Senate Probes Secret Recruitment, Lopsided Appointments In NHIS

The Senate Tuesday commenced investigation into alleged illegal recruitment and lopsided appointments of some management staff of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

The probe also covers NHIS expenditure on trainings and travels.

Management staff of the scheme led by its Executive Secretary, Mr. Usman Yusuf, appeared before the Senate Committee on Health yesterday to answer question bordering on alleged illegal recruitment, lopsided appointments and expenditure on training and travels.

Yusuf told the committee that the new recruits were on “secondment” and not on appointment.

Asked if the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, who was present at the hearing, was aware of the “secondments” in the NHIS, the Executive Secretary answered in the negative.

He said, “No, he (Adewole) is not aware.”

The committee queried the NHIS boss why he spent N150 million on trainings and travels between January and June 2016, while the amount spent for the same purposes between July, August and September was between N2 million and N4 million, and the sum of N412 million was spent for the same purposes in October alone.

The committee noted that it received a petition against the NHIS in which the petitioner claimed that while the number of general managers of NHIS was raised from 23 to 25, their appointments were not in line with the Federal Character principle.

The panelists however declined to disclose the name of the petitioner as well as to provide
a copy of the petition to Yusuf.

The committee said that the petitioner claimed that the North-Central geopolitical zone, which had three representatives, now had five.

The petitioner was also said to have claimed that the North-East, which had three, now has
four while the North-West was raised from six to nine; South-East remained three; South-South dropped from four to three; while South-West reduced from four to one.

Yusuf insisted that, “It will be for the sake of fair hearing that I get a copy of the petition before I respond (to the allegation). I am not aware of any petition and I can only respond to the petition that I can see and read. I need to know what is in the petition and where the petition is coming from.”

Chairman, Senate Committee on Health, Senator Lanre Tejuoso, said that Yusuf should be able to state if the figures were correct or not even without seeing the petition or knowing it came from.

The Executive Secretary insisted on seeing the petition before confirming or refuting the allegations.

He said, “I need fair hearing; I need to see a copy of that petition.”

The committee declined to grant the request for the NHIS boss to see a copy of the petition before responding to the allegations

The committee said that since the allegations were against the NHIS and the person of Yusuf, they were not obliged to give out a copy of the petition to the Executive Secretary.
A member of the committee, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa, noted the committee would confirm the allegations after going through the nominal roll of the NHIS.
The committee said that the NHIS boss failed to provide its nominal roll, which was the first information it requested from the scheme.

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Senate probes secret recruitment, lopsided appointments in NHIS

Plot To Cause Religious Chaos Over Buhari’s Appointments Uncovered

An attempt to mislead Nigerians and spark religious misunderstanding on the several appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari has been exposed by countermanding evidence and facts.



The unholy plot packaged by a group named “Coalition of Christian Groups” is believed to have been motivated by those who had attempted but failed to demonize the President during the 2015 presidential campaigns on religious lines.



Sources said the promoters of the group were disowned by the new leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, when they sought to use CAN to issue a recent statement titled “Discriminatory Appointments Against Non-Muslims in Nigeria.”



However, determined to desperately advance their crafty course, the group went on to issue the statement and purportedly got a lawyer, Mr. Solomon Asemota to sign the statement which is presently circulating on different social media platforms.



In its deliberate act of mischief, the said statement ignored the facts that President Buhari named a Christian as Secretary to the Government of the Federation, a Christian as the Head of Service and maintained a Christian in the post of Chairperson of the Civil Service Commission.



The aforementioned positions are key gatekeeping and powerful positions in the Nigerian public service.



The group also deliberately ignored the crystal clear fact that a Christian is the Minister of State for Petroleum, and is the Chairman of the NNPC Board. There are more Christians than Moslems in President Buhari’s cabinet and they hold key posts like Finance, Foreign Affairs, Industry, Trade & Investments, Health, Transportation, Labour, Budget & Planning, Science & Technology among several others



Furthermore, President Buhari’s personal cook, driver, Special Adviser-Media and others are all Christians. The governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, PENCOM Chairman and an overwhelming majority of the positions in the country’s finance sector are held by southern Christians, including those named by the President.

While there are no Imams in the cabinet, President Buhari has the highest number of Pastors in the federal cabinet ever – the Vice President, SGF, Ministers of Industry and Niger Delta. Two members of the three-member presidential communication team are also pastors.



President Buhari has in the meantime made appointments into the boards of the Niger Delta Development Commission and the National Communications Commission with more Christians that Moslems. In the instance of NCC, there was another Pastor named to the Board!



As at June 2016, a cursory look at all the top CEOs and board appointments in the MDAs made by President Buhari and the existing holders of positions he did not remove shows the following geo-political distribution: NorthWest-53, NorthEast-33, NorthCentral-45, SouthEast-35, SouthWest-47 and South-South-46.



The “Coalition of Christian Groups.” also accused the President of being behind the retiring of certain military officers saying majority of them were non-moslems. The group however failed to ask the more important question ‘whether or not those retired were considered corrupt or compromised?



This group, in its statement held the president guilty of appointments he did not make which include the Chief Justice of the Federation and other judicial positions.



Nigerians at home and abroad must rise in unison to condemn these proponents of negative, divisive and obnoxious agitations such as the Coalition of Christian Groups (CCG), a group which can at best be described as enemies of democracy and good governance.



It is pertinent to state that this group which claims to be championing the interest of non-Muslims or Christians has raised unjustifiable arguments in the said statement titled “Discriminatory Appointments Against Non-Muslims In Nigeria,” which is a most unfair, inaccurate and distasteful attack of the Buhari administration.



As a concerned group of independent citizens without any political inclinations, we are compelled to speak out against any group or individuals under any guise who seek to employ negative, tribal, sectional or religious rhetorics that portend grave danger for current efforts at addressing pressing socio-economic challenges which Nigeria is presently facing today.



The Coalition of Christian Groups (CCG) under the purported leadership of senior lawyer, Solomon Asemota, SAN, insulted Nigerians when it labelled a democratically elected President Muhammadu Buhari and his government as an Islamist Jihadists government. This is indeed an insult to all Nigerians across the six geo-political zones who made President Buhari their choice at the 2015 Presidential polls.



Without any modicum of truth, it posits that the government engages in “a brazen and audacious imposition of Islamist Jihadists into key positions in the country.”



To justify this claim, it only refers to 48 appointments some of which are in professional capacities. In a deliberate effort to mislead and demonize, the group simply refused to state the facts some of which have been highlighted above.



Writing mainly about recent appointments in the education sector where some of the appointments include northerners, the group tried to suggest that the professionals referred to are unqualified to serve their fatherland, because of their tribal or religious background. This is undoubtedly myopic and shows the fallacious tendencies of their logic.



Its claim that “most functional Boards in the Civil Service are headed mostly by Muslims and Fulanis which is becoming a threat and danger to the very foundation of Nigeria” is rather unfortunate and absurd. Can the appointments of eminently qualified educationists like Prof. Ishaq Oloyede in JAMB threaten Nigeria’s foundation?



It is therefore pertinent to ask why this group only focuses on one or on the education sector and not check others like the financial and economic sectors that are presently dominated by southerners. For instance, besides the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, the Chairman of FIRS, the DG Budget Office of the Federation and the DG, Debt Management Office, to mention a few are all Christians and southerners. It is also a known and verifiable fact that key constitutional parastatals are headed by Christian southerners. For instance, critical positions in the public service are headed by Christians, for example, as stated above the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation and the Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission and also the Chairman of RMA&FC are all Christians.



If there are more Northerners or even Moslems holding top positions in the security sector, what about other sectors where the opposite is true? In a federal system and a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society like us, you win some and loss some, no one can get it all. You give and you take!



For instance, our findings reveal that agencies in critical sectors of the economy are populated by non-Muslims from the other “386 ethnic nationalities” in this country which the Asemota-Group claimed are being marginalised. In the Power sector, 29 out of 38 heads of parastatals/departments are from other tribes other than the Fulani tribe that they try so hard to malign.



In the agriculture sector, 19 non-Muslims southerners superintend over government agencies, while only 8 are from the north. Should our Moslem compatriots now also cry out that there is an attempt to marginalize the country because of all these?



It is equally important to emphasize that Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to fighting corruption. We wonder how otherwise respected elites like this group can put on the cloak of ethnicity and religious bias and allow themselves to be purveyors of sectional and divisive narratives which is what our great Nigeria does not need at this material time in our history.



The group adopting ridiculously inflammatory language casually referred to well-meaning Nigerians serving their fatherland as Jihadists, a term that has become a synonym for terrorists and insurgents. Is this how a Christian group should speak? Is such an abusive tone and language right for those who claim to be Christian? Did Elder Asemota actually signed such a statement full of bigotry, hatred and venom?



We hope this group is not fighting the cause of some corrupt elites who are sabotaging every effort of the Buhari administration at re-positioning Nigeria for meaningful development. As the saying goes, this may be a case of corruption fighting back.



Nigerians must therefore reject the selfish agitations of groups such as CCG, who are enemies of progress, democracy and good governance. We call on Mr. President and other elected and duly appointed leaders to stay focussed on transforming Nigeria especially at this critical period.



Ibrahim Olalekan

National Coordinator


Why Board Appointments Are Delayed– Presidency

Key appointments into boards of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) have been held back because of a major restructuring of the executive arm of the government, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, has said.
“A lot of people had expected jobs by way of key appointments in boards, ministries and  parastatals. That has been held back by the fact that the government and the president have promised a major restructuring of the executive. You know he has reduced the ministries to about 24 from 42. That will not go without concomitant challenges on the existing parastatals and agencies which obviously have to be modified to fit into shape and fix into the existing ministerial structure,” Malam Shehu told newsmen in Abuja at the weekend.

He said with the passage of the budget and the subsequent endorsement by President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerians would begin to feel the positive impact of government’s programmes and activities as money would be released into the economy.
On the purported secret recruitments in federal government agencies, he urged Nigerians to wait for the outcome of the investigation launched into the issue by the National Assembly.
He, said, “I have been approached by a number of people who say can you give me a note to so so, so agency? A lot is happening in this country and I keep saying that Buhari’s government is not a government of notes. I guess that whoever is found doing that would get himself in trouble,” he said.

Credit: dailytrust

Muhammad ‘Din Shehu: Governor Yahaya Bello And The Politics Of Early Appointments

It is no longer news that His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has been sworn in as the 4th Executive Governor of Kogi State on Wednesday, 27 January 2016. What has raised not a few eyebrows among some political stakeholders in Kogi State are the first political appointments made by the Governor in the immediate aftermath of his inauguration. In a statement released in Lokoja, the State Capital and signed personally, Governor Yahaya Bello announced the appointment with immediate effect of Mr. Edward Onoja as his new Chief of Staff. Also appointed is Mr. Abdulkarim Abdulmalik as Special Adviser, Media and Strategy, and Mr. Kingsley Fanwo as Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.

The appointments to neutral observers reflect the stated aim of His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello in his well-received inaugural speech, to run “an all-inclusive and equitable administration which shall exist for the sole purpose of serving the superseding interests of the people of Kogi State”. The staunchest critic will agree that the three (3) key appointments are truly “all-inclusive”. Mr. Edward ‘Eddy’ Onoja, the new Chief of Staff hails from Ogugu, Olamaboro Local Government Area in the Eastern senatorial district of Kogi State; while the newly-appointed Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Mr. Abdulkarim Abdulmalik is from Ihima, Okehi Local Government Area in the Central senatorial district, and lastly, the Chief Press Secretary Mr. Kingsley Fanwo is from Takete Ide Amuro, Mopamuro Local Government Area in Kogi West senatorial district.

However, the appointment of Edward Onoja from Kogi East as Chief of Staff has caused quite a stir amongst some supporters of the Governor and competing political interest groups in the State. In line with the general belief that the position of Chief of Staff is akin to that of an all-powerful ‘administrative usher’ who determines who have access to the Governor’s  eyes and ears or not, some have opined that the position should have been filled by an individual from either Kogi central-the Governor’s senatorial district- or Kogi West as appointing an Igala man; never mind one who has demonstrated so practically his depth of loyalty  and whom Governor Bello perhaps in an unprecedented manner acknowledged his “doggedness” and “forthrightness”  during the course of his inaugural address, negates the spirit of the power shift that has just been achieved in Kogi State.

While Fairwin, a political support network of friends and associates of His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Bello have pledged their total support for Mr. Onoja’s appointment hailing it as ‘’a just reward for his unquantifiable loyalty’’,  another political pressure group known as Old Kwara Initiative Forum- a forum comprising political stakeholders from Kogi West and Central Senatorial Districts who came from the old Kwara State into Kogi State- has kicked against the appointment  as in their opinion, the position of Chief of Staff to the Governor must be ‘the exclusive preserve of old Kwarans from Kogi West or Kogi Central Senatorial Districts’ and warned against any appointment that undermine the longstanding partnership and confidence-building between the two senatorial districts.

In the view of this writer, the slight tremors over the appointment of Mr. Onoja stem from a misconception of the roles and functions of a Chief of Staff. According to the online resource site Wikipedia, ‘the title ‘Chief of Staff’ identifies the leader of a complex organization, institution, or body of persons, who is the coordinator of the support staff or a primary aide-de-camp to an important individual such as a President, Governor or a Military Officer.’

Administratively, the Chief of Staff provides a buffer between a chief executive and the executive’s direct reporting team. He generally works behind the scenes to solve problems, mediate disputes, and deal with issues before they are brought to the attention of the chief executive. Additionally, the Chief of Staff acts as a confidante and adviser to the chief executive, acting as a sounding board for ideas.

From the foregoing, it is clear that the multifarious roles and functions of a Chief of Staff necessitated Governor Yahaya Bello appointing a politically tested, trusted and proven strategist in Mr. Edward Onoja to the position.  The position of a Chief of Staff in Nigeria’s present political dispensation is too sensitive to be filled by all but one in whom the chief executive reposes deep faith and confidence.

Since 1999, the trend among successive Presidents and Governors has been to appoint trusted and loyal lieutenants as Chiefs of Staff. From 1999 to 2007, former President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed Major-General Abdullahi Mohammed, a long-time aide from his days in the military as Chief of Staff. Major-General Mohammed distinguished himself in that capacity as a loyal, competent and adroit ‘behind-the-scene’ administrator during the eight years of the Obasanjo administration. His expertise in that role was such that the administration of Late President Musa Yar’adua deemed it fit to retain him in that capacity until his voluntary resignation on May 30th, 2008.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan also picked as Chief of Staff a long-time associate in Chief Mike Oghiadome SAN. It is instructive that Oghiadome’s eventual removal in 2014 was occasioned by his perceived inability to smoothen the frayed political relationship between his principal and some State Governors, thus underlining the extremely dicey political balancing acts required of a Chief of Staff.  He was replaced by former President Jonathan with Brigadier-General Jones Arogbofa, another political ally and close associate. Presently, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari is Abba Kyari- a lawyer, former banker and trusted lieutenant of many years standing.

The most famous Chief of Staff in contemporary Nigerian political history is arguably Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN who served as Chief of Staff to former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the ruling APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu from 1999 till May 29, 2007 when he succeeded his principal as Governor of the State. It was a veritable reward for his selfless loyalty, dedication, competence and administrative dexterity as Chief of Staff in Nigeria’s most complex State.

The days of parochial political appointments based on ethnic and tribal sentiments are over in Kogi State. It is no longer about where a man is from, but his capacity to make meaningful and positive contribution to the development of the State. Governor Yahaya Bello stated in a recent media outing that he intends to run an inclusive government where every citizen of the State has a stake. If it is anything to go by, the Governor’s initial appointments have shown that he is ready to match action to words in this regard.

Change has indeed come to Kogi State. Champions of petty ethnicity have no role whatsoever to play in the current dispensation.  The era of ethnic politics is forever condemned to the wasteland of history where it belongs, never to be revisited! Governor Yahaya Bello quoting President Muhammadu Buhari’s now famous apophthegm “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody” during his inaugural speech declared it his “guiding principles for fair action and equitable governance in Kogi State”. It follows then that every action, policy and programme of the Yahaya Bello administration must be viewed by supporters and critics alike, in this light.

The enormous social and economic challenges that his administration inherited has made it imperative for well-meaning citizens of Kogi State to close ranks and support the youngest Governor in Nigeria in the onerous task of of bringing Kogi State out of gloom into the sunshine of sustainable development and growth once again.

 Governor Yahaya Bello having taking the oath of office is now sworn to a binding contract with the people of Kogi State for the next four years. What he needs now more than anything is the peoples’ prayers and support for him and his chosen team to lead a responsible, people-oriented government that provides good governance, leadership, and the enabling environment for every citizen to fulfill his dreams and her aspirations.

Muhammad ‘Din Shehu, a writer and public affairs analyst wrote in from Lokoja, Kogi State

Follow on Twitter: @dinstots


Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

FG To Begin Board Appointments January, Read How The Appointments Will Be Allocated

The federal government will begin board appointments for its agencies from the end of January.
A top source in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation said the appointments would be done in phases.  “The first of such appointments will be out by end of January to begin with the ministries of education and agriculture.
“The templates are ready. The two ministries have the biggest parastatals and will have more impact on those expecting appointments,” the source said.
President Muhammadu Buhari is trying to have a great say as to the kind of people he intends to appoint as board members.  It is the same posture he adopted at the time he was forming his cabinet, but state governors are said to be in disagreement over this. “The governors made all manner of protests but the President told them to go and make their own boards and other appointments and leave him to do his,” the source said.
The source added: “Some people are still sending applications for board appointment. We want to use the board appointments to address the challenges we are facing in the party.
One of the members of the presidential committee on the reconstitution of the federal government boards of parastatals, agencies and commissions, last night described their assignment as ‘a daunting task’ but added that they have gone far.
The member, who spoke in confidence, said so far, they have identified issues in several parastatals, agencies and commissions that need to be addressed.
“Our work is daunting because it has to do with reorganising the affected establishments, bearing in mind the issue of federal character, expertise, economic potentials and political expediency. We have gone far in the work, but the most important thing we are considering is national unity,” he said.
Credit: DailyTrust

Selfish Elite Behind Criticism Of My Appointments- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday fired back at critics of the appointments he has made so far. He blamed the elite for orchestrating criticisms of his appointments into government positions; speaking through his deputy, Prof Yemi Osinbajo at the opening of the 21st Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) in Abuja.

He described as unfortunate that Nigerians pay more attention to sectional and religious interests, rather than the competence of the appointees, claiming that misgivings on the elite.

The President noted that those seeking the promotion of selfish interests were fuelling complaints on where government appointees come from, adding that the fact that a northerner is in government does not necessarily mean good fortune for his people.

He, however, said the fact that Nigerians unite in their conviction that the majority of the people are extremely poor remained incontrovertible.

He said, “You find out that the elite, whether from the Southwest, Northwest or wherever, are willing to collaborate in stealing the resources of the state. It is important to point out that the idea of where a person appointed into government comes from is meant to divert attention.”

Read More: thenationonlineng

NIPOST Workers Reject Buhari’s Appointment Of Post-Master General

Though it seems no longer a factor in the daily life of Nigerians, there is still something coming out of it. The 12,000-strong workforce at the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST), are warming up for a confrontation with President.

Muhammadu Buhari on his decision to throw open the appointment of a new PostMaster General for the Federation. The office became vacant last month when Alhaji Ibrahim Mori Baba retired after eight years in the saddle. The most senior director or deputy post-master general, DPMG, Arch. Enoch Ade Ogun had stepped in as acting PMG.

Although there are other six other DPMG’s and no fewer than 45 senior assistant postmasters general, the Ministry of Communication Technology, according to informed sources, has obtained President Buhari’s consent to advertise the position of a substantive PMG.

The Senor Staff Union is worried that the decision to open the door to all-comers is a ploy to scheme out the top managers of NIPOST in favour of an outsider who may reverse all the gains made by the establishment in recent years. Top in consideration is the new impetus to boost revenue generation through the strict enforcement of the Stamp Duties Act, a scheme that is capable of earning an excess of N3 trillion for the Federal Government in a year. “The drive for improved revenue in fact is part of NIPOST’s financial inclusion plan and strategic co-operation with the Central Bank of Nigeria,” a director in the Ministry of Communication Technology disclosed.

The plan is designed to re-position the Service in line with the challenges posed by ICT and increasing global competition. Indeed, the former PMG, Baba Mori at his valedictory had noted that NIPOST adopted new technologies for its operations with the advent of ICT. He also disclosed that 70 per cent of post offices across the country had been equipped with ICT facilities.

Confidential sources also hinted that Baba Mori had actually recommended that his successor be picked from among the crop of well-trained top managers he left behind. Besides the possible distortion of the succession plan that is the tradition at NIPOST, workers are also apprehensive that Nigeria’s status may nose dive at the Universal Postal Union if an outsider is appointed the PMG. “A new head at NIPOST will require about four years to learn the norm and to understand the workings of the global body,” a management consultant said yesterday.

Analysts yesterday said the President must avoid generating another political ‘bad blood’ by unwittingly sidelining other ethnic groups in the appointment of new heads of government agencies. “The uproar on the recent high-brow appointments that seemingly favoured one ethnic group is yet to die down. President Buhari must not do anything to suggest that he does not want to confirm a Yoruba man as the next PMG.

After all northerners have held the post since 2005 till now,” a member of Afenifere Young leaders, Adewale Olaposi, told journalists yesterday. It would recalled that late Abubakar Argungu occupied the seat between 2005 and was succeeded by Baba Mori, both from Kebbi State.

Meanwhile, the staff union had dispatched a letter to the President warning against the move. The letter signed by President, Senior Staff Association Of Communication, Transport And Corporations (NIPOST Chapter), Mr. Gabriel Imafidon, and dated September 10 reads: “We believe that President Muhammadu Buhari has been misadvised to approve that the position of the PMG be advertised and thrown open to all comers.

He must have been misinformed on the operations of NIPOST. If new chief executives for NNPC, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service and Nigerian Communication Commission were appointed without advertisement, why must the case of NIPOST must be different? “The plan to advertise the position of the PMG is unacceptable to us.

The law empowers the President to exercise his powers to appoint the PMG. By advertising that position, the President is ceding his authority to another person or a group of persons to think on his behalf. That is unhealthy for NIPOST owing to its peculiarities.

In any case, this has never happened at NIPOST because of the intricacies in its operations. “We plead that the President should drop this idea and work with the National Assembly to ensure the passage of the Postal Reform Bill. This is the real impetus needed by our workers to achieve a complete turn-around of NIPOST.

The re-positioning of the agency began a few years ago and all indices indicate that the workforce have demonstrated a concerted effort to move NIPOST up.

I can say with all confidence that there are positive signs because we have talented and committed people. At today’s NIPOST, we have a crop of staff literally standing on their toes, thinking out how to ensure its survival and match the challenges posed by exploding Information and Communication Technology.

And I say that if the Postal Industry can survive in the United States of America with all available technology, it will survive in Nigeria because we have the population to sustain postal business. “For instance, NIPOST revenue last year was in excess of N5 billion.

On Stamp Duty alone we made N870 million in 2013, rising to N1.03 billion in 2014. Once the Postal Reform Bill becomes law, we can hit N3 trillion a year on revenue from Stamp Duty alone. “Bringing an outsider to NIPOST will dampen staff morale; an outsider will struggle for some time to understand the intricacies of the job and the challenges of the system, local and international. “We urge Mr. President to shun the wrong advice of looking outside for a new PMG”.

Buhari finally opens up on why he appointed more Northerners

President Muhammadu Buhari has finally broken his silence on the recent appointments, which has been described as “lopsided” by many Nigerians.

In an interview with BBC Hausa on Tuesday, President Buhari said the Constitution allowed him full control over the choice of his closest officials. The president however assured that he was not ignoring some section of the Nation in his appointments, explaining that those he appointed were some of his most trusted associates.

Responding to the interviewer’s question on the controversy generated by the appointments, Buhari said “This is the nature of Nigerian politics”.

“If they will do justice to me, as an elected Nigerian president, let them look at the Constitution a Nigerian president works with, there are people who will closely work with me that don’t need to be taken to the Senate.

“If I select people whom I know quite well in my political party, whom we came all the way right from the APP, CPC and APC, and have remained together in good or bad situation, the people I have confidence in and I can trust them with any post, will that amount to anything wrong?

“I have been with them throughout our trying times, what then is the reward of such dedication and suffering?

“They did not defect because of positions, they did not involve themselves in the pursuit of personal gains, and they accepted their fate throughout our trying moments.

“What is wrong if I make you the secretary (of the federal government) because I have confidence that things will go normal?” the President stressed.

On the abducted Chibok girls missing since April 2014, Buhari said the Boko Haram sect had “have scattered them, and are being guarded at dispersed locations.

“Most of the girls are Christians and were forced to embrace Islam. And the sect’s cruel leaders have married some of the girls, obviously against their wish. Others have been left to practice their religion but their condition could hardly be ascertained.

“Both ground and air security personnel in the Sambisa forest could spot where the girls are, but since the insurgents have also kidnapped housewives and other women, no one could say whether they mixed them or how they dispersed them,” he said.

Lawyer Sues Buhari Over Appointments

An Abuja-based lawyer, Dim-Udebuani Marcel, has sued President Muhammadu Buhari over recent appointments made by the president.

In a suit filed on August 31, with number FHC/ABJ/CS/732/2015, Mr. Marcel accused the president of marginalizing the South East geopolitical zone, which has not received any appointment from the Buhari government yet.

The president and the Federal Character Commission are joined as defendants.

Mr. Marcel’s counsel, Jude Ifesemen, said the plaintiff wants the court to determine whether the 25 important appointments made by President Buhari were done against the spirit of constitutionally guaranteed federal character.

The court will decide “whether the exclusion of South East geo-political zone in the 25 appointments made so far by the 1st defendant is unconstitutional and divisive?” Mr. Marcel said.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Ohanaeze appeals to Ndigbo for calm over skewed appointments

Following the outrageous outcries that have greeted the recent appointments made by President Muhammad Buhari, Secretary General,apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Joe Nwaorgu, has called on Ndigbo to remain calm in the present circumstance of unexplainable and skewed pattern of appointments which has completely excluded Ndigbo from key strategic positions in the Federal Government.

Speaking with Journalists in Enugu, Monday, against the backdrop of the appointment of principal officers in the presidency and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Dr. Nwaorgu said that the call for Ndigbo to remain calm had become necessary because of the numerous telephone calls from Ndigbo all over Nigeria and in the Diaspora expressing shock and disbelief at the appointments.

He said that some Ndigbo who have telephoned on the issue had queried “whether Ndigbo are still regarded as part of Nigeria.”

The Ohanaeze Secretary General requested Ndigbo not to overreact either by word or otherwise to this ugly situation of total exclusion.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo urges Ndigbo to continue to be nation builders anywhere they are and not to be downcast by what has happened.

“Ohanaeze strongly believes that a President of Nigeria is the president for all Nigerians and that equity and fair-play for all Nigerians will be respected,” Nwaorgu said.

Also speaking in the same vein on telephone from Abuja, Monday, a former Minister of Health, Professor A.B.C Nwosu said that he was not surprised that the appointments excluded Ndigbo.

According to him, “many Ndigbo expected this to be so even during the campaigns and that was why they voted the way they did.”

He stated that “Ndigbo should not be troubled by this development because they have seen and survived worse situations in Nigeria and there is no cause for mourning the present development.

“Ndigbo should continue to be strong and committed to nation building and await the envisaged remedial action as stated by the presidency even though, personally, I do not see any position that will equal the position of the Secretary to Government of the Federation and its centrality in the exercise of federal power in Nigeria.”

Prof. Nwosu advised that upon conclusion of major appointments, Ohanaeze Ndigbo in consultation with Igbo organizations like Aka Ikenga, Ndigbo Lagos, World Igbo Congress, Igbo World Assembly, Izu Umunna, Igbo Leaders of Thought and so on should summon a meeting of Igbo leaders and elders to review the situation.



Appointments: Buhari, APC move to pacify S’East

There are indications that President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress have begun moves to compensate the South-East for not getting any appointments so far in the current administration.

According to reports reliably gathered by Sunday Punch, some states in the South-East geopolitical zone might get more than one ministerial slot.

A top member of the party said the President was not unmindful of criticisms that greeted the alleged lopsided appointments.

He said, “The President has assured us that all zones that have not been represented in the appointments he has made so far will be compensated.

“For example, some states in the South-East may get more than one ministerial slots. The President is going to make board and ambassadorial appointments. All zones, including the South-East, will be represented in this government.”

Prominent Nigerians and socio-political groups, have criticised the appointments made by Buhari so far.

Out of 31 appointments made so far, 24 of the appointees are from the North and seven are from the South. The South-East has no representation in the Buhari-led government.

however gathered that the emergence of the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Pastor David Lawal, and the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, was the result of the politics among power blocks in the APC.

It was learnt that the two appointees belonged to the Congress for Progressive defunct Change, which Buhari led, before it merged with other parties to form the APC

A Presidency source said Lawal and Kyari were picked because of their closeness and loyalty to the President.

The source said, “Although the President is a loyal member of the party, the levels of trust he has in the members differ. There are various blocks in the APC.

“You don’t give appointments such as chief of staff and the SGF to your rival or his loyalists; you give them to those you can vouch for. Those posts are ears and eyes of the President and they are not subjected to the party’s ratification.”

It was also gathered that the latest appointments confirmed the existence of various power blocks in the APC.

It will be recalled that the CPC, led by Buhari, merged with the Action Congress of Nigeria, the All Nigerians Peoples Party and a faction of the All Progressive Grand Alliance, led by the Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, to form the APC.

They were later joined by five governors, who defected from the Peoples Democratic Party.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar also defected from the PDP to the APC.

Meanwhile, the Presidency, on Saturday, assured Nigerians that by the end of the series of appointments being made by Buhari, no part of Nigeria would feel alienated.

The Special Assistant to the President on Media Affairs, Mr. Garba Shehu, said this in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents.

When asked if the South- East and other parts of the country, who are complaining of being marginalised by Buhari would be compensated, Shehu said appointments so far made by the President were just a few out of so many that would be made by the President.

He said, “There will be ministers, heads of government departments, federal boards and ambassadors. At the end of the exercise, no part of the country will be left feeling left out.”


OPC Opens Up On Buhari’s Appointments

Reacting to Buhari’s appointments on Thursday, founder, Oodua Peoples Congress,OPC, Dr Fredrick Fasehun has implored Ni­gerians not only to be vigilant but also get prepared for a long battle ahead.

According to him, Buhari through the appointments has shown himself to be insensitive to the feelings of oth­er ethnic groups across the country.

‘’What Buhari has done is evil. Through his actions since his inau­guration, he has been pandering to­wards the interests of a particular ethnic group but this is dangerous. He is creating the impression of being a sectional leader. Buhari has been rul­ing Nigeria like a Sole Administrator. He need to be checkmated, but un­fortunately Nigerians are docile’’, he declared.

Read More: sunnewsonline

Appointments Will Be Balanced By September, Buhari Defends Appointments

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday defended the appointment of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal and five others.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, yesterday assured Nigerians that President Muhammadu Buhari’s political appointments will balance out soon. Adesina spoke on a radio programme, Political Platform, on RayPower 100.5FM.

Adesina said the President was aware of federal character and expressed the belief that there will be balance by the time he makes more appointments in September.

While admitting that appointments are Buhari’s prerogative, the presidential spokesman also said that nobody can fault the fact that those that have been named so far were appointed on merits.

Adesina said: “Nobody can fault the fact that the persons appointed were appointed on merits.

“In terms of the spread, the President has prerogative to appoint and he knows there is federal character. I am sure that there will be balance in the future.

“These are still early days. At the end of the day, we will have a balance.

“By the time more appointments are made, it will balance out. The President is trying to get the very best of Nigerians. The issue of key positions and no key positions should not be the issue.

“He gave a deadline of September for the appointment of ministers, and he will keep to it.”

Read More: thenationonlineng

Fayose Appoints 72-yr Old Carpenter As Council Boss

Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State Friday appointed a 72-year old Carpenter and illiterate, Mr Olatunde Afolayan as the caretaker chairman of Moba Local Government.

Fayose, also sworn in members of the State Independent Electoral Commission, headed by a retired Chief Judge of the State, Justice Kayode Bamisile , to be able to conduct local government elections before the end of the year.

After administering the oaths on the appointees, Fayose told President Muhammadu Buhari to remove Mrs Amina Zakari as the Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral
Commission, while also urging him to be  equitable  in appointing the National Electoral Commissioners.

Afolayan, who was sworn-in as caretaker chairman of Moba local Government , was inaugurated alongside Mrs Omolara Bayode Ayeni and Mr Owolabi Ajewole, who were to superintend over Ikole and Ijero Councils respectively, following resignation of those that had earlier appointed by the governor.

Non-Appointment Of Ministers Shows Buhari’s Military Hangover – Nwabueze

Renowned law scholar and leader of the Concerned Igbo Leaders of Thought, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, has criticised President Muhammadu Buhari for delaying the appointment of ministers into his cabinet.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria described Buhari’s refusal to appoint ministers over 80 days after taking office as a reflection of Buhari’s military personality.
He said this was why former President Olusegun Obasanjo (also a former soldier) failed to appoint ministers on time as well.
He stated that the country’s constitution does not allow the President to govern the country for more than two months without ministers.
Nwabueze, in an article titled, “Constitutionality of President Buhari Ruling Nigeria For More Than Two And Half Months Without a Council Of Ministers: The Concerns of the Igbo Leaders Of

Thought,” a copy of which was sent to The PUNCH on Wednesday, said the President was expected to consult with “various executive bodies” before presidential actions.

According to the professor of law, it is not likely that anyone other than a retired army general and former head of a military government would ever think of ruling the country for more than two and half months without ministers, knowing full well that the governmental system established for the country by the constitution does not permit him to do that.
“And yet, knowing his antecedents and the influence they must have on him, Nigerians elected him as ‘civilian’ President in the March 2015 election. His election cannot but portray Nigerians as incapable of learning from past experience, a people lacking the degree of political maturity and sagacity required for the successful working of constitutional democracy,” Nwabueze added.
The article read in part, “Since his inauguration on May 29, 2015, as elected ‘civilian’ President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, a retired army general and former head of the military government, has been ruling the country for more than two and half months without ministers.
“The President ruling for more than two and half months without ministers is really incredible, but, incredible as it is, we Nigerians, as a people, ought to have foreseen it from our experience of the dictatorial way former President Obasanjo who, like President Buhari, is a retired army general and former head of the military government, rode roughshod over the constitutional limitations on his powers.”
Source: The Punch

“Nigerian Police Force Needs Financing To Carry Out Recruitment” -IG

The Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase, has said the Force is making moves to raise funds to recruit more Nigerians into the organisation.

Arase said this on Wednesday in Abuja during a world media briefing to announce the forthcoming National Summit on Security, put together in conjunction with the Sun Newspapers.

The IG, who was represented by the Force Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ojukwu, said Nigerians desired a mass recruitment of personnel to bridge the huge deficit of policemen to secure the large population in the country.

He pointed out that the summit would address issues affecting the police, adding that the aim of the event was to let the nation know that everyone had a role to play in policing the country.

Arase said, “We are making moves for funding to embark on recruitment. Recruitment is good for everybody, it will help the general system. So many youths who are not employed can be recruited and the more number we have, the better.

“But the emphasis of this summit is that every Nigerian is actually a policeman; you have a role to play; there is no way you are going to have policemen enough to police the country. There are many issues plaguing this country now and I know that if you solve the security aspect, a lot more will be appropriately dealt with.”

In another development, the police have renewed its Memorandum of Understanding with the authorities of a private university, Novena University, Ogume, Delta State.

According to a statement by Ojukwu, the move became necessary due to the desire of the IG to equip police officers with “the knowledge that will put them ahead of criminals, in fields such as intelligence and security studies.”

Reps Flock Tambuwal’s Homes To Lobby For Committee Appointments

Many members of the House of Representatives now besiege the residences of the Governor of Sokoto State, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal, to lobby for appointment as House committee chairmen.

Findings showed that the governor’s official residence in Sokoto town and another house in Abuja were frequently visited by the members, who believed he could still influence things at the House in their favour.

Read Morepunchng

Buhari Is Free To Appoint All His Cabinet From One Village – Pat Utomi

Former presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Mega Party (SDMP) and public affairs analyst, Professor Pat Utomi, has said President Muhammadu Buhari is free to appoint whoever he desires, as long as those appointed have the highest capacity to take the bull by the horn.
In his address, during an interactive session with Daily Independent recently, Pat Utomi who described the criticism as ‘small and petty’, said the president can make all his appointments from one village as long as those appointed can get the job done.

Utomi said: “Let’s get serious. Let’s get to move this country forward and away from all this small, petty issues. To me it is not an important issue and I don’t want to deal with it.”

“The President can appoint everybody from one village. As long as the people can get the job done, let them get it done. That is what Nigerians wanted and that is what they voted for.”

The Political economist also advised Buhari not to be biased in choosing his cabinet members but rather fish out qualified personnel.
The President has been perpetually criticized of appointing only his kinsmen into the presidential cabinet.Some persons from the South-Eastern part of the country believed that Buhari’s refusal to appoint anybody from the region was attempt by the president to punish the region for giving him the least votes during the March 28 presidential elections.

“Don’t Give Fashola An Appointment”, CACOL Tells Buhari

civil society group, Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to consider the immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), for appointment.

The Executive Chairman of the group, Mr. Debo Adeniran, told our correspondent during an interview on Thursday that Fashola’s administration was engulfed in several controversies which could not be overlooked.

Adeniran said his organisation was troubled by many dilapidated schools in the state. He noted that when the Socio-Economic Right Accountability Project invoked the Freedom of Information Act to know how the Fashola government spent a $200m World Bank education funds, the state government refused to disclose it.

He said instead, the state government continued to run its affairs in secrecy by claiming that the FOI Act did not apply to state governments.

Adeniran said independent investigations by his organisation showed that the 1.36km Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge which was reportedly built for N25bn, cost only N6bn.

He said he had written a series of petitions to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to probe the various projects of the Fashola government in the face of the over N500bn debt left behind by the government.

He said he was shocked to find out that the commission had continued to ignore all the petitions despite the fact that Fashsola no longer enjoyed immunity, having left office over 60 days ago.

In a letter addressed to the President titled, ‘Don’t elevate Fashola,’ the group said if Buhari wanted to actualise his mission of ‘change’ he would need to distance himself from controversy.

The letter read, “Mr. President, we are constrained at this point in time to bring to your attention our critical reaction to the unbridled speculation making the rounds for some time now, from the members of the public as well as the media, as to the fact that the immediate past governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, is being considered by the presidency for higher national responsibility. Feelers have it that his name is prominent on the list of the president’s nominees for key offices in your administration.

“It is gratifying that you have promised at various fora that your appointments would be purely based on merit and that tested technocrats, with impeccable records, would be given their rightful places in your administration, as a way of ensuring good governance to the people of Nigeria. It is against this background that our organisation is appealing to you to please take the pains to dig deep into Mr. Babatunde Fashola’s record of performance as well as that of financial propriety on the part of his government while in office.”

Fashola’s spokesperson, Mr. Hakeem Bello, did not respond to telephone calls as well as a text message sent to his phone.

President Buhari Appoints Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu To Head NNPC

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of the Executive Vice Chairman of ExxonMobil Africa, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, to head Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Kachiku has taken over from from Joseph Darwa at the NNPC headquarters in Abuja around 3:00 PM Nigerian time today.

Kachikwu, a trained lawyer, was born and raised in Onicha Ugbo in Aniocha  North local
government area of Delta State.

More details to follow later……..

A Lot Of Knowledgeable Nigerians Have Been Compromised, Buhari Explains Why It Is Taking Time To Appoint Ministers

The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Buhari has once again explained why it is taking him time to appoint ministers, saying that a lot of knowledgeable Nigerians fit for the position have been compromised and it is very risky to appoint such people into office. He explained that appointing ministers who will be taking instructions from ‘powerful people’ outside the cabinet will take Nigeria back to square one and that is part of what he is running from. Read his exact words below…

“From what I have seen so far, we need very patriotic Nigerians (to be ministers); Nigerians that can work very hard with knowledgeable experience; committed Nigerians to be in charge of ministries.

“A lot of institutions in Nigeria are compromised, everybody for himself and God for all of us. It is most unfortunate. We have people, educated and experienced people, but everybody seems to be working for himself on how much they could get away with as soon as possible.

“We have to look for technocrats and politicians. We have to look out for decent people in this class to give them the responsibility of being in charge of ministries and important parastatals.

“It is taking so much time (to appoint ministers) because a number of knowledgeable people have been compromised. They have been compromised by people who will like to depend on them to damage our economy and security; a lot of them have been compromised.

“The worst thing that I think can happen is to get a compromised person to be in charge of institutions. There is no way he could be efficient or patriotic. Somebody behind the scene will be manipulating him at the expense of the nation.

“This is what we are trying to avoid and I assure you that so much damage has been done to Nigeria. We cannot rush to give this responsibility to people that have unfortunately been compromised.

“This is because there is no way you can effectively supervise, let’s say 20 ministries, you have to give it to people you trust and you allow them to perform according to the Constitution of the country. If you appoint compromised people, then we will be back to square one and Nigeria will be the loser.”

News Alert !! President Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs

President Muhammadu Buhari has promptly announced replacements for the service chiefs sacked this morning.

A statement by President Buhari’s special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina said Major-General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin is now the new Chief of Defence Staff, while Major-General Tukur Yusuf Buratai is the new Chief of Army Staff.

Maj. General Yusuf Tukur Buratai: new army chief

The duo replaced Alex Badeh and Kenneth Minimah, former CDS and former army chief.

Adesina also unveiled Buhari’s pick for the post of Chief of Naval staff. He is Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas. He replaces Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin.

Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar is the new Chief of Air Staff, replacing Adesola Amosu, while Air Vice Marshal Monday Riku Morgan is the Chief of Defence Intelligence.

Major-General Babagana Monguno from Borno state is the National Security Adviser, succeeding Colonel Sambo Dasuki, who was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

The new Chief of Defence Staff, Maj.-Gen. Olonishakin (N/6901) hails from Ekiti State.

Until his appointment as Chief of Defence Staff today, he was the Head of the Nigerian Army Training and Doctrine Command in Minna, Niger State.

The new Chief of Army Staff, Maj.-Gen. Buratai hails from Borno State. Until his new appointment today, he was the Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force which has its headquarters in N’djamena.

Maj-Gen. Buratai has previously served as Commander of the Nigerian Army’s 2nd Brigade in Port Harcourt and Commander of the Nigerian Army School of Infantry in Jaji, Kaduna State.

The new Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibas (NN/0746) hails from Cross River State.

He enlisted into the Nigerian Defence Academy as a member of the 26th Regular Course in 1979 and was commissioned as a Sub-Lieutenant in 1983. His previous appointments include: Naval Provost Marshal, Chief Staff Officer, Naval Training Command, Chief of Administration, Naval Headquarters, Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command and Chief of Logistics, Naval Headquarters.

Until his appointment as Chief of Naval Staff, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Navy Holdings Limited.

The new Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Abubakar (NAF/1433) hails from Bauchi State. His previous appointments include: Chief of Standards and Evaluation, NAF Headquarters; Chief of Defence Communications and Air Officer Commanding, NAF Training Command.

Until his new appointment today as Chief of Air Staff, he was the Chief of Administration, NAF Headquarters.

The new Service Chiefs will hold their appointments in an acting capacity until confirmed by the Senate.

President Buhari thanks the outgoing Service Chiefs and National Security Adviser for their services to the nation and wishes them well in their future endeavours.

Culled from

Nigeria Sliding Without A Functioning Government – Bloomberg

Nigeria has attractive bond yields and a fast growing economy with a young population. For investors, it’s missing a key ingredient: a functioning government.

More than a month since taking charge of Africa’s largest economy, President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to choose ministers; an announcement the 72-year-old former military ruler said he may postpone until September. That’s left the continent’s biggest oil producer and most populous nation without a finance chief to steer a Treasury he said is “virtually empty” amid calls for a currency devaluation.

Investors’ actions in the capital markets are an answer to that political void. An index of naira bonds declined 2.6 percent in dollar terms over the past month. That compares with average losses of 0.2 percent across 31 emerging markets. And while Nigerian rates of 14.9 percent are the highest among those nations, foreigners are staying clear until they know Buhari’s plans for the exchange rate and budget, according to Barclays Plc and Rand Merchant Bank

“You can’t ignore the yields on offer in Nigeria, except for when there’s a lack of clarity on policy,” Ridle Markus, an analyst at Barclays, said by phone from Johannesburg on July 2. “It creates further uncertainty as to what the cabinet will look like, what decisions the finance minister will take.”

Oil Damage

Nigerian stocks dropped 9.2 percent since April 2, the day after Buhari’s win over Goodluck Jonathan in a presidential election, the seventh-worst performers globally among 93 primary indexes tracked by Bloomberg. He was sworn in on May 29 following a campaign in which he promised to crush Boko Haram’s insurgency and clamp down on corruption.

Attacks in the northeast and the central city of Jos last week and on Sunday have claimed about 200 lives, capping the deadliest period under the new government.

So far Buhari has articulated few ideas on how to revive an economy ravaged by an almost 45 percent drop in Brent crude prices over the past year, Angus Downie, head of economic research at Ecobank Transnational Inc., said by phone from London on July 2. Nigeria’s government relies on oil for roughly two-thirds of its revenue.

Growth will decelerate to 4.8 percent in 2015, about half the average of the past decade, according to the International Monetary Fund. That’s still faster than the global average of 3.5 percent and 4.3 percent for developing nations.

Some Nominations

The naira fell 21 percent between the end of June 2014 and Feb. 12 to a record low of 206.32 against the dollar. That prompted the central bank to extend foreign-exchange trading curbs to prop up the currency. While those have steadied the naira at an average of 199.03 since March, they have left it overvalued, according to investors, including Investec Asset Management and BlackRock Inc. The currency was little changed at 198.90 per dollar as of 4.15 p.m. in Lagos on Monday.

Still, Nigeria’s population, where 44 percent of its 177 million are under the age of 15, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, augurs well for long-term growth. In the euro region, less than 16 percent of people are under 15, while in the U.S. the figure is 20 percent.

A delay in naming a finance minister means it may take longer for investors to find out whether currency restrictions will be removed, according to Joseph Rohm, a money manager at Investec Asset Management, which oversees about $110 billion.

Currency Devaluation

“We need a devaluation and strong appointees in the government for the market to go up,” Rohm said by phone from Cape Town last month.

Bonds and equities surged after Jonathan conceded defeat to Buhari, easing investors’ concerns about a disputed result in a country that had never seen a peaceful change of power from one party to another. Yet, as well as plans for the currency, investors now want to know whether the government will remove gasoline subsidies and how it will diversify the nation from oil.

“We’re still sitting in the dark,” Zoran Milojevic, a trader at New York-based brokerage Auerbach Grayson & Co., said by phone. “The only positive thing is that Nigeria didn’t spiral into a civil war. That’s not enough to push the market.”

Average bond yields have climbed almost 100 basis points from 13.91 percent since May 14.

They probably won’t rally until Buhari outlines how he will improve Nigeria’s economy, says Ronak Gopaldas, an analyst at Rand Merchant Bank, a unit of FirstRand Ltd., Africa’s biggest bank by market value.

“People thought by now they’d have some kind of clarity,” Johannesburg-based Gopaldas said by phone on July 1. “They’re looking for a decisive message about what Buhari’s going to do to arrest the economic decline. It’s something that needs to be done sooner rather than later.”

Culled from Bloomberg

Gov. Ortom Submits Names Of 13 Commissioner Nominees To Assembly

Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue has sent the names of 13 commissioner nominees to the House of Assembly for ratification.
The letter was read on the floor of the house by the Speaker, Mr Terkimbi Ikyange, during plenary in Makurdi on Thursday.
Ikyange, while reading the letter, stated that the approval would enable the governor to appoint the commissioners that would support him to steer the affairs of the state creditably.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the letter was signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Targema Takema.
It stated that the governor intended to bring on board only people of proven integrity.
According to the letter, the appointments are in line with Section 192 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
After reading the letter, the speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Dr Torese Agena, to liaise with the commissioner nominees in order to get their credentials.
The speaker said that the nominees were to submit 31 copies of their resume each for perusal as a prerequisite for the screening

“I Will Accept Any Government Appointment From Buhari” – Prof. Attahiru Jega

Outgoing Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega has expressed his willingness to take up any appointment handed to him in the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to reports, Jega made the revelation on Saturday, June 20, 2015 while fielding questions from a cross section of select young leaders of thought at an event tagged “Afternoon Tea with Professor Attahiru Muhammadu Jega” held at Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The event, which was anchored by Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, was put together by EbonyLife TV, owned by media mogul, Mo’ Abudu.

When quizzed on his plans after his time at INEC expires, Jega said he would love to return to
lecturing but would take on any job assigned to him as he is willing to “serve the country until he stops breathing.”

When called upon to make an address, Jega said: “I am so thankful to the organisers of this event for this platform. I am very privileged to be called to serve the nation and I did that under strict circumstances. The challenges to keep doing good and living up to the expectations of Nigerians gave me sleepless nights.

“I believed that INEC should contribute to the reform process that has started. We have to do our best for the country. I am urging the young to be very optimistic to survive. They should try to engage themselves in positive development. I am also advising them to do the best they can no matter the circumstances.”
On the last election, Jega said:

“I will also like to commend INEC staff; they worked as a team; during the period of the election everybody was very accountable for hisher responsibility. We had a a lot of meeting during that election period and that actually helped us.”

“But I do not think that the staff were appreciated enough for what they did during the election period. Many people have complained about Zero pulling units. They were those units who because of one technical fault or the other their details were wiped off from the system and as result, they were asked to re-register, we do not intend to disqualify them.”

“We had serious challenge in the production of the PVCs because we do not have companies who can produce that. So we had to partner with some foreign companies. Electricity was also one of the major challenges we had during the election. Adequate time was not also for the registration and educating the staff.””
He also took time to dispel reports that he received death threats and then President Goodluck Jonathan had withdrawn his security aides when the election results’ collation was taking place. He also addressed the rumour peddled by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that he was asked to go on compulsory leave by Jonathan.

He said:

“All those stories were mere rumour, non of my security aides was withdrawn and nobody asked me to go on leave. It is inconsiderable for anybody to think of going on leave at that point in time when there was a lot of work to do. We were very prepared for everything during the election.””
He also availed that the result for about 90% of the polling units around the country were available and online at the INEC official website, adding that the report of the 2015 election would be ready by next week.

His words:

“We have done a lot to reform and strengthen INEC. Coming to the Local Government elections, I think adequate funds should be given to them to enable them run their affairs even in conducting their elections. Their autonomy should be strengthened.”

“I also want to use this opportunity to tell Nigerians that the report for the 2015 elections is in the making and should be out by next week. We have the draft already just to validate that.”

Jonathan’s Last-minute Appointments Tears Civil Service Apart

THE crisis in the federal civil service appeared to have worsened with career civil servants protesting against the absorption of 530 aides and cronies of former President Goodluck Jonathan into the civil service in the last days of the past administration.

The new recruits into the service were also said to have been installed in high positions, from assistant directors upward. Already, six deputy directors in the federal civil service are in court to protest against the manner the last promotion examination to directors’ level was handled by the Federal Civil Service Commission.

The FCSC released the list of newly-promoted directors in October 2014.

The six aggrieved deputy directors – Dr. John Magbadelo, Mrs. Ada Ihechukwu Madubuike, Mrs.
Ganiat Ayodele, Mr. Olusegun Oginni, Mrs. Janet Ayorinde and Mr. Otajele Musa – filed an action at the National Industrial Court on March 26, 2015 to question the exercise.

Most senior civil servants are said to be unhappy with the FCSC, a situation which is said to have been made worse by the Jonathan recruits into the service.

Sources told The PUNCH in Abuja on Sunday that between the time Jonathan lost the presidential election of April 11 and the May 29 handover date, 530 persons from different backgrounds had their appointments into the civil service regularised.

A director in one of the sensitive ministries told our correspondent that the FCSC, through ‘‘crafty schemes’’, brought into the civil service “numerous aides of the former President Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo and ministers.

The director, who asked not to be named, said, “These new recruits are placed on very high grades as assistant directors, deputy directors, and directors.

It was gathered from a reliable source that their appointments were made through a “regularisation window’’, which the FCSC backdated to December, 2014.

“Through regularisation, fresh graduate appointees were placed on Grade Level 12 instead of Grade Level 08, while some others were upgraded to very high levels in defiance of extant rules. We now have letters of regularisation flying around the ministries.

“No fewer than 530 people are being regularised into the service from different backgrounds, including unscheduled private enterprises. These atrocities are responsible for the depletion of vacancies, which ought to be utilised for the promotion of deserving serving officers in the federal civil service.”

Another aggrieved director in one of the parastatals under the Presidency said that the FCSC had, in the last six years, been under serious pressure by ranking politicians, who insisted on giving jobs in the civil service as rewards to their cronies.

The director cited the case of one political appointee, who was allegedly moved from Grade Level 09 to Grade level 16, and subsequently moved three months after to the post of director on Salary Grade Level 17.

He said this was just one of the many recent irregularities perpetrated by the FCSC, “while the chairman of the FCSC, Deaconess Joan Ayo, keeps saying that lack of vacancy was responsible for the non-promotion of most deputy directors who passed last year’s promotion examination.”

“Just anybody with the right connection or big purse can be promoted or transferred to the post of a director in the civil service today. These transfers are being done in violation of the extant public service rules, which the FCSC published and circulated to all government offices,” the official alleged.

Many of the directors, who spoke to our correspondent on the alleged rot in the civil service, called for the review of both the promotion exercise and “illegal” recruitment into the high cadre in the government offices.

But the FCSC has denied the allegation, saying it never recruited illegally into the civil service.

The Assistant Director of Press, FCSC, Dr. Joel Oruche, said the allegations of illegal recruitment for political reasons were all lies.

Oruche said, “At no time did the commission employ aides of former President, Vice President, ministers or any key political figure in the Jonathan’s government, either as a parting gift or in compliance with a directive from the above-mentioned political figures.

“The FCSC, in the discharge of its mandate, has put in place, internal checks and balances in the process of appointments and promotion. This guarantees transparent process that checkmates activities and antics of fraudsters, who are in the business of issuing fake appointment letters.

“For the avoidance of doubts, FCSC begins appointments only when the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation has forwarded vacancies to it. These declared vacancies are shared among the 36 states of the federation and the FCT. Appointments into the vacant positions are processed by honourable commissioners representing respective states.

“After processing the appointments by commissioners, all appointment letters are checked and signed by the director in charge of recruitment and appointment while the Office of the Permanent Secretary puts the commission’s seal on the letters.”

However, the Secretary-General of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, Mr. Alade Lawal, confirmed that there had been rampant cases of illegal recruitment into the civil service.

Lawal said the FCSC had bastardised the recruitment process into the service on the spurious ground that it was acting on directive from the Presidency to grant waiver to some states.

He said, “But the commission cannot hide under a Presidential waiver to recruit incompetent and unqualified persons into the federal public service and impose them as seniors on those with higher qualifications, experience and competence. We have never had it so bad.

“One of the negative results of this ill-advised policy is that directors, who have served the country meritoriously for decades, cannot rise to the peak of their careers as all manner of persons are recruited into the service to take over top positions, including that of permanent secretaries and general managers.”

The ASCSN secretary lamented that graduates with eight years post-qualification experience were being drafted into the public service on grade level 16 or 17 because they have connections with top politicians.

“These illegal recruits are then made permanent secretaries after about two or three years. This is very unfortunate as it demoralises dedicated officers who no longer see any future in the service. The ASCSN has engaged the FCSC on the vexed issue and all indications point to the fact that the recruitments were deliberately made,” Lawal stated.

He also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take urgent steps to ensure that the FCSC abide by the public service rules, establishments circulars, scheme of service, and its guidelines on appointment, promotion and discipline in respect of recruitment into the public service.

“If urgent step is not taken to reverse this trend of illegal recruitment into the public service, the system may collapse and the government will not be able to effect the type of change it wants in the polity since the public service is the engine room that oils the wheels of government.”

Buhari To Move Into Aso Villa, Announce Some Appointments Next Week

President Muhammadu Buhari is set to move into the Presidential Villa next week to continue his governance and may also name the first set of top government officials to start off the administration, a competent Presidency source confirmed.

Since being declared winner of the 2015 Presidential election, Buhari has been operating from the Defence House in Maitama and has been conducting official business of government from there, having taken over the mantle of leadership on May 29, 2015 from former President Goodluck Jonathan.
It was leant that the President was ready to move from Defence House to the Villa possibly early next week following completion of renovation of the President’s residence.

“It is true that the construction company has completed the President’s wing and he is set to move in any moment from now. As at today, it is only the Vice President’s residence that is yet to be fully completed.

“We expect that the two men will move into the villa by next week since the work in the Vice President’s apartment is not a serious one,” an official in the Presidency explained.

The source explained that Buhari was set to begin naming some key officials of his government as soon as he moves into the Villa to prepare the grounds for the take off of serious work for Nigerians who have been expecting action from the administration.

As a prelude to setting up his administration, Buhari has reportedly handed over the 800-page Transition Committee Report to a trusted team of his associates, headed by former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola; former Ekiti governor,  Kayode Fayemi  and others to reduce into a sizable and workable document.

Fashola is being tipped to emerge as Chief of Staff to the President because of his pedigree as a former Chief of Staff, governor and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

An impeccable source said that it was Buhari who instructed that after all others had completed working on transition report, they should hand over the voluminous document to Fashola to reduce into an implementable format for him to read and take necessary actions.

The source said:

“Hopefully, from next week, some appointments would be announced. Buhari is a fast reader and he will be able to take immediate actions based on the transition report.”

A member of the Buhari Transition Committee, who pleaded anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter, confirmed that the final report presented to the president last week was a comprehensive document meant to guide him in taking decisions as to the shape and nature of his administration to bring about the needed change in the country.

The member said that what they presented to the President was more of a blueprint and how best to go about it in order to bring the country out of the woods. The member said: “The final report is very rich and we believe it will help Mr. President in putting a solid structure of his government and give him policy direction as well.”


President Buhari Makes His First Appointments

President Muhammadu Buhari has announced the first set of appointments into his administration. This came on Sunday evening as he named Mr Femi Adesina and Mal. Garba Shehu as his spokesmen. Femi Adesina will serve as Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) while Garba Shehu will be the new Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity).

The President has also approved the appointment of Malam Lawal Abdullahi Kazaure as the State Chief of Protocol (SCOP).

Femi Adesina will replace Doyin Okupe while Garba Shehu replaces Reuben Abati.

Adesina is the current President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors and Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun newspapers.

Garba Shehu served as the Director, Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Council. He was the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors sixteen years ago.

Abdullahi Kazaure is a career Foreign Service official and currently serves in Aso Rock Villa as a Special Assistant (Presidential Matters).

President Buhari Announces First Appointments

President Muhammadu Buhari has announced first set of appointments into his administration with Femi Adesina and Malam Garba Shehu as his spokesmen.

A statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by the President’s head of media team, Garba Shehu, said Adesina will serve as Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) while Shehu will be the new Senior Special Assistant (Media and Publicity).

According to the statement, the President has also approved the appointment of Lawal Abdullahi Kazaure as the State Chief of Protocol (SCOP). Adesina is the current President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) and serves as the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun newspapers. Shehu served as the Director, Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Council.

He was onetime President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, about 16 years ago. Kazaure is a career Foreign Service official and currently serves in Aso Rock Villa as a Special Assistant (Presidential Matters).

Credit: NAN

Key Appointments: President Buhari’s Silence Unsettles APC Leaders

With security at the top of his agenda, President Muhammadu Buhari may have decided to make the announcement of his security team the first in the series of appointments he is expected to make at the start of his administration, THISDAY has learnt. The team is likely to be headed by former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-general Abdulrahman Dambazau, who looks set to become the new National Security Adviser.
It is also gathered from a reliable source that the next on the list of appointments would be those of Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Chief of Staff to the President.

This is as Buhari’s silence on executive appointments seen as key to the full take-off of his administration has upset many chieftains of his party, All Progressives Congress. It has also provoked considerable anxiety about the roadmap he is reading after his swearing in as president on May 29.

Many Nigerians had thought from past experience that Buhari would announce major appointments,
such as Chief of Staff, media spokesperson NSA, and SGF, at least within 48 hours of his inauguration. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had sacked all the service chiefs, the director-general of State Security Services, and the NSA on his assumption of office.

Buhari’s refusal to say anything on the appointments has fuelled speculation that he and key stakeholders of APC may not be on the same page with regard to the choice of persons for the positions.

Nonetheless, Buhari and the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, have declared their assets in line with the constitution. This was disclosed in a statement by the head of Buhari’s media team, Garba Shehu.

But the non-publication of the details of the assets declaration, in keeping with popular expectation and the president’s own past pledge, has rankled with many Nigerians.

The Code of Conduct Bureau on Friday acknowledged the submission of the asset declaration forms of Buhari and Osinbajo, which were submitted separately on May 28, and endorsed by the organisation’s chairman, Sam Saba. Buhari’s declarant identity was given as “President: 000001/2015.”

Nigerians expected the president to make his asset declaration public. But Shehu defended Buhari’s decision to limit the declaration to the Code of Conduct Bureau, thus, “President Muhammadu Buhari has declared his assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau as required by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. If anyone is interested in knowing details of his asset worth, such a person can avail himself or herself of the use of Freedom of Information Act to seek the information from the bureau.”

In a related development, the president has denied placing a travel ban on any Nigerian, including officials of the past administration.

A statement on Saturday by Shehu said, “We have not banned anyone from travelling.” It stressed that all ex-government officials were entitled to their freedom of movement and other rights and privileges under the constitution and must not be subjected to harassment and intimidation at the airports or other points of entry and exit.

The statement was in reaction to reports about “V.I.P. stoppages” yesterday at the airports.

“Unless otherwise directed by the courts, no law-abiding citizens should be barred from travelling abroad. We must treat fellow citizens with courtesy and respect.

“Officials at the borders and other points of entry and exit should conduct their affairs in strict compliance with due process. No one has my permission to bar anyone from travelling abroad,” Shehu quoted Buhari as saying.

Meanwhile, THISDAY learnt that APC leaders insisted they must be carried along by the president in the making of strategic appointments in line with the principle of party supremacy. He had in his inaugural speech on Friday announced the relocation of the Defence Headquarters to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, the hotbed of the nearly six-year-old Boko Haram insurgency. This was in apparent demonstration of his determination to tackle the terrorist threat head-on. Against this backdrop, Buhari is believed to have prioritised the appointment of his security team.

The president was said to have initially decided to make Dambazau the Minister of Defence, but other APC leaders who got wind of it objected to the appointment of northerners into the two strategic positions of NSA and defence minister.

The president of Nigerian Guild of Editors and managing director of Sun Newspapers, Femi Adesina, is said to be pencilled in as Buhari’s senior special adviser on media and publicity, and former military administrator of Kaduna State, Col. Abdul Hamid Ali, is being considered for Chief of Staff. Ali had served as Buhari’s Chief of Staff before.

Those eyeing the post of SGF include immediate past governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi; former governor of Abia State, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu; and the latest entrant, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe.

Sources in APC said Buhari may have settled for Amaechi with the backing of prominent southerners in the party, who are keen on having someone from the region in the position.

Leaders of the party from the south were said to have confronted Buhari over Kingibe’s alleged aspiration, insisting he didn’t work for the party. But Buhari was said to have informed them that they might  not have been aware that the former SGF actually  worked for his victory behind the scene.

However, Kingibe has become visible since Buhari’s victory, prompting leaders of the party from the south to unite behind Amaechi so that the region does not miss the opportunity of producing the SGF.

THISDAY gathered that the delay in the announcement of key appointments by the new government was caused by the president’s decision to refrain from any pronouncement in that regard until major political interests in his party had been catered for.

Skye Bank Announces Key Executive Appointments

The Board of Directors of Skye Bank has announced the elevation and appointments of four new executive directors to the board.

Officials said this was part of efforts to uphold the high standards and tradition of professionalism which have become the Bank’s driving force for service excellence and leadership.

The new Executive Directors are Bayo Sanni (Executive Director, Lagos Commercial Banking), Idris Yakubu (Executive Director, Abuja and Northern Region), Markie Idowu (Executive Director, Technology and Service Delivery
Channels) and Abimbola Izu (Executive Director, Corporate Services).

Announcing the new board appointments, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the bank, Timothy Oguntayo, expressed confidence that the new directors would further strengthen and reposition the bank for improved performance.

He congratulated them on their appointments which he said would take effect in June and July 2015.

Credit: CAJ News

Consider Merit Not Political Patronage In Ministerial Appointments, NANS To Buhari

The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Wednesday urged President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, to base his ministerial appointments on merit. This is contained in a statement issued by NANS and made available to newsmen in Abuja. The statement implored that national interest should be placed ahead of party sentiments and considerations.

It said that Buhari should go for technocrats with track records who could collectively bring Nigeria out of its present predicament. “NANS has observed with reservations the intense jostling and lobbying for ministerial and other appointments and deemed it wise to offer a word of advice to the President-elect. “In as much as we recognise that the President-elect came onboard on the platform of a political party, politics should not be allowed to take pre-eminence over national interest.

“NANS, therefore, urge the President-elect to ensure that the ministerial appointments are based on merit—persons with proven record of probity, technocrats, and persons with sound leadership skills are what we look forward to,’’ the statement said. It stated that Buhari could only succeed in turning Nigeria around if his team was well-selected and well-meaning. The statement said that Nigerian students were expectant that the President-elect would deliver on his campaign promises.


Pres. Jonathan Appoints New Supreme Court Justice

President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the appointment of Aminu Sanusi as a Justice of the Supreme Court.
Mr. Soji Oye, Acting Director of Information, the National Judicial Council announced this on Tuesday.
His statement read,
“President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, has approved the appointment of Hon. Justice Aminu Sanusi,  OFR as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council.
“Hon. Justice Aminu Sanusi, OFR will be sworn-in by the Honourable , the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council, Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed, GCON on Thursday , the 14th day of May, 2015 at 11am in the Supreme Court Complex”.
The appointment brings the number of members of the apex court bench to 18.

We Have Not Zoned Offices, Ministerial Appointments Yet – APC

The All Progressives Congress, APC, has urged Nigerians to disregard media speculations concerning the appointment of ministers and the zoning of political offices under the incoming Buhari Administration.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said there is no truth to anything that has been dished out anywhere, concerning the issues of appointment, especially the zoning of the National Assembly’s principal positions and other offices.

The party said that in the true tradition of the APC, all issues of public interest will be handled transparently and conveyed to Nigerians through the usual communication channels.

“No appointments have been made and no offices have been zoned. The main concern of our party at the moment is to ensure a smooth transition and to hit the ground running, in the overall interest of the long-suffering people of Nigeria.

”At the appropriate time, Nigerians will be informed of the appointments made and the offices zoned,” APC said.

Source – Oak Tv