria spent an average of $22bn annually on wheat, rice, sugar and fish importation.

Buhari said Nigeria had an estimated 84 million hectares of arable land with an estimated 10 per cent only being optimally utilised.

He said there was an abundance of land available for cultivation to meet the demand of about 170 million consumers in the domestic market and the entire West African sub-region.

The President noted that Agip, as part of its GRP, was supporting some farmers with processing facilities such as cassava, rice and oil palm mills, noting that they were significant as post-harvest losses were estimated to be about $9bn annually.

He said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development was also procuring sundry processing equipment for farmers across the country.

The President encouraged the host states to collaborate with the ministry to make agriculture a key business in Nigeria.

He stressed that the development would curb youths’ restiveness, protect the ecosystem, promote peace and investments and increase revenues in the states.

Just In: President Buhari’s nephew, Mamman Daura narrowly escapes failed kidnap attempt.

Information exclusively reaching Omojuwa.Com at the moment alleges there has been a failed attempt to kidnap Alhaji Mamman Daura, President Mohammadu Buhari’s nephew and one of the key members of the president’s kitchen cabinet.

 

Our source revealed that another person was mistakenly abducted by heavily armed gunmen who stormed Daura’s Kaduna home to carry out the abduction. The man who was kidnapped in his place was a visitor.

 

We also learnt that some people were injured as the kidnappers shot sporadically and are in hospital.

 

We shall bring you details soon.

Another Suicide Bomber Gunned Down, Saturday Morning

 Nigerian security operatives have intercepted another suicide bomber who attempted to penetrate a Transit Camp of Internally Displaced People (IDPs) along Muna Garage.

Suspecting ulterior motive of the suicide bomber because of his strange behaviour, the security operatives attempted to accost him.

However, in his attempt to detonate the explosive device, he was gunned down by the security.

PRNigeria gathered that the Transit camp is used to check and screen potential displaced people before being allowed into any of the IDP Camps in Maiduguri and others in Borno State.

The Spokesperson of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in the North-East, Mr. Ibrahim Abdulkadir confirmed that the mangled body of the suicide bomber had been evacuated.

Credit: dailytrust

Jungle Justice: The Resultant Effect of Injustice and the Hypocrisy of Nigerians. – Adeeko Ademola

It is less painful if you’re a victim of a crime compared to being a victim of injustice. The latter is more dangerous!

 

 

I read in utter dismay as Nigerians on Social Media yet talked about the issue of jungle justice again. This is not the first time and will definitely not be the last time that Nigerians will take the laws into their own hands by meting out ‘justice’ defined by their emotions.

 

 

The reason I have been quite indifferent about the recent jungle justice incident making the rounds, which involved an alleged 7 year old boy who was set ablaze when caught trying to steal Garri is because; Nigerians are expected to make so much noise about a situation which has become a norm in the society, and then after a few days, we go back to sleep, waiting for the next time another of such incident to reoccur. Never has it been a responsibility for us to ensure the impossibility of a recurrence.

 

 

Jungle justice is basically the resultant outcome of a failed judicial system but trust Nigerians to only scratch the surface of a deep problem and then proffer temporary solutions to it. Jungle justice is a ripple resultant effect of an institutional failure which is deeply rooted in injustice spread over a period of time.

 

 

Jungle justice is not new in Nigeria, as a matter of fact, it has become a culture among a lot of Nigerians. It is seen as the best method of getting justice especially in a society where the downtrodden has never enjoyed what justice feels like.

 

 

I had a conversation with a friend some weeks ago about corruption in the judiciary and the unconventional way the Presidency has chosen to  fight it and I remember saying in these specific words; “Let us bask in mediocrity for a while, corruption in the Executive arm of the government is inexcusable but can still afford to be treated with levity, same goes for the Legislative arm. However, corruption in the Judicial arm of government is the most dangerous basically because the sanity of a society is dependent on that last line of defense – the Judiciary. When all else fails, the Judiciary cannot afford to fail because without justice, there can never be peace and without peace, a society is as good as gone.”

 

 

In every civilized society, the judiciary is expected to be the last hope of the common man and as such cannot afford to be corrupt. The power to declare a man innocent or guilty, the power to determine whether a man lives or dies is endowed unto the judiciary as the custodians of the constitution. The judicial arm of the government is the most sensitive because the balance and survival of a society depends on it.

 

 

Decades of injustice, perverted justice, delayed justice has brought about the situation where people resort to self-help. Humans are wired to always find a way to get what they want and that is a law of nature that cannot be over-emphasized. One of the tenets of creating a civilized and organized society is to curtail the excesses of man and that is why we have laws that govern us. The balance in the world today, despite how tilted it is today, is held together at the center because we still have law and order in place. Take out law and order and all you have left is anarchy and barbarism, and that, right there is where we what the Nigerian society is rooting for.

 

 

Without excusing jungle justice, I will say that we may need to look into the root causes of this problem before we can ever talk about solutions. I have read people totally condemn jungle justice without reference whatsoever to what might have been the cause, and that, for me is equal to ignoring Leprosy to treat Ringworm infection. Deeply tucked under, is a compilation of unsettled grudges and injustice. For jungle justice to thrive this much in societies that have moved faraway from the cave days, there must be something we’re not addressing – injustice.

 

 

Recent revelations clearly shows that justice is for sale in Nigeria and worst part is; it actually does not have a price as it’s sale is dependent on how much you’re willing to sacrifice to get it. In other words, justice goes to the highest bidder. Now, let us put the situation into proper perspective. If the majority of Nigerians are poor, that also means they will not be able to afford the price for justice. So technically, justice belong to the rich who happen to be the minority. Imagine how many millions of people are downtrodden by the system on a daily basis. Quite a lot, if you got the calculations well. There you have one viable reason for jungle justice.

 

 

Looking a bit further away from the technicalities, remember that in the second paragraph of this piece, there’s a mention of a 7 year old who was set ablaze by an angry mob for allegedly stealing Garri. This morning, a citizen shared his experience which shed more light and a new perspective to the “Garri Thief” story. The circulated story was actually not true. The suspect is an adult male and was not trying to steal Garri. However, he narrated a story about a robbery that led to the death of his younger brother. It was such a compelling and sad story. It is one story that makes any human feel that uncontrollable rush of anger and decide to take drastic measures to get justice. Apparently, the narrator’s brother was accosted in public by armed robbers and without warning, was stabbed in the neck and stripped of a mobile device. He was rushed to nearby hospitals where his condition was met with several rejections. He lost so much blood in the process and eventually died. Bringing untold pain and anguish to his family, yet months later, he never got justice. Now, imagine how the victim’s family will feel, especially knowing that killer of their son is still out there and the possibility of him being made to face the law is as thin as a thread. Just think about  the pain and heartache that may never have closure. Think about the irresistible urge to have vengeance on the one person who threw a whole family into mourning just because of a mobile device. Think about how much they want to see their son’s murderer suffer as much as they have suffered.

 

 

I have also had personal experiences and I’m sure a good number of Nigerians have in one time or a couple, had same experiences. I have seen situations where a criminal is caught and handed over to the Police, days later, same criminal is back on the streets, carrying out same nefarious activity he was initially apprehended for, without fear for the law and consequences.

 

 

Injustice is simply lack of fairness or justice and in situations where there is injustice, the room for grudges and tendencies for self-help grows bigger and it keeps growing in as much as there continues to be injustice until the down-trodden cannot stomach it anymore. And there you have jungle justice becoming the only way viable to get justice.

 

 

However, where jungle justice thrives, the possibilities of victimizing innocent people comes into play. As much as I have seen jungle justice meted out to criminals caught in the act, I have also read about innocent people being victims of jungle justice. However, paying lip service to the scourge has not and will never help put an end to it. Instead, the Nigerian people should rise up to the responsibilities of demanding for justice for all. Selective justice, justice on the shelf and total injustice are just about the perfect recipe for jungle justice and until we have achieved an upright judiciary which does not only treat people equally but also ensures justice is served appropriately and at the right time, jungle justice is here to stay. No amount of noise or human emotions will take a way a problem that just needs common sense to fix.

 

 

We cannot continue to ask people to shun jungle justice while the reality out there is a fertile ground for jungle justice to grow. We’ll just be running around in circles while innocent people are being victimized for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. There is no point trying to melt the tip of an iceberg ignoring the massive chunk of ice underneath the water. It makes no sense applying cosmetic solutions to fundamental problems. The judiciary should rise up to the occasion and live up to it’s responsibility of creating a just society.

 

 

Until we are able to ensure immediate consequences for criminal activities and law-breaking, we may just be prancing around. We all should rise as Nigerians to not only pay lip service but also identify and fight the constraints militating against the attainment of a just society, a society where justice does not just belong to the rich but everybody, a society where everybody, irrespective of their social statuses can have a sense of belonging and ownership not leaving out the expectation of being protected by the law when the need arises.

I Stand By Senate’s Rejection of Buhari’s $30bn Loan – Saraki

President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has stated that his recent meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari have nothing to do with the President’s $29.96bn external borrowing plan rejected by the Senate.

He also stated that the rejection was not personal but in the interest of the country.

In a statement on Thursday by the Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Saraki advised politicians and the media to stop “peddling empty speculations about his recent visits to the Presidential Villa and linking such visits to the request by the Buhari administration for approval of the National Assembly to get $29.9bn loan from foreign sources.”

The Senate President described the comments by some politicians on the loan issue “without any factual basis” as “unfortunate.”

Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, had warned the Senate President not to join the Federal Government in ruining the country by supporting Buhari’s request for the foreign loan.

The governor, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, specifically warned Saraki against doing so due to personal interests.

Fayose stated that, “No matter how much he (Saraki) tries to warm himself into the hearts of the Aso Rock cabal, they can never love him and accept him into their fold.”

Saraki, however, said, “Like I once told the media, these politically-motivated commentaries are trivialising a serious national issue and presenting it as if it is a personal matter that can be decided at meetings between Saraki and President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The National Assembly, which I head as Senate President, has taken a position on the issue as required of it by the laws of the land and legislative conventions.”

“Don’t Even Try To Approve Buhari’s $29.6B Loan Request” – PFN Tells Senate

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, has called on the Senate to reject President Muhammadu Buhari’s $29.6b loan request.

The PFN took the stand on Wednesday in a statement made available to journalists in Enugu, by its Chairman, Rev. Dr. Godwin Madu.

Madu maintained that President Buhari should suspend the borrowing plans.

He said the President should instead “use the recovered loots for implementing its policies. It will not be nice at this time of recession to go borrowing for any reason when there are billions of Naira so far recovered from individuals and corporate bodies.

“The Senate should not approve it because it is not to the best interest of the country. Such move will further ruin the future of this country.”

The Christian body equally condemned the release of five suspects in the murder of an Igbo woman in Kano, Madam Bridget Agbahime.

“How can this type of thing happen in Nigeria? We can’t imagine an authority of the state making a no-case submission in favour of suspects who already confessed to the murder.

“The person killed is a human being; this further puts to question ?the integrity of the judiciary because in the first case, the magistrate court lacks the jurisdiction to try murder cases.

“Our stand is that the National Judicial Council, NJC, should summon and investigate the magistrate in question”, the PFN declared.

While commending Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for ensuring security of lives and properties in the State, the Christian body called on other Governors in the South-East “to do everything.

To protect their citizens wherever they are in Nigeria and in the Diaspora. Our people should not be allowed to be treated anyhow.


“We call on the Kano State government and the NJC to know that a murder? case cannot be closed that way; it has become a point of judicial reference in the court of law.”

President Buhari Reveals What Recovered Loots Will Be Used For

As Nigeria continues to battle economic recession, the President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government has proposed to fund part of the 2017 budget deficit of N2.69 trillion from monies recovered from looters.
According to reports, FG in a Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper submitted to the National Assembly is proposing to spend the sum of N6.86tn in 2017, with total revenue of N4.16tn.
 With a funding gap of N2.69tn, the government said part of the deficit would be financed with recoveries from looted funds, the rest would be from borrowings.
“Based on the revenue and expenditure estimates, the fiscal deficit is estimated to increase by about N492bn or 22.32 per cent from the estimate of N2.2tn in 2016.
“However, while this remains below the maximum three per cent of the Gross Domestic Product stipulated in the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007, it is projected to take a downward turn afterwards.
“The deficit is to be financed mainly by borrowing as well as recoveries of misappropriated public funds/assets.”
“Borrowing will be geared towards funding critical capital projects that have potential to effectively increase productivity, and hence, provide mechanism for refinancing the debt,” the document read in part.
Credit: dailytimes

“Boko Haram Would Not Have Taken Place If I Was The President” – Atiku

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar took a complete swipe of past administrations in handling the insurgent Boko Haram, saying that if he were the Nigerian leader then, the Boko Haram would not have reared its ugly head in the country.

Atiku Abubakar spoke Tuesday night at the American University of Nigeria AUN Yola while distributing relief materials to over 5,000 internally Displaced persons, IDPs.

“If I were the President of Nigeria when Boko Haram erupted, I could have used all means at my disposal to avert it”.

“When we were in government in 2002, a similar incident which should have been more deadly erupted in Yobe state and we immediately contained it and nothing was heard of it again”. “Such an ugly incident requires a steadfast leadership that is decisive in its deeds in dealing with it”, the former vice President stated.

‘For Boko Haram insurgents to have overran 7 of the 21 local governments of Adamawa State beats my imagination, and the efforts I put in place that prevented Boko Haram from capturing the entire state is left between me and my creator”, he added. ‘I don’t even know my father very well.

But, it does not prevent me from becoming what I am today. As an orphan, I will continue to identify with the less privileged ones in the society in the rest part of my life”, Atiku declared.

“As I clock 70 years this year, all my activities will be dedicated to the cause of the Internally Displaced Persons, not only Adamawa, but in Borno, Yobe and other IDPs camps spread across the country”, he maintained.

The former Vice President implored all his admirers who wish to identify with him as part of his 70th Birthday to channel them to the IDPs.

He commended the Adamawa Peace Initiative for championing the cause of the less privileged in the society, stressing that when the initiative was conceived and put together, the organizers never envisaged the eruption of Boko Haram insurgency, adding that the organization has now assumed the major focal point in reaching the displaced persons in the society.

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar along with members of the Adamawa Initiative had earlier visited the St. Theresa Catholic Cathedral and the Jama’atul Nasir Islam JNI where they distributed relief materials to the IDPs there. On the present economic recession in the country, the former vice president absorbed the APC led federal government of any wrong doing, blaming the recession on the fall of the oil price in the international market.

Atiku Abubakar advised Nigerians to diversify as a way out of the recession Earlier, the President of the American University of Nigeria, AUN lauded the Atiku Abubakar for identifying with IDPs and urged other well – to – do to emulate him.

Government Should Scale-Up Primary Health Care Service Delivery Nationwide – CODE

A leading NGO Connected development [CODE] has called on government at all level to take up one of its responsibilities by ensuring proper facilities are put in place in various primary health care centers in Nigeria.

Following the release of $1.5million dollars from World Bank to the 36 states respectively including the Federal Capital Territory as part of the World Bank supported “Save One million Lives” the Follow the Money team of CODE visited 6 states respectively to assess the state of the PHCs to track the implementation of these funds. These states are AkwaIbom, Enugu, Kano, Kogi and Yobe.

Findings from the field visit to each of the states are rather appalling as most of the Primary Health Centres are facing several reprehensible and elementary challenges. Generically, most of them have no improved water supply, electricity, security, quarters for hospital staffers; there is no stationed doctor; and the toilet facilities are in a mess. Furthermore, because of these challenges, the PHCs do not operate 24/7, cannot admit or treat sick people and lack sufficient tables & chairs.

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This in return made Follow the Money team comes up with advocacy hashtags representing various local governments in each state’s.

Some key Findings:

In Kano

Follow The money team visited Kantudu in Makoda LGA of Kano State. They found out that the PHC serves 2,500 people, all coming from 13 surrounding villages. The PHC was built 5-6 years ago as a senatorial project in Makoda LGA. The PHC has one male and female ward, which are not presently functioning. There are only three staffers with one community health worker who are not certified health professionals.

During the interactive section with the head of community Alhaji Muhammad Musa, and the community association said that they have reached out to the government of Kano twice on the state of the health center in Kantudu, but there was no response. “We hope this campaign with ONE and CODE will make the government of Kano to look at the plight of our health center, so that our people can start using it” says Malam Ali, the medical head at the PHC.

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In Yobe State

We were in Lantenwa, Yobe where a Primary Health Care is in a messy situation. The PHC in Lantenwa is in Lantewa village, Lantewa ward, Tarmuwa LGA. It serves a population of 13,400 under 5 yrs; 10-15 patients daily, 70-105 weekly. Speaking to the head commnity ,AuduLantewa, mentioned that the dispensary has been dilapidated for more than 7 yrs, he added that dispensary situation is critical and he personally reported the issue to local authorities several times. He further lamented that “Lantewa is the gathering center of four neighboring with approximately 7,000 registered voters, as such we should get better things from the government” he said.

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In Kogi State

We went to the PHC to find out if the implementation of the fund is ongoing as well as to track the implementation of the N10.5 million earmarked by the National Primary Health care Development Agency for the rehabilitation of the PHC. On reaching there, there was no such intervention taking place. The Officer in Charge (OIC) said it was the first time she was hearing of such. The village head whom we paid a courtesy visit to also said he has never heard of such. We then went to the Operational Base of the NsitIbom LGA’s Health Centres and the Director of the base told us that she has never heard of such fund for the PHC’s rehabilitation

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In Osun State

Our team went on ground to track the $1.5m earmarked by the World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria for the Saving One Million Lives Initiative and all we could see while on the field is nothing to write home about. From our findings, the facility is meant to serve 11 villages which are: Gboore, Alajue-Logun, Asunmo, Ayegbami, Agbopa, Jagun-Odomu, Olodan, Aladie, Amosun, Seesa, Akiribiti amongst others. In total, the target population which the facility is meant to serve is 12,498. 498 of the population are children less than one year, the Primary Health Care Centre has a monthly target of 42 patients, but it end up serving more than 400 on an average.

Consequently, a Freedom of Information letters was sent to the concerned government institutions and offices for a breakdown of the funds usage, implementation window and respective contractors, especially the governmental institutions concerned, to instantaneously start the implementation of these funds, ensure transparency & accountability in the funds’ implementation, and make government data open in line with the Open Government Partnership.

Follow The Money is a growing movement currently in 32 states of the country, held community outreaches to 10 primary health facilities in Kano, Yobe, osun, and found out that all were in a state of dysfunction, even with the funds that have been released to the states to upgrade the primary health care “Most of the head of clinic at the PHC in the 5 that I visited were in an abandoned state, lacks basic healthcare amenities and needs urgent attention to serve people at local communities.” affirmed HamzatLawal, CODE’s Chief Executive & Co-Founder, Follow The Money.   

He stressed that annually; Nigeria loses over 99% children below the age of 5 due to dilapidated healthcare services and urges government actions to serve the people by improving better service delivery while ensuring transparency and accountability.

Photos Of President Buhari At Marrakech For COP-22

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived Marrakech, Morocco, to participate in the ongoing 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), tagged, COP-22.

President Buhari arrives Morocco ahead of Climate Change Conference COP 22 in Marrakech On 14th Nov 2016

President Buhari, who left the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Monday, arrived the Marrakesh Menara Airport in Morocco, some hours later.

While in Marrakech, the president would participate in the official opening of the plenary of the conference on November 15 where he would deliver his national statement during the High Level Segment of COP 22.

A statement earlier issued by the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said President Buhari would be presenting a presidential address at the conference.

The address, according to the statement, is expected to highlight, among other key issues, Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to implementing the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and policy actions aimed at tackling climate change through environmental sustainable efforts.

It said that the president would also use the occasion of his speech to rally international support for the clean-up of Ogoniland in the Niger Delta and the resuscitation of the Lake Chad Basin.

The statement said President Buhari would also attend the Africa Day Commemoration at COP 22 with the theme, “Moving from Commitments to Action with Intended Nationally Determined Contributions and African Renewable Energy Initiative.”

Read More:

http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/215350-president-buhari-arrives-marrakech-cop-22.html

VP Osinbajo, Saraki, Dogara, Governors Meet Over $30 Billion Loan

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, on Monday said the meeting the leaders of the National Assembly had with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and some state governors was meant to ensure good governance and collaboration.

Saraki spoke with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting held inside the Vice-President’s office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting was also attended by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal; as well as governors of Ogun, Adamawa, Zamfara, Osun, Imo and Niger states.

The meeting was believed to be one of the efforts aimed at resolving the issues arising from the Senate’s recent rejection of President Muhammadu Buhari’s $30bn foreign loan request and the 2016-2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework as well as other party matters.

Osinbajo heads the present administration’s Economic Management Team.

“I am sure the Vice-President will issue a statement. But nothing of great alarm, it (the meeting) was all for good governance, inclusion and collaboration with all arms. The states are here, the National Assembly executives just came up with ideas on how to make things work even better, that’s all,” Saraki told reporters.

Saraki had met with Buhari thrice within one week on the same matter.

The meetings came after the Senate rejected Buhari’s request for approval to take $30bn foreign loan.

The Senate had also dismissed the Medium Term Expenditure Framework submitted to it for approval, describing it as “empty.”

The document was said to have been returned to the Executive.

Saraki had after a meeting with Buhari told State House correspondents that the issue of the foreign loan was work in progress.

 

Why Buhari Will Resubmit $30bn Loan Request Rejected By Senate – Presidency

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has explained why the $30bn loan request rejected by the Senate will be re-sent.

Featuring on Channels Television yesterday, the Presidential spokesperson explained that the Buhari’s loan request was not rejected by the Senate but the upper legislative chambers only asked for more details.

Reacting to a question on the loan request, Adesina said, “Yes, it makes sense to represent. You will notice that what the Senate said was that, it needed more details about the bid for loan and it was not that it rejected the idea completely.

“Now, on the basis of that, if government did not represent, it won’t show you as a serious government in the first place. This is not a flippant government and before it asked for that kind of loan, it did its homework properly, and if the Senate says it needs more details, then more details would be provided and the request would be represented.”

On the evaluation of current Ministers, Adesina noted that only the President has the prerogative to assess his cabinet.

“Let me refer you to the Good Book. It says, “who are you to judge another man’s servant? It is before his master that he either rises or falls.” The President assembled that cabinet, he has timelines and deliverables for them. So he is the one who can judge and assess them. If he is going to re-jig that cabinet, it is going to be his decision, his prerogative,” he added.

Following Senate’s decision to reject Buhari’s loan request , the Minister of Information , Lai Mohammed had said the President would resubmit the loan request.

We Did Not Pay Boko Haram $21million To Release Chibok Girls

The Presidency yesterday denied the alleged payment of $21million to Boko Haram leadership for the release of 21 Chibok girls.

It said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had no such money to pay as ransom.

 

This was revealed in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity) to the President, Mallam Garba Shehu,

The statement said: “Over the past few days, some newspaper reports  ascribing the recent terrorist attacks in Borno State to the government’s negotiation of the release of 21 Chibok girls, with a particular report alleging the exchange of US$21 million for the girls are false and should be disregarded by members of the public. This loose talk is journalism at its most irresponsible and it’s most dismaying.

“As a responsible government that is run on the basis of the constitution and budgets duly appropriated by the National Assembly, we have no such money under any allocation to pay out this outrageous sum of money as ransom.

“Beyond the call of journalism, the newspaper making this charge has a national duty to point how and where this money was paid, and to supply leads as to where the “powerful weapons” were bought by the terrorists.”

Senate’ll Resolve Buhari’s $30bn Loan Request this Week – Ndume

Strong indications have emerged that the leadership of the Senate and the Presidency have reached a deal on the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper earlier rejected by the upper chamber of the National Assembly.

A source close to the leadership of the Senate said this was the fallout of the meetings between President Muhammadu Buhari; President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.

It was learnt on Sunday that the Senate, which returned the MTEF and FSP to the Presidency last week, had accepted to receive a detailed version of the document from the Executive this week.

The source said the preparation of the 2017 budget and the proposed $29.96bn external borrowing would be fast-tracked by the legislature.

Saraki had met with Buhari three times last week during which the issues of the MTEF and FSP as well as the foreign loan were raised.

The source further said the meetings between the leadership of the National Assembly and the Presidency were called to bridge the gap between the legislature and the executive.

Confirming the development, the Majority Leader of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, told our correspondent on the telephone on Saturday that the matters would be resolved this week.

Ndume had described the MTEF and FSP sent to the Senate by Buhari for legislative approval as “empty” due to missing details in the document.

“We will deal with the issues this week by God’s grace,” he said.

When asked if the Senate had got a positive response from the Presidency on the issues, he said, “Yes, of course.”

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Sabi Abdullahi, said, “As it is, we don’t even have any information that will enable us to be diligent.

“We passed the budget and the borrowing plan in the budget was clear, N3.2tn made up of N900bn from domestic sources and the balance from external lenders. But the question is: with the new one that was sent, what have they done with respect to the provisions of the 2016 budget? It is not clear. How are they going to do it?

“Those are the things we presume are in the document that Mr. President said was ‘attached’, which, unfortunately, his officials were careless about and they showed that they are truly incompetent. This is the first time we are seeing information on the budget sent to us without those details. It came as a letter. We saw the letter and it was read.

“Do we have any alternative? No, we don’t. I have seen situations where people have tried as much as possible to create and perpetuate the frosty relationship between the two arms of government. It is unfortunate.”

Also, the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, said the upper chamber of the National Assembly was not against the President and his economic policies despite the recent rejection of projects from the executive.

The senator, who is also a member of the Committee on Finance, stated that the Senate only wanted Buhari and his economic team to do a thorough job when dealing with the legislature.

Nigeria and Nigerians: Enemies From Within By Inyali Peter

I personally think that we, as Nigerians, need serious reorientation. I have read over the past few days how people, even the most educated come out to allege that US President, Barrack Obama foisted President Buhari on Nigerians. What a mentality!

Nigerians have celebrated Donald Trump’s victory more than even the Americans all because they think Trump has the capacity to make Buhari fail. What hypocrisy!

I see untrained bloggers and quack journalists publish stories alleging that Russian President, Vladimir Putin is threatening Buhari to let Nigeria separate or he finds himself to blame. And I dare ask, when has Russia become the country to determine our unity?

Why are we making ourselves look too inferior to the white race? Putin was a former military administrator just like President Buhari. Why do we undermine our own but celebrate others? Are we truly independent? Are we happy that our independence is an independence in paralysis? I am ashamed at the level of moral decadence among so many Nigerians.

President Buhari is over 70 years old. He has seen it all. He has nothing to gain or loose so we must begin to see his success as Nigeria success not APC or his personal success. Obama labelled Trump unpresidential  but when he won, they both put the interest of their nation ahead of their personal and political interest and have promised to work together. That’s patriotism.

Patriotism like I have always said is not in supporting a leader because you like his face, religion or ethnic background. But supporting whoever is at the helms of affairs in a way of constructive criticism or otherwise to succeed.

The Nigeria media has suddenly turned against Buhari. There’s no good program of this government that make front page or lead any paper. Any cover page story or lead news must be against Buhari. At my leisure time, I will write extensively why I hate being addressed as a journalist especially on social media even as trained journalist. I am writing a book about Nigeria journalism which I hope should be out next year.

The biggest Problem in this country is the media and the judiciary; we must come together to fight this monsters. While the media is so committed to feeding the public with false stories or at best half truth, the judiciary is there to legalize the illegalities. We must reason together to find a solution to this shameful commentary.

Stay connected for my article on “Nigerians Voted Change But don’t want change”. Till then, think Nigeria!

Lagos-Ibadan Road to Be Completed Soon – Fashola

Expansion and rehabilitation work on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will be completed soon, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said.

Fashola, who reviewed his first year in office in Lagos at the weekend, said the long bridge at the Lagos-Ogun boundary on the road had to be shut because construction work was ongoing underneath it.

“Roads are depreciating assets that need constant maintenance and regulated usage,” he said, adding that the issue of overloaded trucks was being addressed.

According to him, the government is looking into the issue of double-axle articulated vehicles that transport more tonnage than most roads were built to accommodate.

Fashola also said weighbridges will be reintroduced on the roads to arrest overloading.

He said, however, that warehouses have to be built by the weighbridges to take in offloaded extra goods from arrested haulage vehicles.

The minister added that the issue of reintroducing tollgates on roads would be decided by Nigerians, noting that he had not forgotten his experience as Lagos State governor.

The minister said electricity generation had improved considerably in the last 12 months, peaking at above 5074MW for the first time in the nation’s 63-year-old electricity history earlier this year.

He said this had created jobs for hitherto idle artisans, small and medium scale entrepreneurs and empowered other businesses.

He said more than 800 containers of imported power generation and distribution components stranded at the ports had been released as a result of his ministry’s efforts and the intervention of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

He regretted that about 3000MW of electricity was lost to vandalism, adding, however, that the Federal Government was discussing with agitators to end the destruction.

Fashola said electricity generation would continue to appreciate as more stations come on stream and contribute to the National Grid.

The minister appealed to electricity consumers to be patient with distribution companies over insufficient prepaid meters, noting that the privatisation of the sector was only three years old.

He said the meters would soon be readily available as more companies embark on their production in Nigeria.

The contractor handling the road rehabilitation, Julius Berger Nigeria Ltd, will divert traffic on additional sections of the road.

The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), in a statement at the weekend, said Ibadan bound traffic will be diverted to the Lagos bound carriageway CH38+400 and CH 43+700 to allow the laying of the wearing course.

The diversions will lead to the closure of the Ibadan bound exit road leading to Sagamu as well as the Sagamu bound exit road leading to Ibadan.

The temporary closure would be from Wednesday till November 23.

Huge Crowd As Obaseki Takes Oath Of Office

The Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin was filled to capacity as the new governor of Edo, Mr Godwin Obaseki, took the oath of office on Saturday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the main bowl of the stadium and the outer precincts were filled to capacity during the ceremony.

Among the dignitaries at the occasion were the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, Gov. Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun.

Also present were business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, and the APC governorship candidate in Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu.

The ceremony also had in attendance a former military head of state, Dr Yakubu Gowon, and ministers including that of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

NAN reports that the inauguration ceremony was also graced by traditional rulers from across the three senatorial districts of the state as well as youths and market women who were all dressed in different attires.

NAN also reports that Obaseki is taking over from Adams Oshiomhole who had served two terms of four years.

Obaseki defeated the candidate of the PDP, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in the Sept. 28 governorship poll in the state.

Credit: NAN

#NigeriansHonorOurHeroes: BBOG holds event to celebrate Nigeria’s Fallen Heroes tomorrow.

As earlier announced, tomorrow 12 November 2016 between 5 and 7 pm there shall be a special event to honour the patriotism and sacrifice of Nigerian troops who have passed on, most especially those fighting the counter-insurgency war in Northeast Nigeria. This is to demonstrate how much we Nigerians appreciate them and their families, for effort and sacrifice to keep us protected.

This event shall hold at Unity Fountain Abuja. Formal invitations have gone out to the Ministry of Defence, the Defence, Army, Navy, Air force, and Police headquarters, as well as their respective officers’ wives associations. We are also working with the various associations of ex-servicemen, and non-governmental and civil society organisations (NGOs/CSOs) involved with activities of honouring our heroes.
The key features of tomorrow‘s event include tributes to our heroes by families, friends, colleagues, and citizens. There shall also be prayers, and close with a candlelight procession within the venue.

Kindly make arrangements to attend and invite others. Please share as many images along with names of our departed heroes with the hashtag #NigeriansHonorOurHeroes to show appreciation and honour their memory.

Sesugh Akume
#BringBackOurGirls Spokesperson

OPINION: The sad news of Trump’s triumph By Reuben Abati

Democracy is tricky; it sometimes ends up as a parody of itself.  When the people clamour for change, they can vote with their hearts, and prove impervious to plain sight reason, and overlook likely pitfalls.  We can only hope that Donald Trump does not become the symbol of the change that Americans are seeking. That would be sad indeed for the free world.”  – Reuben Abati,  “Anything Can Happen in America”, The Guardian, March 6, 2016. 

Earlier this year, I had written a piece titled “Anything Can Happen In America”, from which the quote above is excerpted, but I had virtually no idea that the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election could be so shocking, unthinkable and unbelievable. I was like the pollsters, the cultural activists, the Nobel Laureates, the American media establishment and the global community, minus Russia and Vladimir Putin, a Clintonite. I stood with her. When the unthinkable happened on Tuesday, and Americans chose as their 45th President, Donald John Trump, the real estate developer, reality television celebrity, a complete outsider who stumbled on politics and turned it into a celebrity show, I could only ask: how did it happen?

     

The triumph of Trumpism, a byword for incorrect conduct, misogyny, hate, racism, nativism, isolationism, anger, and defiance is sad news for the world. It is an assault on the ideals of American democracy. Trump’s triumph has left America more divided than it was a week ago, and the prospects of that nation rescuing itself from the tragic mistake it seems to have made may take long in coming. The same country that champions it the most has exposed the underbelly of democracy, that beloved option for global leadership, ironically.

      

Democracy is said to be driven by the values of good rather than evil, of humanity as opposed to inhumanity, individual freedom and rights rather than oppression, inclusion as different from exclusion but the same model of governance hands over power to the majority. As we have seen, the majority may not necessarily represent the will of all the people, or even the real majority, it is the choice that is made by the voting majority or as determined by the guiding rules as in the case of the United States: and no matter how stupid, illogical or unreasonable that choice may be, it is taken as the voice of the people and it is binding. This dictatorship of the determined majority has nothing to do with popular opinion or goodwill, but the actual choice that is made according to the guiding rules of the game.

   

Democracy, relying on the strength of numbers and local rules has fed many countries with statistically right but logically wrong outcomes.  The outcome in the United States this week is completely confusing.  And that explains why there have been protests across America by those chanting “notmypresident” to express their dismay over Trump’s surprise win. This is the first time in a long while that the outcome of an American Presidential election will leave the entire country so tragically divided the morning after. Even the international community is in shock. Trump’s triumph is a threat to the liberal standards on which the global order is anchored.  Hillary Clinton in her concession speech said her defeat is “painful and it will be for a long time.” Not necessarily for her but for America and the rest of the world.  The deepest cut is in America’s heart; the wound that has been inflicted therein by Americans themselves will be felt for a long time to come.

    

This year’s American general election should inspire a deeper interrogation into the nature of democracy and its many pitfalls. The people of the United States had a plain choice between good and bad alternatives. More than any other American Presidential candidate in this election, Hillary Clinton got the most impactful endorsements, yet she did not win. If the rest of the world had been asked to vote, she would have won by a landslide, but it was up to the Americans themselves to choose their own President, and they have just told us to mind our own businesses in our countries.  Hillary Clinton is urbane, experienced, charming and gifted. She has proved her mettle as First Lady, Senator and as Secretary of State.  She won the Presidential debates, ran a dignified and organized campaign and won the confidence of every critical constituency.  Bernie Sanders who ran against her for the Democratic party’s ticket and Donald Trump, as well as their agents in many places threw mud in her direction, but the polls favoured her to the last minute.           

 

The pollsters have been proven wrong by the choice that America has made. Hillary Clinton gave hope to generations of women across the world. Her emergence as America’s President would have broken the glass ceiling at the most powerful spot in the world, and energized young men and women across the world. America has decided to spit in the face of history and opt for misogyny birthed by ultra-conservatism. Confronted with the obvious choice of a decent, tested and experienced woman who could have given them the prize of two Presidents for the price of one, they chose a foul-mouthed, egoistic, bombastic, free-wheeling outsider with a wife whose body shape and naked assets would be part of a yet uncertain legacy.

    

America’s future post-Trump’s triumph is uncertain because what Trump stands for, the little that we know about that, raises nothing but anxiety, definitely not confidence.  America has as President in waiting a man elected on the wings of sheer populism and racist, nativist propaganda. His campaign was anchored on the hate-propelled belief that the only way to make America great again is to shut out Muslims, blacks, immigrants, intruding neighbours from Mexico and Latin America, keep Americans for Americans only so they can have jobs and prosper, and the spin that America is not safe in the hands of women whom he considers fit only as objects and pieces of decoration.

      

By voting Trump, America with its intriguing electoral college system, which robs a popular candidate on technical grounds, has deleted the triumph of American-led neo-liberal progressivism in the global order. The sad news in part is that this is also a growing trend in Europe, the equivalent of Brexit. Trump’s triumph is however worse than Brexit. It is not likely “to make America great again.” It is more likely to reduce, if not jeopardize America’s influence as a stabilizing force in the global system. Donald Trump as Presidential candidate repudiated America’s commitments within the global system. He says he will pull out US troops and command stations in Europe and Asia. If he keeps to his words, he could create such instability across the globe that would result in countries which otherwise depended on the United States looking out for themselves security-wise.

     

Trump is perhaps America’s nemesis: too much rationalization and over-simplification of everything was bound to get the United States into trouble. The chasm between the American establishment and its ordinary people has been blown open. Washington is a living symbol of correctness on every stage, but now the people have rejected Washington and its politics. There have been about 44 female Presidents across the world, and now, the most powerful country in the world has proven itself to be less progressive than India, Bangladesh, Brazil, South Korea, Liberia, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Argentina, Croatia, Nepal, Taiwan, Chile, Costa Rica, Philippines, Indonesia, Iceland, Malta, and even Kosovo! America preaches inclusion and unity in diversity, but the white, blue-collar and middle-class Americans who voted majorly for Donald Trump have shown that the average American is not interested in diversity; they want America to themselves alone. America is not a country of nationalities, it is a country of immigrants, and yet the settled immigrants want to shut the door of the land of dreams to others. Donald Trump exploited their fears. He has proven that it is possible to become President by appealing to the people’s basest instincts.  Shameful.

       

Trump, Machiavelli’s “great-great-grandson” has through dirty tricks created a revolution from which even the same party that saw him as an outsider and treated his emergence as flag-bearer as an accident has benefitted. The Republican Party owes its ascendancy in the White House and Capitol Hill to this outsider who brought the tactics of Machiavelli, soap opera and television shows to push a failing party back to reckoning. Trump is neither Republican nor Democrat; he belongs to the party of the streets, of a racist American street motivated by a determination to reverse the misfortune of disappearing jobs in inner America, inability of make ends meet, pay children’s school fees or live decently.  Americans chose Trump because he spoke the language of the streets and projected himself as their messiah. He projected himself, in his own words, as the champion of “the forgotten men and women of our country…People who work hard but no longer have a voice. I am their voice”. And so the people think, and so they voted for him so enthusiastically they even handed him the battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and North Carolina, which secured his victory and ended the emerging Clinton dynasty.  He is the candidate of America’s children of anger.

    

Trump’s organized blackmail and dirty job may have given him the biggest job in the world but it will not sustain him there or make him a great President. The easiest thing to do is to promise the people change by pulling down the sitting government and the entire political Establishment. In Trump’s reckoning, he did not just defeat Hillary Clinton; he has defeated Barrack Obama, the entire Washington Establishment and its allies. Inexperienced, badly prepared and ignorant, as is the common consensus, Trump has to run the most complex governance system in the world. He can repudiate his campaign promises and turn 360 degrees. This is not beyond him. In the last year, his position on anything and everything has changed from one stop to another. Or he may choose to fulfill his bizarre promises and imperil the American Presidency and the global order. One option will expose and ridicule him. The other may fetch him the aggrieved assassin’s bullet or a one-term Presidency that could end up either as a tragi-comedy or a nauseating farce. The fulfillment of the Simpsons’ and Michael Moore’s prophecy is the highest point of America’s disillusionment. Soon enough, America will learn, at substantial cost, new lessons about its new reality.  Take it easy, Hillary. Destiny is what waits for every person behind the dream. 

US-Based Nigerians Can Return if Trump Makes Life difficult – FG

Audu Ogbeh, minister of agriculture, says Nigeria will welcome its citizens in the US home if Donald Trump, president-elect, makes life uncomfortable for them over there.

Speaking with state house correspondents after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday, Ogbeh expressed shock at Trump’s victory.

Ogbeh said Nigeria might re-tool its foreign policy if Trump turned out to be a sectional president.

“I’m in a bit of shock, but we’re witnessing some very dramatic changes in the world, and I think some of these things began many years ago,” he said.

“The current economic theory ravaging the world is now reaching the poor and the ordinary people. It’s causing a lot of stress. Brexit happened, America has done this now. Many other countries are going to have near extremism ruling the minds of people.

“The rest of the world will have to then carefully watch and see the impact first. He made comments about Nigerians when he was campaigning that they had stolen money, they should go back to their country and live.

“He has a very low opinion of the blacks and Hispanics. We hope he’ll become a president now for all, including Nigerians and others, resident in the US.

“But if he doesn’t, it means we’ll have to re-tune and re-tool our foreign policy to begin to find a situation where we may have to be welcoming some of our people if they come under extreme pressure. We hope it doesn’t happen.”

Ogbeh described the US president-elect as a capitalist who has succeeded in “bringing the system down”.

“Trump himself is one of those capitalists who have managed to exploit the system, but have now turned around to bring down that system,” he said.

“I do hope that he can manage the US without falling into the trap he thinks he has freed the others from. Because eventually when he gets to Washington and begins to feel the pressure of the White House, he may not be as calm as he was this morning when he was accepting the victory, I can assure you. Those jobs exert a lot of pressure.”

Donald Duke, Peter Obi, Odinkalu, Others for 2016 AELEX Annual Lecture.

In a bid to explore sustainable finance and developmental models for Nigerian states, AELEX, a leading law firm is set to host its 2016 Annual Lecture with the theme “Making States Work”.

The lecture is billed to hold on Wednesday, 9 November 2016 at the Muson Centre, Lagos.

According to the organisers, the 2016 lecture which is the 11th in the series of its annual lectures is poised “…to consider issues relating to the sustainability of individual states, especially as Nigeria goes through a recession. The format for the lecture will be that of a panel of insightful discussants with diverse sectorial expertise and erudition.

Outlined panelists for the 2016 AELEX lecture are His Excellency, Mr. Donald Duke (CON), Former Governor of Cross River; His Excellency, Mr. Peter Obi (CON), Former Governor of Anambra State; Mr. Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede (CON), Former Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc; Mr. Isaac Babatunde, Executive Director, Corporate & Sovereign Ratings, Agusto & Co; and Professor Chidi Odinkalu, Africa Program of the Open Society Justice Initiative.

 

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Running for over a decade, the AELEX Annual lecture has established itself as the platform for highlighting national topical issues of socio-economic and political relevance whilst forging solid reasoning and solutions for Nigeria, showcasing analytical strengths and weaknesses of opposing perspectives on National issues.

Since 2005, the Aelex Annual Lecture has featured top-notch speakers on a wide-range of contemporary issues. In 2015, former external affairs Minister, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi led the discourse on “Politics, Democracy and Ethnicity”. In 2014, Prof. Timothy S. Shah, Georgetown University, USA, delivered the keynote on the theme “In God’s Name: Politics, Religion and Economic Development”.

 

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Other previous themes include “This House Must Not Fall: Constitutional Reform and the People’s Will” in 2012; Corruption, the Thief in Broad Daylight in 2011; Taxation without Representation, 2010; How Ghana Kept the Lights On, 2009, amongst others.

The 2016 AELEX Annual lecture is scheduled for Wednesday, 9 November 2016 at the Muson Centre, Lagos. Interested participants can make reservations via annuallectureteam@aelex.com or Semilore: 08038162255.

Members of the public can join the conversation online using the hashtag #AELEX2016 on all major social media platforms.

 

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?LEX is a full service law firm with offices in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Accra, Ghana. ?LEX was established in 2004 through the merger of four leading law firms which spawned the largest and most diversified law practices with a focus on the West African region.

I Need Oshiomhole’s Services In Abuja– Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will find an important national assignment for the outgoing Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, when he leaves office.
Buhari said this yesterday at the Palace of the new Oba of Benin, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Nku Akpolokpolo Ewuare II, before he embarked on the commissioning of several projects in the state.
He said: “It will be a pity to waste his energy by him retiring. I hope there will be a higher assignment for him to do more for the nation. I congratulate the governor for his hard work; Oshiomhole is a hard working governor. We will need his services in Abuja.
‘‘Thank you for inviting me, most especially during this time in the country. You have served two terms and you are about to leave. You deserve a place in history. I hope the APC will look for a place for you because your service for the country is far from over.”
Buhari also congratulated the Oba for successfully ascending the throne of his ancestors and extended the support of the Federal Government to his Royal highness in his bid to improve the lives of Edo people.
The Oba expressed delighted on the president’s visit, noting that it was the first since his recent coronation.
‘‘We believe this is a sign of better things to come. I appreciate your contribution to my coronation,’’ the royal father said.
The Ewuare II, who commended Buhari for appointing Edo indigenes into positions in government appealed for the establishment of an export and import processing zone for agro-allied industries in the state.
Buhari who is on a two-day working visit to Edo commissioned the renovated Central Hospital in Benin. President Buhari also commissioned the Upper Siluko Road in Benin City,  inspected the Queen Ede Gulley erosion site and commissioned the Samuel Ogbemedia College rebuilt to ‘world class standard.’
Credit: dailytrust

We’d Review Our Current Template Before Any Fuel Price Increase – Kachikwu

Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, says the federal government would review its current pricing template before it can implement any increase in fuel price.

The minister explained that some of the elements of the pricing template still lies within the government’s control, and can be amended to keep retail prices within its current band.

Speaking in Abuja over the weekend, Kachikwu said he was not aware that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) mega-stations had increased their pump price of petrol to N145 per litre, from N141.

“First, I am not aware that the NNPC has increased its price. I need to look into that, it’s a bit of surprise for me, because there are processes in doing this,” he said.

“If they have done that, it means they are doing it wrongly. Let me find out what the facts are. Having said that, the reality is that what we did at the point where we did some liberalisation was to enable the market float the price.

“Obviously, as you look at foreign exchange differentiations and all that, it would impact the landing cost of petrol.

“The worst thing you could do is to go back to the era where we basically were fixing prices. What we ought to be doing is watching prices, making sure that they are not taking advantage of the common man.”

Currently, NPA, NIMASA charge N1.06 on every litre of petrol coming into Nigeria, but Kachikwu suggested that the government would rather cut its own charges in the template first, before embarking on any increase.

“One of the things I think we had hoped to do, which we should still do before we embark on any price increase is to work on those templates. There are still areas that are within government control.

“These are payments to the Ministry of Transport and the rest, payments to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) that are foreign-currency denominated.

“We are working on the possibility of being able to shift that out so that you still can modulate the prices within where it is right now. But I would hold a conversation with the industry and see how it is going.”

“At the end of the day, I think PPPRA is the agency that has the authority to say it is time the templates does justify some level of movement, otherwise you have a crisis of individual decisions on pricing.”

Why Buhari’s Appointees, APC Chieftains Are Not Tried For Corruption- Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has offered reasons why leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and those in the president’s cabinet are not being prosecuted for corruption.

The presidential spokesman, who made this known while featuring as a guest on a radio programme, Sweet F.M’s Podium in Abeokuta, also argued that the federal government’s anti-corruption fight was not selective.

According to him, APC chieftains and appointees are not being prosecuted because no evidence had been put forward indicting them of being involved in corrupt practices.

“The onus lies on he who alledges to also prove,” he said. “The fact that any PDP member crosses to APC does not provide automatic shield. Whoever is indicted will be prosecuted.”

On the arrest of judges, Mr. Adesina said the raid on judges was only a raid on corruption and not the judiciary.

“Mr. President has said it all. No one is out to intimidate the judiciary. DSS raid was a raid on corruption not Judiciary,” he said.
On the importation of rice, Mr. Adesina clarified that the Federal Government did not ban the importation of rice, but only took steps to curtail the activities of smugglers at the nation’s land borders.

Mr.Adesina lamented the widespread misinformation that the government had banned the importation of rice.

“Importation of rice via our sea borders remain legal,” Mr. Adesina said.

He said the Buhari-led Federal government was committed to the diversification of the economy.

“We have gotten to the point in which we have to diversify or die,” he said.

“The Federal government has disbursed money so as to heavily invest in Agriculture and Mining.

“Dr. Fayemi has told us that the results of the ongoing investment may not be clearly seen in less than 30 years. However, we will lay the foundation.”

Speaking on his appointment, Mr. Adesina said he, perhaps, would have done all he could to stop his appointment as the President’s media aide if he had a hint about the possibility of his appointment.

“I was not expecting it. Maybe if I knew, I would have done all in my powers to make sure it did not happen,” he said.

“I have known him since he started contesting and wrote good things about him but I did not know he will appoint me as his adviser.”

Credit:

http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/214639-buharis-appointees-apc-chieftains-not-tried-corruption-presidency.html

EXCLUSIVE: Obasanjo, Okorocha, Sanusi, Ooni of Ife, Others slay at the #SokotoDurbar

Omojuwa.Com was ably represented at the Durbar ceremony organized to commemorate the 10th coronation anniversary of the Sultan of Sokoto, Muammad Sa’ad Abubakar, which kicked off on the 2nd of November.

 

In attendance were all dignitaries including politicians and royal fathers from all parts of the country. The Durbar which came in last in a 4-day long celebration drew international attention to the Seat of the Caliphate, Sokoto State.

 

Among some of the dignitaries were; Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate President Bukola Saraki, HOR Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Kwara State Governor Abdulfataah Ahmed, Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, Former Deputy HOR Speaker Emeka Ihedioha amongst others.

 

Apart from the ceremony, the event was an opportunity for the state governor, Aminu Tambuwal who was the speaker of the house representatives in the last administration to showcase and publicize some of his legacy projects which after inspection were commissioned by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari.

 

Security was top-notch as armed forces in conjunction with other sister agencies ensured the state was under adequate security due to the ravaging Boko Haram attacks in the state in recent times.

 

Sokoto state, heavily laden with a vast and rich historical and cultural background seized the opportunity to show off some of it’s heritage to visitors and tourists from all parts of the world. The Caliphate happens to be one of the biggest in northern Nigeria. However, with untold stories of the Jihad among other historical struggles.

 

It is rumored that over 700 Horses and Camels participated in the colorful event. And with confirmation from the Omojuwa.Com correspondence, that rumor is not far from the truth.

 

The Durbar, like this one is usually a common event set up to celebrate special occassions in northern Nigeria. It is also an event that dates back to the pre-colonial history of the Hausa-Fulani people across the country.

 

Below are some of the pictures from the event:

 

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N-Power Scheme – Federal Government Employs 200,000 Graduates On N30,000 Salary

The Federal Government of Nigeria has employed 200, 000 graduates to work as teachers and agricultural extension workers across the country. Laolu Akande, senior special assistant to the vice president on media, disclosed this at the second presidential economic communication workshop in Abuja on Friday.

“We have selected 200,000 graduates out of 500,000. This is the first batch. One hundred and fifty thousand will work as teachers while 50, 000 will work as extension workers. Their pay which is 30, 000 per month, will go directly into their account.?” he said.

He said the selection process was completed “a couple of weeks back,” but that BVN? screening for the candidates delayed the exercise. Akande explained that the new employees would work in their states of residence, and that their local governments would be in charge of their supervision?.

He added that another leg of the social intervention programme, which is conditional cash transfer to the poor, would kick off soon.

FG Charges Supreme Court Registrar, Others with Diversion of N2.2bn

The Federal Government on Thursday charged the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mr. Ahmed Saleh, and two other employees of the apex court with nine counts, including diversion of N2.2bn belonging to the court.

Saleh is among those shortlisted for final consideration by the National Judicial Council to succeed the outgoing Secretary of the council, Mr. Danladi Halilu.

Saleh, alongside Muhammed Sharif and Rilwanu Lawal, are also accused of receiving gratifications totalling N74.4m from private contractors providing services to the Supreme Court between 2009 and 2016.

When the date of their arraignment is fixed, the accused persons will be facing nine counts of conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by allegedly diverting N2.2bn belonging to the apex court and receiving gratification as public officers.

The office of the Attorney General of the Federation filed the charges marked FCT/HC/CR/13/2016 before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Maitama on Thursday.

The allegations leading to the filing of the charges on Thursday is believed to have been unearthed by the recent raid by the operatives of the Department of State Services on the homes of some judges, including two of them belonging to the Supreme Court bench, and some offices at the apex court complex.

Our correspondent also learnt that following the Thursday’s development, the Federal Government will soon approach the court to file charges against some of the arrested judges.

The Supreme Court employees allegedly diverted the sum of N2.2bn belonging to the apex court and received the N74.4m gratification between 2009 and 2016.

The contractors from whom they allegedly received the gratification are Willysdave Ltd., Welcon Nig. Ltd., Dean Musa Nig. Ltd., Ababia Ventures Ltd. and MBR Computers Ltd.

The three Supreme Court employees named in the first charge are accused of conspiracy criminal breach of trust contrary to section 315 of the Penal Code Act and punishable under the same section, by diverting the sum of N2.2bn belonging to the Supreme Court.

The accused persons allegedly deposited same into personal account 2027642863 domiciled in United Bank for Africa Plc.

They allegedly conspired among themselves contrary to Section 96 of the Penal Code Act 2004 and punishable under Section 97 of the same Act to commit the illegal act of diverting the N2.2bn belonging to the apex court.

The prosecution alleged in counts three to nine that the accused, between 2009 and 2016, received gratification of N10m from Willysdave Ltd., N8m (in two tranches of N6m and N2.4m) from Welcon Nig. Ltd., N2.4m; N16m from Dean Musa Nig. Ltd.; N19m from Ababia Ventures Ltd. and N21m from MBR Computers.

The offences of taking gratification by public officers are said to be contrary to Section 10 (a) (i) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission Act 2000.

They are said to be punishable under the same section of the Act.