This Is The “Change” We Voted For – By Godwin Amadi

Some people glamourize regret as if regret is a virtue or an endowment. All some posers need to do to remain relevant on social media is to say they regret voting Buhari. Others less imaginative ask, “Is this the change we voted for?” Whenever I hear these, I am reminded that loyalty is a high-price commodity.

What are you regretting? IF you really voted “Change”, what did you have in mind? Instead of reveling in your ignorance, should you not be ashamed that you lacked the basic understanding of what you espoused? At your age and with your level of education you still dance to every beat? Shame!

This is the “Change” I campaigned and voted for. From inception, I know real, lasting change comes at a high cost and discomfort. Have you ever attempted to change your life, weight, values or complexion? Did it come cheap or easy? Why do many people fail to live up to their New Year resolutions? Genuine change at any level is tough and cruel at first. Nigeria will not be an exception.

What happens when corporate organizations decide to change processes and procedures in the workplace? It is usually resisted because most people prefer the status quo. Corporate changes like mergers, acquisitions and reconstructions create imbalance and uncertainties in the concerned entities. I know a man whose workforce reduced by 75% when he restructured (or effected change in) his company. Today, the same man is shouting his voice hoarse that Buhari’s change is draconian and insensitive. Hypocrite!

How do we become self-sufficient in food production? The answer is simple: make heavy investments in agriculture and ban importation of foods that deplete our foreign reserve. Take rice for instance. As long as there are no restrictions on the importation of rice, local farmers will not grow rice and our exotic taste buds will not be retrained. If I were Buhari, I would put a total ban on the importation of rice.

Take cars, fabrics and wines (and spirits) for another instance. Something drastic needed to be done about our appetite for cars, clothes and wines. The cumulative costs of importing this trio into Nigeria consumed a substantial share of our foreign reserve. Buhari says NO. He argues that if you must use these imports, then be ready to pay a premium price for them. This is simple logic and economics. This is especially so since global oil price has dwindled and tempers are high in the Niger Delta.

Goods are more expensive in Nigeria today because Buhari insists that most of the products we import can and should be produced locally. By so doing, he has flung open unending investment and job opportunities for Nigerians especially. While reserving limited foreign exchange for some critical sectors of the economy, Buhari is urging them to make hay while the sun shines. Buhari is CHANGING the way we live, and the pains we now experience are his instruments of CHANGE. You can only take it, but you can’t reject it.

Why is Buhari putting these strategic restrictions on our consumption patterns? If you are PDP or a hater, these restrictions are to punish Nigerians. But to the dispassionate observer, Buhari’s stance is the most effective route to Nigeria’s escape from economic doldrums festered by inordinate importation of all and every product. Some countries in Asia, Africa and North America have provided infallible precedents to what Buhari has set out to do.

What has happened so far? Buhari is in a mad hurry to fix the refineries. About 6 states are now producing rice in commercial quantities. Cross River state has almost completed what is arguably the largest textile mill in Africa. Buhari is challenging Nigerians to introspect and unleash their creative geniuses. Unfortunately, politics is providing a distracting counter-intuition to these breath-taking developments.

Where will Nigeria be in 10 years if we continue (or forced to continue) to look inwards? Imagine what will happen if we continue to produce a larger chunk of what we eat, wear and drink. Imagine when Aba, Sokoto, Nnewi, Kano, Ondo, Osun, Benue and Nasarawa turn natural endowments into skills. Imagine when our universities and polytechnics wake up. Imagine when our industries and blue-chip companies begin to produce. Only a bold step like Buhari’s CHANGE will give form to these imaginations.

If you did not understand Buhari’s change, it is not Buhari’s fault. Regretting voting Buhari says so much about your character. Asking “Is this the change we voted for?” is the clearest indication that you must never be taken seriously again. You are a plastic supporter, and we will not need you in 2019.

Change Will Be Evident Before 2017 Ends – Femi Adesina

The Special Adviser to the Nigerian President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina has again assured Nigerians that the end of the country’s economic challenge is nearer than ever.

Speaking on Politics Today, Mr Adesina said that all efforts of the Buhari administration to get Nigeria and Nigerians back on their feet would begin to materialize before the end of 2017.

He added that projections by notable international agencies have also predicted that Nigeria would exit recession in 2017.

“World Bank has said it, IMF has said it and before those institutions, the government has said it,” he said.

Adesina refused to have the Buhari administration blamed for the recession that hit the country saying Nigeria had been ‘primed for recession’ at the time Buhari became President.

“That recession was inevitable (with) the way Nigeria had been run two to four years prior the time we went into recession. There was no way it would not have happened,” he said.

He explained that President Buhari remained committed to correcting the mistakes of the past.

“What he is doing is good governance which will translate to better life for the people. It’s not going to be by a sudden flight, it’s not a magic wand that he will wave – policies that will yield over time and lead to improvements in the life of the people,” he said.

President Not Sick

Mr Adesina also debunked the rumours that President Buhari has been ill and wondered why critics altered the sequence of the statement issued regarding the President’s trip to the UK in order to make the President appear ill.

“Don’t forget, the statement we issued said he was going on holiday and during that holiday he would do medical checkups. The sequence is very important – holiday first, medical checkups second.

“Nigerians want to turn the sequence to medical checkups instead of holiday first.”

Mr Adesina’s explanation also triggered questions regarding the President’s trust in the quality of medical services in Nigeria but he argued that it is usually important to consult doctors who have the patient’s medical history.

“Before he became President, he has been using those same set of people. So, it stands to reason that the same people continue to attend to him,” he explained.

Cabinet Rejig?

There have been questions regarding the current makeup of the President’s cabinet, with many wondering if there would be a rejig of ministerial appointments.

The death of the Kogi state-born former Minister of State for Labour, James Ocholi, and the impending exit of the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed for her UN appointment have also fuelled the speculation that there could be a rejig.

However, Mr Adesina insisted that it remained the prerogative of the President to rejig his cabinet.

While admitting that citizens have the rights to criticize the cabinet in the face of economic challenges, he maintained that the President has the final say on who works with him.

He gave the assurance that President Buhari is in touch with the grassroots and understands the challenges Nigerians have been going through.


Source: Channels TV

Kanye West visited Donald Trump to discuss ‘change’ and 2024.

Kanye West, rapper/producer, says it’s important to have a direct line of communication with Donald Trump, U.S president-elect.


The hip-hop mogul met with the businessman-turned-politician at the Trump Tower, in New York city, on Tuesday.


West, who refused to say anything when the duo addressed the press after their meeting, later took to Twitter to explain the reason behind his visit.


He said: “I wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues. These issues included bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculum, and violence in Chicago.


“I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change,” he added.


The rapper who had earlier signified his intention to run for the American presidency also shared a hashtag, saying “2024”.

Time To End The Fake Recession And Change The System By Ola’ Idowu

I would like to apologise beforehand to law-abiding Nigerians going through the pangs of what we’ve termed an economic recession with my cast headline for this article, but the truth needs telling. There is no genuine recession in our land; what we’ve been experiencing is a contrived recession by forces who do not desire a change in the system and would rather want President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) to carry on with the corrupt practices that have bedeviled the nation for several years.


Repeatedly since February of this year, I’ve written articles to alert Nigerians of the likely slow-down or measure we would experience through the course of the year, due to the activities of these dark forces who want to weaken PMB’s drive against corruption and force him to drop his tough hands against their most profitable industry for years. Thus they starved the economy of dollars (knowing the economic system they have created in the last 30 years depends solely on dollars as oxygen) and also engineered a crisis in the Southern oil producing states through so-called Niger Delta Avengers and numerous other splinter groups, to keep damaging oil production facilities so as to reduce government’s earnings from oil exports (which accounts for 90% of government yearly revenue).


Thus its clear to anyone who has an iota of thinking cells in their brain that our kind of economic recession is contrived and has nothing to do with, say, a financial crisis in the banking industry, a collapse of the housing industry through mortgage debts, a massive stock market crash etc. – factors that in most economies are the real triggers for economic recession (negative growth and being financially skint). If I want to be spiritual, I did say the reason God has allowed this plumb-line measure over the nation is due to many years of our acquiescing to corruption and hailing corrupt men as good people. We’ve thrown away our values and joined the bandwagon, amassing ill-gotten wealth and failing to help our fellow citizens in any way. Thus, it might be the reason why we’ve gone through this measure for this long, but it is time to bring it to an end. To be clear, all the compromised voices and economists presented to the President as having a solution are just simply what they are – compromised. The solution to this contrived recession does not lie in printing more naira (Quantitative Easing), as that is simply confetti to be thrown at the rich one percent that would fuel inflation; neither does it lie in spending our way through it.


The problem we have is not a shortage of Naira, but an economic system that has been created in the last 30 years that is dependent on dollars. Either through importation of essential products like food and oil, or through corruption and looting that makes the corrupt ones prefer to store their value of wealth in dollars and hide it abroad, or through currency speculators who prefer to make a run on the naira and also store their value of wealth in dollars. Add to that the CBN’s style since 1985 under IBB of auctioning scarce dollar earnings against the naira either by selling it to banks or the parallel market who then round-trip on it to make profit, thereby creating an illegal industry that has seen the rise of Bureau De Changes (BDCs) to a staggering number of over 2,800 BDCs. Also, the CBN constant substitution of earned oil exports in dollars with naira equivalent before distribution to the three tiers creates a system of excess liquidity (Naira supply) which they then buy back with Treasury bills, bonds and different Open Market Operation (OMO) instruments they have created at rates as much as 15% in a ponzi pyramid scam not different from the popular MMM.


This ponzi scam built into our monetary system since the 1980s, especially under IBB, has ensured only banks (with corrupt individuals as their main shareholders), super rich elites, CBN directors, portfolio investors, and Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) are the main beneficiaries, leaving millions of Nigerians in stark neglect and stifling the development of our nation. Our monetary policy system has been developed since 1985 to strictly cater for corruption and treasury looters; if you want to fight corruption, deliver long abandoned Nigerians and lay a foundation for the nation’s long-term economic prosperity.


The foundation we have at the moment is only good enough to build an underdeveloped bungalow, which is what Nigeria has looked like since independence. The best way to lay a long-term economic security and prosperity plan for the nation is by remaking this foundation. We cannot build a superstructure on the present foundation we have, as it wouldn’t support it. The foundation we have in the country at the moment was built since 1985 to support corruption and at best in terms of development build a slanting bungalow. The way out is to change our monetary policy completely, and add to it fiscal policy changes (which is a continuous process to stop corruption and block leakages). But without changing our monetary system we cannot truly fight corruption, neither can we lay a solid foundation for long-term economic prosperity in Nigeria.


As a change scholar and manager, I’ve looked at different change models and frameworks that can work in government, particularly the Kurt Lewin (Unfreeze, Change and Freeze) model, but realized that would have been more suitable for a military era like when we had the Buhari/Idiagbon regime, as it would involve suspending the constitution (the unfreezing stage if we were to apply it to governance in Nigeria). I thus settled for a more suitable one in the McKinsey 7S Framework. Developed in the early 1980s by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman, two consultants working at the McKinsey & Company consulting firm, the basic premise of the model is that there are seven internal aspects of an organization that need to be aligned if it is to be successful. It talks about the Hard S’s like Strategy, Structure and Systems and Soft S’s like Shared values, Style, Staff and Skills. While these might sound like management tools used for organizational change, some of it if not all can be adapted for the kind of change needed at this point in time to end this contrived recession, lay the right foundation for our long-term economic security and move the nation forward in the right direction.


If adapted, we can, for instance, look at the main systems that run any nation’s economy and no doubt the first thing you look at is its monetary system. I’ve mentioned some of the issues wrong with our present monetary system, which has kept Nigerians in poverty. Make no mistake about it, Godwin Emefiele, the present CBN Governor, did not create the system. In fact, he met it in place since 1985. But if we carry on with it, there is no getting out of this fake recession unless PMB stops his anti-corruption drive, which is what the forces behind the contrived recession have been calling for either directly or indirectly through Niger Delta Avengers. Thus, to get out of this mess, we would need to change our monetary policies. The first start to that is to redenominate or redecimalise (whichever one you call it) the Naira by moving two places to the left. An announcement of this monetary policy would cause Nigerians who have been storing their wealth in dollars to change it into naira and use our legal tender as their store value of wealth thereby massively bringing down the price of the dollar against the naira and stop these fake recession.


Also, we would have to change the way we distribute foreign earnings from oil exports to the three tiers of government. Rather than change it into naira equivalent, all the tiers of government can have domiciliary accounts opened for them at the CBN (we have a law in place that supports that) and then issue electronic dollar certificates that show the amount each tier of government is entitled to from foreign earnings. They then exchange it at agreed or prevailing rates at their banks (for States and LGs). Their banks give them naira and get dollars from the CBN, while the CBN exchanges that of the FG. When any arm of government needs to make a foreign payment, they inform the CBN who pays their suppliers or creditors directly from the dollars in their domiciliary account. This would save state governments or any arm of government from having to exchange distributed naira back into dollars, thereby putting pressure on the naira. It would also put a lot of check on corruption and treasury looters. Side by side with these changes would be the closing down of over 2,800 BDCs, which serve no economic function other than to depress the naira and aid round tripping.


In their place, genuine well recognized BDCs like Travelex (who have the capacity to bring in their own investments, financial technology, etc.) and other BDCs with large branch networks and capacities can be retained. In the end, not more than 5-10 BDCs with large branch networks, financial technology and capacity would be retained. Their role is to sell dollars to Nigerians for genuine economic activities like travels, low-level importations, etc. They would not be allowed to sell more than $10,000 to any single individual and would have enough automated capacity to be monitored and evaluated by the CBN. Any Nigerian who wants to buy more than $10,000 would do so through their respective banks, thereby putting an end to these illegal and inefficient parallel markets that have existed for too long with no benefit to the nation. There would be silly talk about making people jobless by the cancellation of these BDCs, but there is a more formal and better way to absorb them. Some of them can merge or be acquired by the genuine and well recognized BDC’s like Travelex following well laid down guidelines, including human capacity and financial technology to monitor their transactions. But most importantly the FG can cash in on the market by licensing NIPOST to start a travel exchange and savings business for Nigerians. NIPOST Travel exchange would be a money transfer operator (MTO), a BDC for exchanging travel money, as well as a limited savings and loans bank. It would also serve as a means of paying retired pensioners in rural areas who have accounts with them. They could also go into mobile money for people in non-urban areas. I believe they have the facility rotting away across the country they can use with adequate technology invested in it. They can also have franchises with former BDC operators ready to provide agreed facilities for the travel exchange as well as other NIPOST/EMS services.


This would create a lot of jobs as we can use the Post Office to not only serve as a travel exchange but also deliver parcels, letters and online goods to Nigerians across the country. It would take some planning and that calls into question another of the McKinsey 7S model, which is Strategy. President Buhari would not only have to listen to voices like mine (if he gets to read this) but also involve non-compromised people to help plan the strategies that would make all of these work towards changing the system and getting us out of this recession. The current crop of hands at the CBN would no doubt be unable to make this kind of change.


There are voices like mine in this country that have been calling for similar kind of change in our system like these. It would also involve a lot of changes on the fiscal policy side. For example, it is an accursed thing for a senator, representative, permanent-secretary, etc. to receive such high salaries and still be paid newspaper and wardrobe allowances. Many Nigerians, including low-income earners and roadside sellers, buy newspapers themselves. Why would you be so cursed to earn N1million a month and the nation still has to buy you newspapers? These kinds of crazy allowances have to be weeded out of the system, and I must say it is not only in the National Assembly, it is everywhere in government where since 1985 under IBB our nation has had a culture of entitlement where we award ourselves all sorts of allowances that make us look the other way when the bigger looters steal from the treasury. It needs to stop forthwith.


The change in our monetary system would also include putting a tax on domiciliary accounts of Nigerians. In February of last year the CBN mentioned domiciliary accounts in the country having just over $1b in them, by April of this year the figure now sits at $20b. This is wrong and shows Nigerians have stored up dollars as their store value of wealth either to escape the prying eyes of the EFCC, or deliberate hoarding. With the announcement of the redenomination of the naira by moving two decimal places to the left, and imposing a monthly 3% tax on domiciliary accounts, individuals hoarding dollars would have to convert it to naira and that would crash the price of the dollar against the naira and end this fake recession.


The FG would also set up an overseas infrastructure bond of about $25b that can be floated on the stock exchange of foreign countries like the Irish or Australian exchanges, that Nigerians in the diaspora or those with dollars in the country can buy offering them about 4-5% interest on it. These infrastructure bonds would be used to develop the Niger Delta, build new cities across that part of the country, invest in passenger and freight rails across the country, complete the second Niger Bridge and build new roads, invest in power and energy as well as manufacturing, etc. They must be projects that are feasible and economically viable that would make returns and pay off the bonds in future. It would also include getting people in the Niger Delta to form cooperatives to build new modular refineries.


The model I’ve mentioned in this article would also look at our structure and rather than the restructuring noise being made by politicians looking to set a trap for the president. The main structure that needs changing in the country is our local councils and administration at that level. Our local councils need to be removed from the apron strings of the state and the FG needs to work directly with many of them to develop the grassroots and bring development to Nigerians. That is the structural change we need the most, but there is still more. We need an industrial strategy that would be aligned with our educational system. Once we know the kind of industries we need and want in the country, then we would have to revamp our curriculum from the high schools all the way to tertiary schools. We also have to change our educational structure, and stop the idea that the only way to develop and be prosperous is through Higher Education alone. There must be room for further education like adult education, national numeracy and comprehension skills improvement for Nigerians who would work in low-skilled jobs, technical education for electricians, plumbers, builders, etc. who would be certified, make provisions for experienced technical people and technicians like radionics, mechanics, refrigerator repairers to be able to have certified further education and progress on to Higher education without having to sit for JAMB or going to through the rigors of admission like younger students.


Most of these changes, like the change in our monetary system, which would also include breaking down the banking and financial services supervision into two or three regulators, especially an Ombudsman that deals with financial complaints and poor services from banks, would deal a massive blow to corruption, end this contrived and fake recession, as well as get the nation moving. There is plenty of work to be done and the earlier we start radically, the better. I hope the president listens and gets enthusiastic hands in and around his cabinet so as to make these changes. Seriously, I wish I could get the president’s ears directly and spill out a thousand and one ideas in a strategic, intellectual and philosophical way that would get the nation moving quicker and end this fake recession. There is no time to stand and stare!

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.”

Presidential Election: Fayose warns Ghanaians against voting for “Change”

As the December 7 presidential election in Ghana draws near, Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose has counselled the people of Ghana to be mindful of making the same mistake made by Nigerians in the 2015
presidential election by voting for change, which he said brought hunger, sufferings and economic recession to the country, such that even the entire West African sub-region is being affected.

He said “by buying into the All Progressives Congress (APC) message of change, Nigerians are now facing a kind of hunger and suffering never experienced in the country in the last 30 years and Ghanaians must not fall into that kind of trap.”

The Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said in a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti on Sunday that Governor Fayose made the call while hosting some men of God from Ghana on Saturday.

The governor said, “Ghanaians should not succumb to the deceit of the opposition party that are calling for a change of government. Rather, they should return the incumbent President, John Mahama, who has no doubt done creditably well to deserve a re-election.

“Ghanaians should know that the change in Nigeria brought hunger, suffering, disregard for the rule of law as well as arrest and detention of Nigerians without trial and be mindful of those preaching change to them.

“Most importantly, the situation in Ghana at present is similar to that of Nigeria. Like President Mohammadu Buhari, opposition party, New Patriotic Party (NPP) candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo has contested the presidency two times. This is the third time he is contesting. He is also 74 year-old.

“In Nigeria, change is synonymous with economic recession that is even getting to the level of depression.

Even majority of those who brought the change are now regretting it.

“Therefore, tell your people in Ghana that Nigerians are already regretting the change they made last year, which has plunged the country into serious economic hardship. Tell them to learn from Nigerians and reject those preaching message of change to them. They should hold on to the government that they have now and beware of a change that will take their country to economic recession.”

Americans Bought into Our ‘Change’ Ideology – APC

The All Progressives Congress has congratulated Americans for buying into the “change mantra” by electing Republican candidate, Mr. Donald Trump, who canvassed change in U.S. polity.

The National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said in Abuja on Wednesday that Americans had spoken by voting Trump, adding that APC could do nothing than to congratulate him for the victory.

Odigie-Oyegun, however, declined to speak on the expected Foreign Policy of the Republican President-elect, but stated that he preached change and Americans bought into change.

He said, “Like APC, Trump preached change and Americans bought into the change by electing him.”

The APC National Auditor, Chief George Moghalu, while also congratulating Trump for his victory said it was about the people of America.

He said, “l am however, a bit worried over the positions before and during the election, especially from the side of the President-elect with regards to his Foreign Policy.”

Meanwhile, some politicians and political parties have expressed concerns over the victory of the Republican candidate against his Democratic opponent, Hilary Clinton.

While some believe that Nigeria and Africa should be weary of Trump`s victory, some believed that the Democratic policy in the last eight years was not beneficiary to Nigerians and Africa.

Our Government is Just Unveiling – Ambode

Barely a year and six months in office, the governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has disclosed that his administration is making tremendous progress but added that what he has achieved so far was just a tip of the iceberg.

He asserted that the administration has just started unveiling what it has in stock for the citizens of the state.

Speaking on behalf of the governor, while receiving a delegation of young professionals in the state led by former President of the Student Union Governing Council, Federal University of Technology Akure, Mr. Wale Adelakun, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Strategy, Mr. Idowu Ajanaku, said the administration will not rest on its oars until it meets the yearnings of the people to the best of their expectations.

According to Ajanaku, “There are over eight thousand federal and state roads in Lagos, with most of the road networks linking the rural areas with the urban areas in deplorable conditions; fixing these roads is a major part of the people’s demand from the governor during the electioneering campaign.

“Against the backdrop, governor Ambode’s response has been immediate and impressive, as he embarked on the construction of two roads each, in each of the 20 local governments and 37 Local Council Development Councils (LCDA). About 114 roads have been completed across the state since he assumed office. This has contributed in no small measure to the socio-economic development of the state.”

Ajanaku explained that the decision of the government to embark on the demolition of shanties and criminal hide-outs in recent times was in line with the vision of the government to achieve the Mega City status, which the predecessors of Ambode, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola started since 1999.

His words: “Governor Ambode’s vision and burden is in the mould of Lee Kuan Yew, the Father of modern Singapore, who set out with an infrastructural revolution in Singapore. This move was met with a lot of resistance but with determination and doggedness, today Singapore is a modern day wonder.

“The Lagos of Ambode’s dream is a mega city of note and investment friendly destination of choice in sub Saharan Africa and he is determined to get there.”

In his response, Mr. Adelakun commended the administration for keeping its campaign promises by opening up rural areas and also changing the look of governance from elitist to such that has the common man at heart.

Adelakun said, “If the governor continues with the present tempo, very soon, the state would become a very good place to live in.”

However, citizens of the state are still expecting the administration to do more in the area of security as they expressed concern over the recent spate of kidnapping within Lagos.

Some of them actually urged the governor to carry out a lot of intelligence research to find out why the spate of kidnapping has suddenly increased across the state.

“Buhari Will Step On Toes, Big Fat Toes & Heavens Will Not Fall” – Lauretta Onochie

This is a change government. There will be changes to the ways we do things in Nigeria. If we continue in the ways we have done it in the past, we will continue to be saddled with the same woes we are suffering today.

The rule of law is being respected by those in authority for the first time in our recent history. For instance, Col Sambo Dasuki is being held LAWFULLY.

Attacks and Petitions based on falsehood can continue to fly around. It’s corruption fighting back so it makes no difference because there’s a focus. CHANGE MUST HAPPEN.

More Judges, evidently corrupt ones, will be pulled in by the DSS, EFCC, Police, Customs, NDLEA, and Ordinary Nigerians who can obtain a warrant. That’s according to The NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCIES ACT Section 2 Sub (3). It also covers the activities of the DSS.

?DSS is also, covered by ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE ACT, ACJA 2015, signed into law by Ex-president Jonathan exactly 2weeks before the handover to President Buhari.

Read this:
This is what the law provides…

? 12. (1) Where A PERSON or Police officer acting under a warrant of arrest or otherwise having authority to arrest, has reason to believe that the suspect to be arrested has entered into or is within any house or place, the person residing in or being in charge of the house or place shall, on demand by the police officer or person acting for the police officer, allow him free access to the house or place and afford all reasonable facilities to search the house or place for the suspect sought to be arrested.

? (2) Where access to a house or place cannot be obtained under subsection (1) of this section, THE PERSON or Police officer may enter the house or place and search it for the suspect to be arrested, and in order to effect an entrance into the house or place, MAY BREAK OPEN ANY OUTER OR INNER DOOR OR WINDOW OF ANY HOUSE OR PLACE, whether that of the suspect to be arrested or of any other person or otherwise effect entry into such house or place, if after notification of his authority and purpose, and demand of admittance duly made, he cannot obtain admittance…..

?Toes, big fat toes will be stepped on. Heavens will not fall. Ordinary Nigerians have been ruined by the activities of corrupt judges in this nation. Our institutions have been wrecked. About time!

Some confused Nigerians have made a singsong out of “Buhari must restructure Nigeria or we die”. They have no understanding that it’s the role of the Sleeping beauty, the National Assembly. Arresting judges suspected of corruption is all part of that restructuring within the purview of the executive.

It’s nauseating that those calling for restructuring cannot recognise restructuring in the arrest of the Judges as they are up in arms, in condemnation of the cleansing of the judiciary.

But We now have a leader, a President, who has the political will and the good moral standing to lead Nigerians in an onslaught against institutionalised corruption and decay.

Nigerians must speak us in support of our nation as we battle to recover our nation from the corrupt cabal that had held our nation ransom.

God bless Nigeria.
God bless us Everyone.
Lauretta Onochie

Minister Denies Spending N3.4bn On “Change Begins With Me” Campaign

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has demanded a retraction of libelous publications by the Daily Independent newspaper, Omo Bazuaye and Akin Fadeyi over “Change Begins With Me” campaign.

The minister made the demand in letters written to the newspaper, Bazuaye and Fadeyi by Falana & Falana’s Chamber, a law firm of a renown civil right activist and lawyer, Femi Falana.

The letters dated Sept. 19 and signed by a lawyer Oludare Falana, was made available to newsmen in Lagos on Sunday.

The first letter addressed to the Executive Editor of newspaper alleged that the libelous statement was published in the Sept. 15 edition of the paper.
The law firm stated in the letter that the newspaper claimed in its publication that,”Change Begins With Me Gulps N3.4 billion” and that the concept of the campaign was stolen by the minister.

“Having damaged our client’s hard earned reputation by your reckless action, we have his instruction to demand a retraction of your libelous publication within seven days of the receipt of this letter.

“Take notice that if you fail or refuse to accede to our client’s demand, we have his instruction to sue you with a view to restoring his reputation which your reckless publication has damaged,” Falana said.

In a joint letter addressed to Bazuaye and Fadeyi, the law firm said that the duo circulated in some online media that the concept of the Change Begins With Me campaign was stolen from them by the minister.

The law firm similarly demanded a retraction of the libelous publication within seven days of receipt of the letter or they face legal action.

FG not Persecuting or Prosecuting former President Jonathan & His wife, Patience – Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government is not persecuting former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife Patience. Reacting to reports of $15 million found in an account owned by Patience Jonathan, Lai Mohammed said it will be wrong for anyone to claim that the Federal government was probing the former first family as it was Patience Jonathan herself who came out to claim the foreign currency found in a strange account operated by a former aide of Jonathan.

He said this in an interview with journalists in Oro, Kwara State yesterday tuesday September 13th.


“If you look at the history of Mrs. Patience Jonathan’s issue, I think she was the one that came out to claim that the money found in the accounts of one of the aides to the former President, her husband, belonged to her. It was not the EFCC that claimed so. She claimed that the money that the guy was being prosecuted for belonged to her. It was only then they later found an extra $5m in another account. It is not as if anybody has gone out to probe Mrs. Jonathan directly or indirectly. Rather Mrs. Jonathan was the one that said ‘that money for which you are accusing Mr. X actually belongs to me. So, you cannot start talking of prosecution or persecution”he said

#ChangeBeginsWithMe: The Unnecessary Shenanigans of the Change Brigade – Adeeko Ademola Abayomi

When you pour water on the head, it flows down to the legs. You don’t pour water on the legs and expect it to come up to the head. Yesterday, we were entertained to an odd logic that suggests water should be poured on the legs and then it’ll be expected flow up. Natural logic should be applied to this change thing.

There is nowhere in the world where responsible follower-ship precedes responsible leadership. The former comes before the latter.

Having said this, I will like us to note that the #ChangeBeginsWithMe campaign launched by the Ministry of Information via the National Orientation Agency is a laudable one. Don’t get me wrong, it is one campaign that is long overdue for the necessary reorientation of the Nigerian people.

However, I have this feeling that responsible leadership breeds responsible follower-ship basically because I believe the best way to set people to a task is to show them through example. And therein lies the difference between a boss and a leader.

Considering how long Nigerians have been in this abusive relationship with the government, it will make more sense if a government that proclaims change to actually take the lead in showing its seriousness about its proclamations, and not dictate attitudinal change. Dictation is for dictators while leadership by example is for true leaders.

Now, what is change? Change is to become different; to make (someone or something) different; to become something else entirely different from the normal.

With that definition, I will honestly say that the present administration has shown basically little or nothing to show that they’re who they claim to be.

Now, let me address some little but key decisions that were not taken, which would have been the moral justification on which this government would have leveraged, to challenge Nigerians to change.

We all complained about waste in Government under GEJ/PDP, particularly, the over-bloated presidential fleet of jets. Months have passed now, nothing has changed. Now, it’s either the waste doesn’t matter anymore or somehow, the government had forgotten it’s promises. Aso Rock still expends millions to feed the President. There is still widespread poor communication mechanism. Media aides are everywhere attacking Nigerians for asking questions but somehow, this government still does not think change begins with it? We’re not ready.

Even though, selling off the extra jets won’t take us out of recession but please find out how much it takes to maintain 1 jet, let alone 9. Recently, Malawi’s new president sold off presidential jets and 60 Mercedes cars in the presidential fleet just to raise funds to avert food crisis in the country but Nigeria still spends its own resources to maintain a fleet of unnecessary jets in this time of recession.

Sometime last year, the President promised to disclose his assets publicly, a promise nobody forced him to make. Till date, it remains a secret. That is not the body language of a government that is serious about change.

Let us take a cue from Kaduna State Governor, Nasir Elrufai. Immediately he was sworn in as governor, Elrufai slashed his salary by 50 % and even that of his staff. He immediately set a tone that very moment to make his people understand that his government wasn’t there to make money but to serve the people.

I agree that our psyche, as Nigerians, has been messed up so much that a verbal campaign like#ChangeBeginsWithMe will achieve nothing, especially with the people groaning under current hardship.

I have not said the campaign is bad but we should have enough intuition to know that you’re asking Nigerians to change meanwhile you have done nothing to show that you want to bring change.

The act in which government makes sacrificial demands from a populace that have benefited nothing from it is unbecoming. People in government need to understand the responsibility that comes with leadership. Sacrifices and Leadership via example are the best tools to get even your enemies to do certain things. You cannot be living in affluence and then expect Nigerians who put their all on the line to make a living under harsh economic conditions to embark on fruitless sacrifices.

The government needs to look inwards and realize that the real change begins with it. When you make sacrifices, you have earned a moral justification to challenge others to  make sacrifices too. If not, you’re only going to succeed in agitating further an already angry people.

#ChangeBeginsWithMe is a good initiative however, not from a government that has shown little or nothing to kick-start the change it promised.

I have said my own, you can now insult my parents. Cheers!

Buhari Lambasts Nigerians, Says Change Isn’t About Economic Progress

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that before Nigerians demand to see the changes he promised them during the 2015 election, they must first change their own attitude by shunning corruption and other social vices.

He adds that change is not about economic or social progress, but it is in terms of citizens’ personal behaviour.

Buhari said this while delivering a speech at the inauguration of the national re-orientation campaign tagged, ‘Change Begins With Me’ in Abuja on Thursday.

The President acknowledged that Nigeria is currently passing through a challenging period where hardly anything works normally.

He lamented that honesty, hard work and godliness had given way to all kinds of manifestations of lawlessness and degeneration in our national life.

Buhari said, “Our citizens must realise that the change they want to see begins with them, and that personal and social reforms are not a theoretic exercise. If you have not seen the change in you, you cannot see it in others or even the larger society.

“In other words, before you ask ‘Where is the change they promised us?’, you must first ask, ‘How far have I changed my ways? What have I done to be part of the change for the greater good of society?’


Read More :

Husband Batters Wife for Saying “Buhari” is Working

A woman has cried on social media after her husband allegedly battered her when she said President Buhari is working.  The woman allegedly beaten black and blue by husband According to Vincent Chinenye @Vincentwap who shared the picture of the woman on Twitter, he tweeted that all the woman did was to praise the administration of the present government in Nigeri and bam, she ‘earned’ the swollen face from her husband.

Change Can Not Be Attained On A Bed Of Roses– Buhari

President Mokammadu Buhari on a one day visit to Osun State commissioned a multi Million naira Osogbo Government High School as part of the activities marking the 25th anniversary of the creation of the state.

Addressing guests before proceeding to commissioning, President Buhari declared that change can not be attained on a bed of roses and demanded understanding of Nigerians while he deals with the ailing economy.


President Buhari visits Osun State and Commissions Osogbo Government High School Osun in celebration of Osun at 25 years anniversary on 1st Sept 2016

 President Buhari visits Osun State and Commissions Osogbo Government High School Osun in celebration of Osun at 25 years anniversary on 1st Sept 2016
President Buhari visits Osun State and Commissions Osogbo Government High School Osun in celebration of Osun at 25 years anniversary on 1st Sept 2016

President Buhari arrives Osun State

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Buhari Lacks Political Will To Rescue Chibokgirls – BBOG

The #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) movement, yesterday, took a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari for lacking the political will to rescue 218 Chibok girls.

BBOG said as opposed to the President’s excuse that he lacked “credible intelligence” to rescue the girls, what he actually required was the political will to take decisive action in the present circumstance.

The group stated this in an address jointly signed by its leaders, Oby Ezekwesili and Aisha Yesufu, which was read during its protest march on the Presidential Villa.

“Mr. President must now exercise firm and dedicated leadership on rescuing our #ChibokGirls just as he would do, were the girls his daughters,” the group demanded.

“As was the case on Monday, security operatives also barred the protesters from accessing the villa, stopping them short at the Bullet Junction near the Head of Service building.

“Reports from former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, after a meeting with Mr. President, suggested that the Federal Government’s position remains a ‘lack of credible intelligence.

“Coming over seven months since our engagement with Mr. President on January 14, and considering the lack of feedback on rescue efforts, this strengthens the position that there has been no focused, coherent and consistent operation to rescue our #Chibokgirls.”

“Having submitted four cogent reasons, it could not be said that there is a ‘lack of credible intelligence’ during our meeting in January and three further reasons just three days ago, the discussion must shift from ‘credible intelligence’ to ‘political will’ to decide on a line of action, and act!.

‘’This is especially so because Mr. President acknowledged the level of first-person intelligence that was to be obtained from the debrief of our #Chibokgirl, Amina Ali, while receiving her in May. Mr. President: No More Delays. The Time to Decide and Act is Now,” the statement read.

The BBOG regretted reports showing that Nigerian troops at the frontlines complained about their salaries and emoluments, urging the federal government to launch an investigation into the welfare of troops.

It quoted the reports as saying that the developmentwass weakening their morale in the fight against insurgency as the food they were fed was in no way better than that served prisoners.

“This is unacceptable and we call for an investigation. At this time of immense sacrifice from our troops on the frontline, it is important to prioritise their welfare and needs, ensuring that they have no cause to complain or worry about basic needs as they serve their nation to rout out the insurgents,” BBOG stated.

Shekau killled for the fourth time?

The BBOG also questioned military reports that the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau was fatally wounded in a recent aerial bombardment of the sect’s stronghold in Sambisa Forest.

The group said the government had on several occasions announced the killing Mr Shekau.

“Another key issue in the last seventy two hours is the military’s announcement that Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau was fatally wounded during air raids. We want it on record that this is at least the fourth time the Nigerian state has triumphantly announced killing this fellow.

“Mr. President should swiftly make a firm decision for their immediate rescue based on the three available options. Military operation, Negotiation with the terrorists or a Combination of the two.

“Mr. President must assess the wealth of information and state resources available to pursue a lowest risk option of these three.

“That Mr. President addresses Nigerians on his rescue plan and timelines of our #ChibokGirls. That Mr. President immediately constitutes a #ChibokGirls Rescue Operation Monitoring Team made up of representatives of Federal Government, parents of #ChibokGirls, KADA (the Chibok community), and #BringBackOurGirls.

‘’ This multi-stakeholders platform should act as a transparent mechanism for feedback on evidence of Mr. President’s sustained action towards bringing back our #Chibokgirls.

“Mr. President should immediately preside over National Emergency in the North East Conference to articulate a cohesive response plan to the Humanitarian Crisis and designate a ‘Special Envoy’ responsible for the inter-agency collaborative work required, as well as mobilize the private sector, Nigerian public, and the international community,” the BBOG demanded.

Don’t Swap Chibok Girls With Boko Haram Detainees – UK-Based Activist Advises Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised by a United Kingdom based Nigerian activist, Philip Agbese, to overlook the offer to swap the abducted Chibok schoolgirls with Boko Haram prisoners, adding that there is every chance that Nigeria will be reintegrating nothing less than 300 terrorists into the society by giving in to such call.

He added that such move will put the country in high security risk.

Agbese said it would be wise to consider the damage the released detainees will do to the country.

The activist said the move will be harmful to Nigeria, the entire West African region and some will spill over to Central and East Africa.

His words, “The ongoing orchestra that is whining for terrorists considers everything with the exception of one. Recidivism.”

“These groups and individuals that have been canvassing a swop of Boko Haram prisoners for the abducted Chibok Girls do so without regards for the penchant for recidivism among terrorists like any other type of criminals.”

“Recidivism is the chances of a previously arrested, detained or convicted terrorist returning to extremism or violence.

“Military records would probably show that some of these people we are being asked to free are in incarceration because it was not their first time of being tied to terror.

“Mr President, recidivism is difficult to measure, particularly so in a country like Nigeria where we are still working to bring our statistics and research capabilities up to date.

“Instead, the reality is there is the risk of them returning to the war front to re-stock Boko Haram’s fighting ranks.”

Some People Exported Stones To Claim Export Grant Previously – Adeokun

According to the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, the federal government Export Grant was greatly abused in the past to the extent that some people got export grants for exporting stones which they described as high valued goods. Adeosun said this at the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) in Abuja yesterday August 18th.

“On paper, why will you cancel Export Grant? The EG is set up to encourage export business. However, in a situation, where we do not have control, we open up doors for the kind of abuse, which are only imaginable. We have people exporting stones, describing them as high valued goods, collecting an import credit and using that to import fish. We do need to look for how to support export, but we have to be very realistic in the recommendations we are coming up with”she said

You Are No Longer A Military Man – Oba of Lagos Tells Buhari

The Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu has reminded President Muhammadu Buhari not to forget that he is no longer a military man.

The monarch said the ongoing economic hardship in the nation could not be totally blamed on former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He spoke in Lagos during the unveiling of SunTrust Bank Limited, the first commercial bank to be licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 15 years.

Other dignitaries at the event included a former Chairman, Economic and Financial Services Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu; Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Achebe; President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chief Nike Akande; a former Managing Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, among others.

President Buhari Relaunches War Against Indiscipline Campaign

The Nigerian government on Monday said it was teaming up with some private individuals to bring back the dreaded War Against Indiscipline previously introduced by Muhammadu Buhari during his military regime between 1983 and 1985.

The National Orientation Agency said the brigade would help curb the high rate of “insecurity, violence, kidnapping and other forms of social vices.”

Garba Abari, the Director-General of the agency, said this while speaking at the official relaunch of the WAI brigade in Abuja.

“It’s great pleasure that I have the opportunity to meet with the leadership of WAI, for the first time since my assumption of office about two months ago.

This meeting is meant to discuss the repositioning of the WAI Brigade in the current dispensation of change.

“I’m not only delighted with this gathering, but excited with you all for keeping faith and working tirelessly to contribute your quota to nation building as volunteers who are not being paid for over three decades,” Mr. Abari said.

Mr. Abari said members of the brigade should work towards building a more orderly, secure Nigeria.

“In this era of insecurity, violence, kidnapping and other forms of social vices, the role of the WAI Brigade in civil intelligence gathering cannot be over emphasized. It is in this regard that I call on you to encourage your members across the country to redouble their vigilance in the local governments, wards and their various villages, so that we can contribute our quota towards building a secure society.”

Members of the War Against Indiscipline brigade could be seen donning a green khaki uniform at the event, which was widely publicised by the agency.

Mr. Abari said Mr. Buhari had decided to relaunch the brigade because it was particularly successfully when it was first deployed in 1983 as a way of correcting disorderly conducts of citizens, charging all members to be circumspect about happenings in their immediate surroundings..

“The ills and woes that bedeviled the nation at that time are still very much with us today. That is why, when the National Orientation Agency, NOA, was established in 1983, the War Against Indiscipline, WAI Brigade was automatically drafted to be part and parcel of the agency to fight against indiscipline, disorderly behaviour in public and private places, disobedience to traffic rules and regulations, disrespect for constituted authorities, filthy environment, bribery, corruption and other social vices,” Mr. Abari said.

“The present administration has declared its intention to re-launch the Brigade for better performance and bring its activities to the fore. You as ambassadors of the agency, must, in your respective communities, local government areas, and states contribute your quota to make the change mantra of this administration a reality. Whenever and wherever you see something, you must say something to save our nation from decline.”

But some Nigerians opposed the idea, which they described as “outmoded and traumatising.”

Funmi Iyanda, journalist and talk show host, said “WAI infantilised, traumatised and dehumanised Nigerians. I recall it with revulsion and fear. A horrible relic unsalvageable in any form.”

Pro-democracy campaigner and public affairs analyst, Kayode Ogundamisi, expressed concerns about Mr. Buhari’s decision to bring back WAI, saying it reeked of Mr. Buhari’s alleged lack of creativity.

“So I read on @NOA_Nigeria timeline that we now have a WAI-BRIGADE? God can’t we get more creative? I shake my head for Nigeria so much I have become totally exhausted.” (Mr. Ogundamisi’s tweet contained pidgin words that were literally translated into English.)

A commenter, Shola Ogunsemowo, said “it’s also a move in the wrong direction,” adding that “there are more pressing laws that need to be passed.”

Political analyst, Demola Olarewaju, also said the relaunch of War Against Indiscipline was reminiscent of Mr. Buhari’s 1980s junta.

“So I’m not bothered with the return of WAI. These things were the forerunners of the dictator’s exit in 1985. And as it was then, it is now.”

But another Twitter user, Yinka Ogunnubi, said WAI was a welcome initiate, adding that it was started by former President Goodluck Jonathan under another name, Community Support Brigade.

“WAI brigade as a volunteer para-military organisation has been in place at least since 2012.

“Fundamentally, it remains the same org volunteer organisation supervised by the NOA under its “Do the Right Thing” Campaign.”

This article first appeared on Premium Times. Read the Original Copy

Raymond Dokpesi Denies Alleged Sponsoring Of NDA

The National chairmanship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi, has denied sponsoring activities of the Niger Delta Avengers, saying that it is nothing but a blatant concoction of falsehood obviously laced with the political intention of throwing a spanner in the works of our nation wide campaign/consultation with PDP delegates throughout the country in our bid to contest the National Chairmanship of the PDP.

He called on all Nigerians and delegates to the PDP National Convention to ignore Cynthia Whyte allegation.

This was amde known in a statement signed by Alhaji Shehu Gabam DG, Raymond Dokpesi
Campaign Organisation today.,

Only Tailors Engage In Padding, Lawmakers Don’t – Ex-Rep Speaks On Budget Saga

The Spokesman of House of Representatives in the Sixth Assembly, Eseme Eyibo, has said that there is nothing like budget padding.

Eyibo told newsmen in Abuja on Thursday that adjustments must be made in a budget before it could be passed into law.

He said that Section 80 (4) of the 1999 Constitution empowers the national assembly to make necessary adjustments to budget proposals presented to by the executive.

“I know padding is associated with tailoring, fashion, but I am not conversant with it as associated to appropriation process.

“It becomes difficult for an average man in the street to understand that in the course of budget preparation and the input of the legislature, there will definitely be the issue of adjustment.

“The adjustment could be deleted or added and something could be allowed to serve as it were.

“The essence of the public procurement act was to enforce the principle of accountability and thin out possibility of corruption.

“But the challenge is, has there been the enforcement or compliance of the full principles of the public procurement act?

He added that the budget proposal as presented by the executive was intended to come through the legislature so that the issue of checks and balances, separation of powers would be strengthened.

According to him, when that is done, that does not take away the input and contributions of the legislature into that proposal.

“If that was so, they wouldn’t have been a pre-budget meeting or oversight,’’ Eyibo said.

He said that the integrity of the legislature as an institution must be protected and strengthened. (NAN)

The Change We Promised Nigerians Is Already Manifesting – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the change promised Nigerians by is now manifesting itself. Speaking in Enugu at a town hall meeting for the South East organised by the ministry on Monday, the minister said

“Many have said they are yet to see the change we promised. Many more have called the promise a ruse,”“In fact, they are now mocking us. But we remain undaunted because we know that the change we promised is real. “In fact, the change we promised is already here, and it is manifesting all around us,’’ he said.“ Before now, public officials simply opened the public till, took as much money as they wanted and walked away without consequences.

 “That explains why funds allocated to the military to fight Boko Haram ended up in the piggy banks of many unscrupulous Nigerians. “Today, all those who looted the public treasury are being made to answer for their actions, as impunity gives way to accountability. “Many have offered to return their loots, and many more are facing charges,”

Commercial Bus Crushes Infant Over N150 Change

Tragedy struck in Makurdi town of Benue state when a commercial bus crush to death an infant baby over N150 change, injuring the nursing mother in the process.

It was gathered yesterday that the ugly incident which occurred along Makurdi-Gboko expressway happened at about

The father of the deceased baby who simply gave his name as Senator Anuum narrated that the mother of child had boarded the vehicle, alongside her baby, from the second gate of the Benue State University (BSU) to Coca-Cola junction located along the highway.

Anuum explained that when the mother of the child was about to alight from the vehicle at the junction, she gave the bus conductor N200 and she was supposed to be given a balance of N150 which, the conductor refused.

“The mother and her child who she carried at her back, were the remaining passengers in the bus. The conductor did not want to give her the change and they drove off, in the process she grabbed the conductor that was already on the moving vehicle, with her baby at the back and she lost balance, fell down and was dragged on the road till the baby fell off from her back, in between the back wheels and was smashed, died instantly and the driver and the conductor drove off,” Anuum said.

It was further gathered that the barbaric act drew the attention of residents and passersby who thronged to the place to catch a glimpse and rescue the wailing woman.

It said the matter has been reported to security agencies.

Credit: Leadership

Sunday Osanyintuyi: Buhari’s Presidency; One Year After and Wailing Wailers Achievements


Setting out to address a subject of this nature appears a huge task for me with reasons.  I am neither in government nor any party’s card carrying member. But as one of those who campaigned seriously for the current president just before March 28th, 2015 elections, the onus lies on me to access its successes, criticized its failures while setting clearer agenda for its progress. Needleless to mention that inability of sycophants of disposed GEJ administration to throng this path of honour was his undoing.  Some of them are lamenting today for not having enough courage to cane the government they served when it missed the road. Posterity judges those who embrace silence in the face of absurdity.

 Almost four decades as a Nigerian, I am a concerned citizen about governance in Africa and policies. In Nigeria particularly, when such policies have direct or indirect impacts on living.  Right from when I knew A from B, power supply in Nigeria has always been in comatose. It is so up till today.  However, the focus of this opinion today is neither lamenting the failures of the past nor predicting blink future but objective assessment of president Buhari’s one year presidency and wailing wailers (Opposition party members & pessimistic Nigerians) achievements.

To the wailing wailers, there is no perfection in humanity.  Human imperfections should not be excuses for failures. To Buhari and his team, you should always take cue from the wailers wail and not throw the baby away with the bath water. Some questions for the wailers.  Should you just wail because you need to? Shouldn’t your wailing have foundation and genuine reasons?  Should criticism just become a job while throwing away common sense? Can a house destroyed for 16 years suddenly be fixed in one year? Shouldn’t a proper foundation be laid to avoid sudden collapse?  Truly, opposition is a core bone of vibrant democracy. But when criticisms become tools for feeding, as the case with some of you, then there is an urgent need to retool and rethink. Clearly, the only feat your wailing has achieved in the last one year is NOTHING.  It has revealed the emptiness of your brain and its valueless.

Buhari’s Stand Against Corruption.

As we mark democracy day today as well as one year administration of Buhari’s presidency, one cannot but remind Nigerians that what President Buhari and his team promised us before last elections is CHANGE!  Change means clear departure from the normal. It is a definite step from away from the usual.  The usual before March 28th, 2015 election was impunity, poor leadership and directionless nation.

Change is an act or process through which something becomes different. We all agreed our nation has been on a wrong direction for long. From military era to the immediate past government, Nigeria was enmeshed in corruption. Everyone, including the deaf, heard clearly Buhari’s promise of change. In my view, president Buhari has kept faith with this promise in the last one year. Pains and some hardship tag along this change, but we as a people must learn to defer pleasure with little pains today.

His stands on corruption fight, which we all taunt as our major enemy leaves no one in doubt. What I feel the concerns of Nigeria enemies are the tenacity and brutality on how the corruption war is being fought.  Before you conclude Buhari is fighting opposition party members alone, please take an objective question on who were those in the helms of Nigeria affairs in the last 16 years of retrogression? The revelations on how money meant to fight Boko Haram war was shared among heartless people in power should be a thing of concern to you. The callousness, unpatriotic and perfidy of minds these people have are beyond imaginations.

President Buhari’s corruption fight in the last one year has been steadily focus with results.  Just few weeks ago, we had the first corruption victim, Ex – NIMASA boss, Raymond Omatseye jailed for 5 years over 1.5bn contract scam. National Publicity Secretary, PDP, Olisha Metuh is having his days in court over corruption as well as Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who incidentally is a top member of APC.  We have never heard such heart leaping news in the last 7 years, particularly under our immediate past president, Goodluck Jonathan. It never happened.  Such is one change Nigerians voted for last elections.

2016 Budget Issues & Subsidy Removal.

In the history of Nigeria, its citizens had never been aware of budget process like it is this year. Citizens’ consciousness was geared up to the process of budget passage because of the openness of Buhari’s administration and his determination for change.  Though some deadly politicians tried to scuttle the process through national assembly, but thank goodness the president has since signed the budget and citizens would begin to reap the fruits.

Petroleum subsidy in itself is not bad, but the Nigeria case leaves the subsidized citizens at the mercy of the powerful and rich. Just last week, an international blogger, JJ Omojuwa outlined clearly the difference between the 2012 and 2016 fuel hikes. What made Nigerians refuted it 2012 was corruption. Today, Nigerians are not on the street because the global oil realities do not exempt us. Also with the current disposition of Buhari’s administration, Nigerians, though painful, accepted the increase knowing fully well integrity is the hallmark of the government being led by Buhari.  Integrity, focus and transparency were not found in the dictionary of Goodluck Jonathan’s team.


If All Progressive Congress (APC) has any agenda for overall development of Nigeria and Nigerians, there is no best time to roll out than now.  We have tolerated the excuses enough and our patience for blaming the immediate past government has dropped to zero level. Now there is a budget to run with, take the fast lane and deliver.

APC led federal government must get to work immediately as its time enters the second year today. It does not appear to all that APC has proper coordination of its information machinery.  A situation where the presidency issues a statement contradicting ministry of Information on same issue lacks tact. Mr President, you cannot move into second year of your administration with this incoherent approach.  It takes so much away from you.

Recently, the opinion of Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Dr. Caleb Aborisade captures the views of those in the education sector. “I have not seen any meaningful thing done by this administration in the education sector. The only thing I know Buhari government is doing is fighting corruption and he is doing that well.” As much as it good to fight corruption, leaving education out of a national development is the worst type of corruption ever exists.

Buhari needs to, at this point, take an objective assessment of his ministers with a view of changing the change agents where necessary.  Nigerians and international community expectations are high. He cannot continue test run of ministers going forward. While commending performing ones, he should press reset button on less performing ministers.

Happy Democracy Day, Nigerians!

Sunday Osanyintuyi, media consultant & PR strategist writes from Lagos.

Sunday Osanyintuyi | @SundayOs

Rahaman Onike: Saraki And His Running Battle

The latest disclosure by the embattled senate president, Dr. Bukola Saraki that his current travail was a price he has to pay for opposing muslim-muslim ticket when APC as the ruling party was to decide its presidential/vice-presidential candidates sounds  like a belated excuse. Assuming he has raised the allegation ab initio probably it might have received greater public sympathy. The media boost given to the assertion notwithstanding, many Nigerian still find it difficult to believe his untoward accusations.It appears Saraki is employing every form of subterfuge to evade justice.From all indications, there is  a clear disjunction between the cause of his problem and the reality of ludicrous defence he is putting forward .As a renegade,he shouldn’t expect less from the party hierarchies anytime he reflects on the circumstances behind his emergence as Senate President.Hence,his counter accusations seem tendetious or could be regarded as an afterthought.

He ought to have raised the accusation before the legal battle against him got to the current stage.

As much one intends to give Senator Saraki the benefit of doubts, the multiplicity nature of the charges against him seems to be a constraint.

There was never a time in the annals of Nigeria when misdemeanours of a senate president would subject the whole senate to ridicule as the situation currently portrays.

It has got to such a messy stage that people are now calling for abolisation of senate.Those people that are advocating the option of unicameral legislative system for the country hung their proposition on ineffectiveness and wastefulness of the senators. In short, some of the antagonists of the current bicameral legislative system are of the opinion that the idea of reducing cost of governance as a matter of imperative demands such an urgent action.

Whatever the intention of the embattled senate president for the accusation, he is still going to be the loser at the end of the whole crises.

In the current circumstance, Senator Saraki seems not to have realised that he is no longer enjoying the public support and confidence by holding tenaciously to the Senate presidency despite bunch of allegations against him. If care is not taken, the 8th National Assembly as currently constituted and presided over by Bukola Saraki will be adjudged as the worst in the annals of this country.

Since the inauguration of the 8th National Assembly, the Senate has not been able to settle down properly to discharge it’s legislative roles owing to discontent which the emergence of Bukola Saraki as senate president last year has caused among members of the Senate.

Essentially, what Saraki requires for now is to be courageous and ready to bear the consequences of his past unethical deals. If he had known that he would need to seek for equity, one day, he ought not to have soiled his hands with dirty deals. Clearly, the embattled Senate president needs more than raising a counter accusation to be exonerated of corrupt charges which is currently threatening his position as senate president.

The unfolding drama during the proceedings of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) is not only a proof that the Senate president is desperate to obstruct the cause of justice but it also exposes his idiosyncratic tendencies as far beyond what his counter accusations could leverage. He should have seen the handwriting on the wall that with Panama leaks and the damning revelations at the CCT, it will take only divine intervention  for him to escape conviction.

With the unfolding scenario at the sittings of the CCT, Saraki does not need a soothsayer to know that the voices calling for his resignation outweighed the population of his  sympathisers.

Given the number of legal  hurdles he needs to contend with under his  current travail, there is a reasonable ground  for anyone to conclude that Saraki’s  chance of survival is lean. It is against this background that I support the call for resignation of Senator Bukola Saraki as senate president to restore public confidence in the integrity of the Senate.If the Senate President remained adamant,the public expectation is that the distinguished senators would not shirk in its fiduciary responsibility to commence his impeachment process.

In a saner societies, the public outcry should not have reached the present magnitude before he would resign.With Saraki tenacity, we are being portrayed as a country peopled and governed by greedy, selfish and desperate characters.



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

Richard Tayo: Patience, The Precursor To Our Change

If only we know what it takes to blast and scrap from underground the metal that has bewitched and harassed man for over 6000 years….. What else but gold! Jewelers and goldsmith have selected gold as their precious metal of choice because of its unique properties. If only we know the efforts and time put in from mining to smelting process to refining and assaying before it becomes that ornament we all adorn with pride, then we can safely say nothing good comes easy.
What happens next depends on how the gold will be used. Pure gold is generally too soft for most practical applications, so other metals are nearly always added to it. When gold is combined in this way, it forms an alloy. Scientists and goldsmiths often use colors to designate the various gold alloys that are possible. For example, white gold is made by combining gold with nickel, silver or palladium. Red or pink gold is an alloy of gold and copper. And blue gold is the result of mixing gold with iron.
There is a key element in the production of gold called PATIENCE. Alot of patience is needed in the production of those gems we call gold and we as citizens need to exercise such patience with the present administration if we must enjoy the raw gold the administration is excavating and hoping to process to pure gold.
It is imperative to communicate the importance of patience. We have all heard that patience is a virtue, but very few actually live by these words. Coaches and mentors regularly preach the importance of hard work, but few share such passion when stressing the importance of patience.
A friend of mine said in one of his write up titled ‘Where is our President?’ that ‘stop telling us the change will take time when technically it’s getting worse than you met it’. Fact is, the challenges this administration are poised to address did not develop overnight, and they will not go away overnight. Let me remind us that the value of Corruption that has ravaged our country is the obvious war against the change we want to see today. Progressive change takes time and one is likely to fail a few times before one succeed.
Patience is to remain steadfast despite opposition, difficulty or adversity. Patience is more than a virtue, it is a powerful weapon. No matter how hard working one is, the lack of patience will negate both hard work and intelligent program design.
Unfortunately, patience doesn’t sell well, so it’s rare that you will hear it mentioned. People want quick fixes in today’s world of instant gratification. Quick sells well. Slow and steady does not. If something takes time to accomplish you can bet that it won’t be pimped out on a late night infomercial. People want results yesterday not tomorrow.
I can understand the obsession with instant gratification. If we can do something faster why not do it? In theory, the idea has merit but in reality it simply isn’t true.
President Muhammadu Buhari isn’t perfect but I am sure he means well for Nigeria. I hold no brief for the present administration as i am also affected by the prevailing situation in the country but I know that there is light at the end of this tunnel, all that is expected of us is patience.

Richard Tayo

Usman Usman: #IStandWithBuhari Should Have Stood By Patriotism

Majority of Nigerians by virtue of the outcome of the 2015 election and the general goodwill enjoyed by President Muhammadu Buhari already stand with Buhari. His integrity, years of resilient struggle and preparedness, his antecedents and his austere lifestyle when compared with other former Heads of State, endeared him to many. This was why he was able to beat an incumbent president from the largest party in Africa and in the most populous African Nation. This was almost an unreachable feat few years ago when the then ruling party boasted that it will be in power for sixty (60) years. The rest is now history.

During the campaign days, the Buhari Support Organization (BSO) was the umbrella body which registered the numerous campaign groups that worked assiduously towards the success of President Muhammadu Buhari and by extension the All Progressive Congress (APC). While the campaigns were ongoing, we heard about the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria another campaign body which was pro Jonathan. Never did we hear of the group #istandwithBuhari.

The battle has now been won and lost then suddenly, we heard about the hash tag #istandwithbuhari. T. shirts, Pee caps and branded vehicles sprang up from nowhere and the social media was bombarded day and night with the hash tag. The frenzy that ensued was such that those who didn’t give it much thought scramble to join. State chapters were set up and registers were opened throughout the nation at very short notice.

There is nothing wrong with standing by any leader anywhere in the world. Leaders need followers to stand by them through thick and thin in order to consolidate their power and influence.  But when that leader is Muhammadu Buhari, who contested elections four times and lost three, the tides turn immediately. Standing with Buhari should have been more during his trying times than now that he has conquered all odds to become the president. The Buhari Support Organization which stood by him throughout his political warfare is in a better position to mobilize Nigerians to stand with Buhari.

The brains behind the #istandwithbuhari group undoubtedly thought out a good initiative. The spoiler however was the fact that some of the leaders had antecedents that hold no water when placed side by side with what they intend to achieve. I must say that it is not a crime in itself to have worked for a different political party and candidate in the past but there arises moral questions when such individuals come together to praise sing a candidate whom they earlier worked against but later emerged victorious. This moral question prompted the social media activists, majority of whom, by the way, were ardent supporters of Muhammadu Buhari to staunchly oppose the #istandwithbuhari group.

What followed was digging up of past deeds and misdeeds between the activists who saw the #istandwithbuhari group as a collection of unpatriotic individuals who initially opposed the president and the #istandwithbuhari group. The consequence of this was the resignation of one coordinator after another and the eventual suspension of the planned nine million man march, reminiscent of the Youths Earnestly Ask for Abacha (YEAA) years, earlier scheduled to hold on the 31st day of March 2016. The group was labeled and a fraud and a scam.

To be fair to the #istandwithbuhari group, it could well be that the social media activists who resorted to name calling and labeling of accusations against them which eventually led to the downfall of the group, nursed grudges only because they were either not consulted nor invited, a right they feel they had, therefore were unhappy with the fact that these “smart guys” were about to hijack the victory they collectively worked for without involving or carrying them along in the least. It could also be as a result of their patriotic disposition which made it impossible for anyone to turn them into praise singers after nursing their reputations to the present stage. Whatever it was, they formed the first unorganized army that defeated the #istandwithbuhari group which eventually led to the final blow that snuffed out breath from the group; the statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Excerpts of the statement reads:

“The Presidency formally disassociates itself from the #istandwithbuhari advocacy group and demands that the group should immediately stop claiming any alliance with the Buhari Administration”

“Among other reasons, we have found it necessary to distance the Presidency from the #istandwithbuhari group because it’s premature and ostentatious celebration of the present administration’s achievements is totally inconsistent with President Buhari’s philosophy of service with humility”

The last straw that broke the camel’s back was:

“The President prefers to give his fullest attention to addressing those challenges without the unsolicited and unwelcome distraction of untimely praise-singing from groups with dubious and questionable motives

And the rest became history. The social media activists rejoiced and celebrated this “victory” at every opportunity they had to make a post or comment while those behind the group found a new enemy in Garba Shehu while at the same time rolled up their mats to re-strategize on their next line of action.

The lesson here is that whatever we do, we must always put Patriotism and national interest first before personal and self serving ones. Knowing the antecedents of President Muhammadu Buhari, one will expect that praise singing isn’t one of the things he cherishes. It is true that through his impeccable records, he has been able to gather an informal army of followers who stood and are still standing with Buhari. This renders any formal attempt to stand with Buhari irrelevant especially as he is not faced with an unusual challenge as President at the moment.

If the brains behind the #istandwithbuhari group had extensively consulted most of the social media activists and other stakeholders in the Nigerian project before rolling out their mats, perhaps someone would have advised them to #standbypatriotism rather than #standwithbuhari. As for the later, he is human and fallible, as such, cannot always be right. So categorically standing by him is intrinsically wrong especially whenever he happens to err, and he will. It will only amount to sycophancy, attention seeking or out rightly seeking to latch on to the new administration at all cost in order to enjoy some privileges deserved by groups and individuals who braced all odds to stand with Buhari before now.

As for standing by Patriotism, it is influenced by love for the fatherland therefore, anything that clashes with national interest can be thrown to the dogs as long as the collective interest of Nigerians are preserved, maintained and protected.

Let us all begin to stand by Patriotism, that way, we expect neither benefit nor reward from anyone but accountability, equal opportunity for all and good governance for all Nigerians.

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

Adedayo Osho: Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Your Role in Nigeria’s Revival

Can we hope that with a reduction of about 17 billion naira from 6.077 trillion naira initially tendered, the passage of N6.060tn, being budget for 2016 will improve the lives of Nigerians under the Buhari presidency? In all sense of honesty, every single socio-economic development indicator is unfavourable to our ‘average citizens’ since past ten months. Only those who lie for a living would brand this proclaimed ‘Change’ as currently effective. And although sermons were preached upon APC ascension of how change usually takes time to materialise especially in fractured societies, the common man cannot continue to wallow in abject poverty while we pretend as if all is moving fine. For instance, it is pathetic seeing a pregnant woman of at least, 6 months, doing vehicle windscreen cleaning job in traffic – predominantly done by young boys in Lagos.

This is where the issue of ballooning wealth gap suffice. With a tiny percentage {very few} elites speedily climbing the ladder of abundant prosperity, their counterpart lower citizens find it difficult to attain middle class. A flurry of revelations even indicates the country’s elites are at no time interested in helping promising and intelligent children of the common man. They are full aware that by so doing, their children, majority of them spoiled brats will face future stiff competition in this brilliant and ambitious folks who possess high degree of civility.

Whatever article, column or open letter, the kind commonly written to President Muhammadu Buhari on state of the nation’s economy and politics should also be addressed to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Since the latter is APC’s national leader, with such hierarchical ranking and stature in the party making him the proverbial ‘Power behind the Throne’ in the game of politics. His position on topical national issues carry weight and seem to be in a better position to advise the president, more than any appointed official, however highly placed.

Jagaban should as a matter of urgency remind these selfish politicians that APC is a party which has ‘Left of the Center’ as its ideology. Of course, no single party can be traced to any distinct political ideology in Nigeria, the Broom party have little time within the ambience of grace to prove the promised Change will be delivered to even the most hitherto wretched rural dweller: this in itself is the goal of any party which embraced social welfare, limitless opportunity for individual enhancement and progressive national development as it claimed during campaign.

It is increasingly clear at this moment that Nigerians need an efficient government which can lift millions out of sufferings.

– Adedayo Osho

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

‘Buhari Will Visit China Soon’ – Chinese Ambassador To Nigeria Says

Yesterday, when the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Gu Xiaojie visited the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, in Abuja, he disclosed that arrangements have already been concluded for President Muhammadu Buhari’s official visit to the Peoples’ Republic of China in April.

He emphasized that the visit was significant because it would strengthen diplomatic relations between China and Nigeria.

“The relationship right now is a strategic partnership that will definitely help to expand mutual
benefits between the two countries to look at widening areas and scope of cooperation.

“We are also set to look for new areas of cooperation between China and Nigeria against the background that this year, China and Nigeria are celebrating 45 years anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries,” the Ambassador said.

He also disclosed the volume of trade between Nigeria and China in 2015 at $14.9bn, saying Nigeria is China’s biggest trading partner in Africa.

Performance: Oyegun, APC Beg Nigerians For More Time

National chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief John Oyegun has said he was unaware of any threat against his continued stay as chairman of the party. Oyegun spoke at the end of a caucus meeting involving president Mohammadu Buhari, the president of the senate, Bukola Saraki, Party’s former and serving governors, senators amongst others held at the presidential Villa Abuja late Tuesday night.

The chairman who admitted reading about the speculation of his imminent removal from office however said it was one of such challenges inherent in the status. He said: “I am not aware that my office is under threat. I led the party to the State House. It amazes me, occasionally it annoys me. That is one of the things you have to endure when you are in a position like mine. “We discussed all the challenges that have occurred since the elections. And we decided on the way forward.” Conscious of the crisis in his party, Oyegun also revealed that a committee has been set up to resolve the crisis. “It was a very serious meeting that discussed serious issues that have to do with the progress of the party.

“Skirmishes among party members are normal. We have set up a committee that is looking into all those issues and will resolve those issues”, he said. Speaking on the performance of his party’s government almost one year after taking over power, the national chairman pleaded for time on the part of Nigerians. He said that the government would come on full stream when the 2016 budget is passed.

“Basically, we are expecting the budget to be out, and once that is done, implementation of our policies will start. “That is what we will use to deliver on our promises to the people. So we are waiting. “Don’t say one year into the present administration, count this year because this is the year we are presenting our budget and implementation will start.” Asked why the recovered loot was yet to be ploughed back into the economy by the government, the chairman said “We don’t just recover money and spend it. We recover money and it will go into revenue. It will be deployed appropriately with the normal legislative approach”.

Kingsley Ohajunwa: Before The Naira Is Destroyed (Part 2)

Of course as expected a number of excuses are continuously being advanced for the declining state of the naira. While some have attributed it to Christine Legarde’s recent visit, alleging external pressures on Buhari from the World Bank, others have associated it with the recent fall in world oil prices. Yet a few others are insisting that out heavy importation has nothing to do with it stating that “does the US not import too or are you saying Japan and China manufacture every single thing they need?” Of course they do. Virtually every country of the world imports one thing or the other as nature evenly distributes resources among nations and ensures that “no nation dominates the other if their respective resources are properly utilized”.

How many Nigerians, especially of the elite class spend their vacation in Obudu Ranch resort or take time-out at the Yankaree games reserve? The options will be to go to the Caribbean Islands, Bahamas or some exotic places where they consider to e “serene”. Some Nigerians even go on sightseeing to neighbouring countries. Interesting! A lot of parents will be eager, proud and happy to have their children in tertiary institutions in the US, Canada, the UK and even certain Asian and African countries. What happened to the great Ile-Ife where these parents had their university education? What fate now faces Nigeria’s university of first choice and the nation’s pride- UNILAG? Are we now saying UNN Nsukka and ABU Zaria are of low standard? Anyway the effect of these actions is in the capital flight which runs into several billions of dollars. Come to think of it the rate at which our professionally trained teachers, doctors, engineers, pharmacists, sports men and women go abroad to seek greener pastures is disturbing. We trivialize this economic and social menace with the term “brain drain”, making it look like child’s play. It will be safe for us to recognize that one of the problems of Nigeria is the continued “outsourcing” of our “brains” to other countries to use. This is yet again why meaningful Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) isn’t obvious in Nigeria.

Nigerians are known to e very social people who enjoy organizing and attending flamboyant events. In fact we’re all involved in this. Take a look at every bottle of wine at parties, they’re either made in France, Italy, Scotland, USA or any of several countries but not Nigeria. As ordinary as we may consider this to be it accounts for several millions of dollars exchanged in purchase of these drinks. So, is it that we can’t produce these drinks due to the absence of factories or are they just too sophisticated for us to produce? Which exactly? I have steadily observed as the cost of kidney transplants and other terminal illnesses increase. Early in this century when I started observing this trend, Nigerians were going abroad to have kidney transplants done at about N2m (two million naira), now it costs between a whooping N6 – N10m. Of course as with many other services sought abroad, the demand by Nigerians is high since the country is yet to put its medical system in shape to handle it. Container load of frozen chicken and turkey are usually destroyed by officials of the Nigerian Customs Service when imported. It’s really disturbing that something as basic and necessary as domestic birds for local human consumption can’t be effectively catered for but has to also be imported. If we consider the kind of chemicals used in preserving them while being shipped for several weeks, one can only but create an abstract picture of the magnitude of health hazards that await Nigerians.

While it is generally agreed that falling crude oil prices has negatively affected Nigeria’s economy in a significant manner, one wonders why the economies of some other oil exporting countries aren’t as affected as ours (by the way our “oil exporting” status is laughable since we still import finished products). The answer isn’t far-fetched. Other countries have long understood the way the world economy works. While some are specialists in agricultural produce such as Thailand; others have supported their technological and industrial arm seeing to the manufacture of automobiles, mobile phones and household appliances; yet others have invested significantly in tourism thereby attracting visitors from all corners of the earth.

It must be understood that no nation attains the height it aspires by simply wishing for it, there have to be very vibrant and robust economic, political, social, cultural and technological synchronization of factors that can be used in motivating the human resources within the country to advance a new cause towards its success. It is worthy to note also and understand that in an atmosphere where corruption reigns the above factors cannot find a common bearing for anything meaningful. Therefore, we as a people, must collectively and honestly seek means to add value to every sector of our economy to such an extent that we can attract international patronage, thereby giving the naira a more prestigious reputation before its contemporaries in the international community.

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

Kingsley Ohajunwa: Before The Naira Is Destroyed (Part 1)

During the week I had the opportunity of meeting a top player in one of Nigeria’s foremost financial institutions. Of course before now I had always met several people with whom I’ll discuss several things some bothering on politics, others on religion, business, international affairs, security and so on. However I considered my meeting with this fellow a remarkable one; although it didn’t appear so while we were chatting until much later in the day when laid down to reflect on all that had happened throughout that day, including this meeting. As expected we started on a casual note of exchanging pleasantries and asking after the well-being of each other’s family, then to the everyday issues which make the rounds and touch on the areas I had earlier mentioned above. We talked about all these before getting on the issue which concerns him most, our currency. Yes! The naira. At this point his countenance changed to a mixture of mild aggression and sympathy. I could create an excuse for his mild aggression as with some Nigerians who talk about the current state of the naira, but was left somewhat bewildered wondering the place of sympathy in what he was saying. It was much later when I flashed back on all that had happened while with him that it dawned on me that indeed “there’s fire on the mountain”.

While we were having the chat during the day he said to me “Kingsley hold it a minute, what do you really think is the cause of this emaciating state of the naira?” Of course I tried to give a possible reason, while still adding other factors as supporting points when he held my hand as though demanding of me to pause and hear him out and then said to me ”my brother the demand for these foreign currencies is just too much and naturally when demand of a thing is higher than supply the cost of such commodity goes up, that’s exactly what I’m saying”. In line with my knowledge of the economics of demand and supply I immediately understood what he was talking about. It is in line with this statement and what I gave to him as a response that this whole essay will be based. It is to say the least phenomenal that in about a year the value over the naira of a major currency for Nigeria’s foreign exchange which is the dollar has risen about twice what it used to be. Within the last three months however the spate at which the same currency has risen may best be described as outrageous. While some have resorted to calling the governor of the Central bank, Minister of Finance, Minister of budget and national planning and even the President all sorts of names, it is ideal that before these aspersions are made or while people continue with them it will be logical to examine the underlying and general cause of the continued decline of the naira.

The average Nigerian is a lover of imported “stuff”. So it is usually not perceived as being out of place when people prefer things from the US, Japan, Dubai, UK, China and even South Africa to those from Nigeria. Come to think of it from the services rendered by multinationals to the most infinitesimal things we buy for ourselves, they must all be imported, “sent” or shipped in. I was on my way home a couple of weeks ago when I saw a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) whole manufactured by a Nigerian company, I told my friend about the vehicle and as you’d expect he rebuked the vehicle saying in pidgin English “you sure say person fit drive dat moto sef”!  I stood in utter consternation because I expected at least the smallest word of encouragement to the indigenous company that manufactured the vehicle but then I understood his position as being a microcosmic part of that which can be gotten from the Nigerian society. Very often companies and individuals request replacements for their fleet but not for once have I seen a vehicle from this Nigerian Vehicle company in their fleet because we either want to drive a Toyota, Honda, Nissan or ………

Till this day we are yet to develop an indigenous electronics manufacturing company for home appliances and other heavy duty machines. So that means owning a LED television made by Sony, Samsung or LG makes you a “big boy” and buying a Yamaha, Suzuki, Mikano or Tiger generator set makes you a “Chairman”. In fact these days we know how rich you are from the size of generator in your house. That means owning a generator set is a way of life; what is different is the type you own. Can you imagine that! Some even justify this menace of generator ownership by going for “Super Silent Cabins” or a sound proof one from either of these companies. How funny! You’ll be virtually ridiculed by your friend if your shirt, face cap, t-shirt or shoe is not T.M Lewin, Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren or Clarks. Infact our effort at making our own clothing here in Nigeria has been degradingly categorized as “Aba made”. So don’t even bother putting on a shirt or shoe made in Nigeria especially when going for a glamorous social function.

Malaysia is said to currently have one of the highest export capacities of palm oil in the world. Reports have it that the boom currently being experienced in this area of the country’s agricultural growth has its root in Nigeria and all began when agriculturists, researchers and scientists explored the rich palm fruits from Nigeria. How interesting! Whether this account in the area of Malaysia’s rise in palm oil production is true or not, the bottom point is that several years ago the position was vice versa with Nigeria even exporting rubber and other cash crops in very large quantities. Today our local palm oil circulation is grossly inadequate. I have heard of people forming “swag” because they drank American coffee before coming to work. Nawa o! American coffee! Is it not the same cocoa that was a major export commodity before its replacement by oil that this American coffee is made from? So what has happened to our cocoa? Infact where did the Nigerian coffee go to? I remember seeing some Michelin and Dunlop stores round town some years back. Do you also recall? But now they’re no more. Infact I hear one of these tyre companies have moved to a neighbouring country due to lack of power supply needed for production. Imagine the number of people now jobless because of that!

The most basic things that matter in our academic institutions are even imported. Can you imagine that pencils used by toddlers and children to put down their first letters of the alphabet are imported from ….. Do you doubt it? Just pick up a pencil beside you and you’ll see the country. I guess this was why our Minister of Science and Technology said Nigeria will soon start producing pencils. What an invention by an aspiring great nation in a 21st century world! The man is “really thinking”. But why haven’t we had “made in Nigeria” pencils all along? Most of our pens are imported leaving our indigenous manufacturers such as Eleganza to beg for a share of the market. The trend has moved to books and other paper materials. Imagine attending a meeting with a notepad or diary made by the Onward Paper Mill when you can patronize one of the big stores in town and get an imported and “very sophisticated” diary or notepad to take for that very special board meeting ……………………………………………………..

to be continued

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

Ademuyiwa Adebola Taofeek: ‘Change’ Is A Process And Not A Magical Manifestation

Allow me to reintroduce the subject “Change”; it is a process of becoming different, those with different opinions are those who see it as a ‘fire brigade’ approach. In the real sense, Change is a function of “Process” (series of events to produce a result) which explains why it is not a “Sudden” event.

16 years of this republic is not a sudden event, if those who destroyed this country did it gradually, how then would change come suddenly? With all sincerity, it is a fact worldwide that building is harder and time consuming than destruction. I need not to be a mason to ascertain the above statement. I usually ask myself if Nigerians are sincere with what they want as a people. Do we truly want water on our lands or Mirage, do we seek change or Magic, have we voted PMB or Late Prof. Peller.

For those who don’t know the latter, he was a man that could (according to legends) butcher a man and rearrange in the same vane with the power of magic. The former is a man with the exclusive rights to be called the first citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

To be concise, I, unlike few did a thorough research about his rule few years back which means I was born after his tenure as a Military head of State and I got to know him as a man who knows nothing about magic. My love for him is not far-fetched, it is simply for the love of the state and my only affiliation is to the most populous black nation in the world not of any political party.

I know a few people who wanted our President who contested severally before he was given the mandate to say “abracadabra” after swearing in for them to see a new Nigeria in close resemblance to United States of America.

My enthusiasm to see the Change we voted for is just like yours but on a basis of objectivity and reality. If I were you, I’d look at change from the Yoruba adage which translates thus ; “In pains, the tribal mark is made, but it becomes beautiful to the owner afterwards “

I know preaching patience and endurance as regards this government may make a few question my patriotism but we must say the truth even if things become worse but God forbid.

The budget is an important document to every organisation and society.  It is the biggest working document in an organisation which predicts the success of the organisation or otherwise. The ‘Change’ budget is yet to be passed; the dream of the present administration is (arguably) in the budget.

This is not me throwing stones but the last administration had 5 budgets to work with, we axed them on the fifth. Should we axe the current administration before the passage of its first budget? Doing that would definitely define our confusion.

Obviously, the hardship is bigger than the Change we expect but we must see ourselves as the 160 million Nigerians that are ready to take the sacrifice. If this turns out positive, history will remember us.

I voted for President Muhammadu Buhari not Professor Peller (with all due respect), I voted for Change, not for Magic.

Ademuyiwa Adebola Taofeek


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

Minister Of Environment Visits Ogoniland Ahead Of Environmental Cleanup

Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, yesterday March 14th, visited Ogoniland in Rivers state for the second time this month, ahead of the proposed environmental cleanup of the area. Ogoniland has suffered many years of environmental degradation due to oil spillage and pollution. See more photos from her visit to the area below…

Budget Tinkering: Buhari Reportedly Orders Redeployment Of 184 Top Officials From Budget Office

President Buhari has reportedly ordered the redeployment of 184 top budget officials to other parastatals that have little or nothing to do with budget, as a punishment for their roles in padding the 2016 budget sent to the National Assembly.

According to a report by Vanguard, a top official in the Budget office confirmed that 22 top officers from the Budget Office of the Federation were affected in the mass deployment.

The rest were moved away from budget-related duties in other Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs. Out of the 22 top officials deployed in the budget office, four were directors on Level 17, six
were deputy directors while 12 were Assistant directors.

The ordered for their redeployment was reportedly conveyed in a statement by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation. Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Akpadem James, confirmed the development but declined to give further details.



Source –

Saheed Animashaun: The Wailing Wailers And The Die Hard Buharists; A Tale Of Two Extremes

Power, especially one conferred as a result of high public office position, creates a dangerous phenomenon. An imaginary protective shield is automatically erected around you. People around you want to please you always. They only say what they believe wouldn’t hurt you. They tell you whatever you want to hear and not what you need to hear! They tell you you are the best ever! They probably only give you positive feedback from people as regards your administration.

This is why I don’t envy President Muhammadu Buhari. Being President of Nigeria at a period as historic as this is no mean feat! It is a taxing job; one that requires a lot of wisdom and understanding.

Constructive criticism is needed to ensure that public office holders are constantly reminded that governance is no ‘tea party’. It is required to keep public office holders on their toes! It is essential so as to push public office holders to always act in the interest of the people.

To be more specific, let us examine the current administration. The Buhari-led government lacks the kind of credible opposition that PDP got while in power for 16 years. The PDP while not yet dead and buried, has failed woefully in serving as a focal point of constructive criticism! Their vituperations championed by circus clowns like Fayose, Metuh, and Fani-Kayode, have been mostly pointless!

The onus is therefore on conscionable Nigerians, youths especially, to serve as a focal point for constructive criticism. It is more important for the warriors that championed the Change campaign that brought in PMB,  to be as loud as they can be, with their criticisms. They gave too much, physically, emotionally, psychologically, and even spiritually to the vision!  They have invested too much that it will be foolhardy to decide to rest their oars now!

It is however saddening that many young Nigerians that should ensure that the Buhari-led government gets credible opposition are in two conundrums ; they are either ‘wailing wailers’ or Die-hard ‘Buharists’. The former category needs no introduction! The latter category belongs to the Buhari-can-never-be-wrong party! They mindlessly defend every action or inaction of Buhari! Buhari is a demigod to them! This portends a grave danger for the current administration if not reversed! Not having a credible opposition is bad enough. Having praise singers, the kind that ‘kobalized‘ Uncle Hero (GEJ) is super scary!
Yes, we should lend our praise-singing voices sometimes so as not to further worsen the level of hopelessness many Nigerians have in a better Nigeria. However, our loudest voices should be reserved for the quest to make the Buhari-led government more responsive, accountable and transparent!

We cannot afford to get it wrong at this moment because we’re at a crossroad. Buhari either sets Nigeria on a path of recovery, or sets it back several miles! There’s nothing in between! This is why we can never afford to be docile or praise-singers!
The Buhari honeymoon is over! Unless, we all pretend to be blind, deaf and dumb, we all realize that many aspects of the Buhari administration have been uninspiring, chief being his PR!

We need to always remind Buhari that the wind of change that swept him into power can also sweep him and his Party out come 2019!

We cannot get it wrong! It took efforts/convictions of huge proportions to kick out PDP! Buhari and APC cannot afford to throw away this golden chance to save Nigeria from the throes of under-development.

Saheed Animashaun (@ani_gene)  is a Corps Member and Social Commentator.

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

Fuel Crisis Looms As NNPC Shuts Down Nationwide Over ‘Unbundling’

Oil workers have shut down the operations of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) nationwide following Tuesday’s unbundling of the corporation. Members of staff and management of the corporation arrived their various offices on Wednesday morning to discover that they could not gain entrance following the total strike.

The immediate impact of the strike will be nationwide fuel scarcity as products will not be lifted by NUPENG. It is not expected to affect the crude oil export yet except the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) joins in solidarity. Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources who
doubles as the NNPC group managing director, had announced the creation of seven independent units on Tuesday, namely downstream, gas and power, refineries, ventures, corporate planning and services, and finance and accounts.

The group executive committee (GEC) of the the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) convened an emergency meeting at 10pm on Tuesday to discuss the development.

At the end of the meeting, GEC sent this message to all members: “The GEC of NUPENG & PENGASSAN at its meeting of 8th March 2016, which started at 10:00pm has extensively discussed the pronouncement of the GMD on NNPC UNBUNDLING. We observed that the GMD/HMSP totally disregarded due process and failed to engage STAKEHOLDERS. Hence, from midnight today, ALL NNPC LOCATIONS will be SHUT DOWN COMPLETELY until further notice.

Further directives will be communicated accordingly.” When TheCable visited the NNPC headquarters on Wednesday, hundreds of the corporation’s staff littered the road causing gridlock on Herbert Macaulay way. Unionists in red were at the scene barricading the entrance to the NNPC building. Also, security agents were on hand to forestall break down of order.

A staff member of the NNPC, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told this newspaper that he was at the corporation’s building as of 7:30am on Wednesday but met “it barricaded by members of PENGASSAN.”

The Cable tried to speak with one of the leaders of the union, but he said: “We are not here for journalists. This is not for the press.” Kachikwu had said the distribution of subsidiary companies of the corporation would further be restructured into direct management of the divisions. Last week, Kachikwu announced that the government was planning to unbundle the corporation into 30 profitable companies.

Source – The Cable

Orukotan, Ayomikun Samuel: Begging And Beggars: At A Time Like This!

In any social order, the veracity of pluralism holds in diverse calling. Pluralism is a school of thought that clenches the universal belief of things existing in pair. In the world of algebra, Boolean is akin to pluralism. In any society therefore, this two of a kind trend exist, segregating the rich from the poor, beggars from lenders, villains from heroes, losers from winners etc. such is life in a pluralistic society.

Poverty is the bane of many African countries, including Nigeria. A report presented by the Peace and Security Council (PSC) at the AU summit in Egypt, 2008 has said that poverty fuels separatism wave in Africa. In retrospect, the report informed the need for African policy makers to prioritise anti-poverty initiatives.
According to Professor Yemi Osinbajo, 65 per cent (approximated value) of Nigerians still live below the poverty line despite governments’ intervention programmes to improve the welfare of its citizens. Today, the percentage has increased if only we would be honest with ourselves. Nigerian workers are no longer paid their monthly entitlements and other benefits as and when due in many states of the federal republic of Nigeria. Economic realities have pushed many Nigerians who were once above the poverty line, below it.

In many Nigerian states, the situations of workers are just too pathetic to behold. On top of this, many state governors have become wicked to the plights of these workers who continue to work tirelessly in spite of red bank accounts and empty money bag. Arguably, effectiveness of employees in the public service is now next to zero. Yesterday lenders have become beggars today and yesterday beggars now beg the more either wittingly or unwittingly.

In Nigeria today, the gap between beggars and lenders, the rich and the poor is just too wide. Closing this huge gap should be the headache of any responsive government. In a nation of beggars and lenders, you are either a beggar or a lender. A Lender is the privileged few who has never stolen public funds to enrich themselves but still financially capable at times like this.
It is worthy to note that those people who have enriched themselves with our money are beggars. They may be temporarily rich today but tomorrow time lag for them or their generation in indignity of pain, poverty and sicknesses. The law of karma must surely hold. For the sake of readers who are ardent positivists and optimists, I need to further explain the term begging and beggars.
Begging is an objective subject matter. In an unequivocal term, begging is the process of pleading with someone for help or favour. Begging is not exclusively limited to those who beseech on the street corner, highways and market places from passers-by. Begging is not limited to the physically-challenged-turned-beggar or less-privileged-turned-beggar. In fact, begging is a common ritual among Christians (devoted or not) and Moslems. Christians and Moslems are ‘beggars’. We all ‘beg’ God for one help or the other through supplications, petitions and worship. On that front, there is nothing wrong with begging.
A while ago, the Lagos State Government (LASG) sent packing beggars from streets, major roads and highways in Lagos just because begging has become an eyesore in a place like Lagos. I ask myself after the whole show. What are the plans of LASG for those beggars dislodged from their ancestral homes?
In Nigeria today, many public servants (Health workers, teachers, academics etc.) have become diurnal beggars. Even, in the private sector, beggars are there in leaps and in bounds. In the civil service today, there is little or no longer room for management fraud and its attendant forms of stealing. The salaries are no longer forth-coming like it used to, workers are being retrenched on daily basis due to economic realities and unforeseen contingencies keeps getting out of bed. The only sacred option is to beg instead of stealing from the common patrimony.
Though, many public servants are in this predicament of ‘begging stylishly’ because of poor saving culture, misplaced priorities and poor planning. Of course, beggars are slaves to their lenders.

More, many Nigerians have become temporary or permanent slave due to government’s inadequacies and economic realities. The 2016 national budget padding is a reflection of how desperate some beggars could be. Per Diem, many have resorted to the business of begging just to eke out a paltry living. On the other hand, it is a blessing in disguise because it has taught the “begging” public and private workers not to use the whole of the ten fingers to eat anymore. Notwithstanding, Government at all levels should take workers’ welfare more seriously. After all, it is one benchmark of measuring good governance.

Spiritual leaders should begin to manifest the light in a very dark world. At a time of universal deceit, they should be agents that proclaim only the truth. At a time when Armageddon cites everywhere, they should do the work of God without any form of deceit. Spiritual leaders have holistic assignments to perform at times like this.

Most unfortunately, some of our so called ‘religious leaders’ are now real time beggars. In the name of religion, many atrocities have been committed by ‘servants of God’. Many religious rituals have been commercialized by our so called Pastors, Prophets, Evangelists, Imams and Alfas. One of the best ways of gaining access into a man is through his belly. Because of the belly, lies have been told against God, the Holy Spirit has been grieved severally. Because of the belly, the spirit of hunger is now the driving force, no longer the Holy Spirit. At times like this, these are the fruits.
In the annals of Nigeria history, there was a time when higher education certificates such as B.Sc., M.Sc., HND or even NCE were regarded as “meal-ticket”. Then, holders of such valued certificates were believed to have passed the poverty line. In our day, the reality of time immemorial is no longer plausible. Many graduates with such valued credentials in sundry profession have become first class beggars.

In a survey recently conducted by the Nigerian Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (CIPM), it has discovered that the high rate of unemployment in Nigeria is not due to paucity of Jobs as popularly thought but that: a lot of our graduates are just not employable. This critical unearthing which holds a little truth, boils down to the poor quality of Public education in Nigeria. Our educational system is also begging.

Alas, graduates don’t want to beg. It is overt, many of them hate to beg but who will save them from situations that act against their popular wish? The 2014 immigration Job screening turned National scam is a proof of their tenacity to cross the threshold of poverty as specified by the United Nations. Again, when will they become responsible citizens?

The people should be the concern of any humane government. The government should always ask themselves some basic questions in the course of governing the governed.  How many people are eating from the National cake? Are youth empowerment programmes sufficiently transparent enough, accountable to a fault and reaching the right beneficiaries? What are the yardsticks used by government at all levels to share the dividends of democracy if any?
A report in 2014, as carried out by the Nigeria Security and Reconciliation Programme, NSRP has reported that 79 per cent of Nigerian youths feel that only those close to politicians benefit mostly from seldom youth employment and empowerment interventions. The government of the day needs to prove this otherwise with more proactive measures.

Many factors have enlarged the number of beggars in the country. There is time for everything. This is time to get more serious with the herculean task of governance, not the time to pass the buck when the ticking clock does not trudge. This is the time to pay more attention to; worker’s welfare, continued increase in unemployment, high rate of poverty on mother land, the fight against corruption and everything that speaks badly of us as a nation-state. This Buhari led presidency surely has a lot to do in a country of fewer lenders and plenty beggars. May God help him.
Orukotan, Ayomikun Samuel, a graduate of Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, writes from Ondo

Mail:   phone No: +2347061926514

Orukotan, Ayomikun Samuel

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

Mustapha Saddiq: ‘Half A Billion For The Upgrade of Old Government House? Governor Masari, No Please’!

It was quite long since I wrote on my beloved state -Katsina, since before the 2015 general elections. Of course that is not because I have nothing to write about or no opinion to express as many things happened (both good and bad) since the inception of H.E. Governor Aminu Masari’s administration. But as many optimists are quick to sing (or rather cry or wail) anytime an issue of incompetence or ineptitude is raised about this government -not withstanding wherether it is born out of genuine patriotism and the desire for the governor himself to step up or in some cases initiate or stop certain policies that are believed to bring positive change to the common man or otherwise – that ‘it is too early to judge’. So I decided to keep calm and just observe as things unfold.

Today, I will like to voice (or penned) my opinion on the recent contract for the upgrade and renovation of the old government house to the tune of a whooping sum of N496million awarded last week at the weekly state executive council meeting.
To the common man, N496million may appear like just figures but we’re talking about almost half a billion Naira.

To set the record straight, I was a critic to the last administration on many of her unnecessary projects like fencing the Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic even as the student wanted more of hostels and classes that is why I felt oblique not to keep mute on this too.

Upto the time of writing this, I still believe that this is not true because if what went viral on this issue is really true then to say the least, this is a typical project of misplaced priority. Not only because the said money is too much but also because the said structure is irrelevant and unnecessary even as it is useless to the life of a common man in Dankama or Damari.

With all heppening around, this is coming when His Excellency says almost on daily basis and at the slightest opportunity to speak publicly that Katsina State don’t have money or that the state don’t get half of what it use to get from the federal government or that the previous administration has stolen and squandered the state resources.

H.E. May have forgotten but many of us noticed that during his electioneering campaigns, he openly criticized the previous administration for opting to built new government house rather than investing such monies to Education or Health sector. Now if building a new government house was a waste then (when the state gets more of federal allocation than now), I wonder what rehabilitation of old government house to the tune of half a billion is.
Is it not now that we should be more prudent in spending our scarce resources?

Fellow Katsinawa! Hear me out, N496million approved for this project is over 0.4% of the total 2016 budget presented by the governor. Again, the said amount for this upgrade (or whatever) is more than the money budgeted for the capital projects in the 2016 budget for the Science and Technical Education Board, Hassan Usman Katsina Polytechnic and Bala Usman College of Legal Studies which constitute to 0.2%, 0.24% and 0.22% respectively. If this is not wrong, then I wonder what else would be.

It doesn’t matter who you voted for or which party you supported, this is about morality, this is about what is right and wrong. This is about our future and that of our children. I believe this whole issue is fraud and deceit of the highest order and I urge the governor to reconsider this unpopular move.

Mustapha Saddiq
Twitter: @mustysaddiq
Mustpha Saddiq

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

What Buhari Achieved In Seven Months – Presidency

The Presidency has risen in defence of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying he has achieved a lot in the area of fighting corruption in the seven months of his administration.

The Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said this in a statement on Wednesday.

Shehu was reacting to a recent report by the Centre for Democracy and Development which claimed that Buhari had only achieved one out of his 222 tracked electoral promises, representing 0.5 per cent of the promises.

The CDD had based its report on critical sectors such as security, the economy, fighting corruption, oil and gas, agriculture, and social and environmental sectors.

But the presidential spokesman said it was mischievous to attribute to the President promises he did not make during the campaigns and hold him accountable.

While advising leaders of the CDD to rise above what he called petty partisanship and stop misleading Nigerians, Shehu said any unbiased person would recognise the achievement so far made by Buhari in curbing corruption.

According to him, no sincere Nigerian will fail to recognise the courage of the President to tackle corruption in a country where impunity was once celebrated.

The presidential spokesman added that within seven months, Buhari had successfully blocked the leakages in the system.

He said as a result of these efforts, the Nigeria Customs Service had quadrupled its revenue base within seven months, a feat the service could not achieve in years.

“Doesn’t the President deserve credit for this and other efforts to confront the monster of corruption?” Shehu asked.

On the economy, he said it was wrong to blame the President for the falling oil prices in the world market, a challenge which he said had made Buhari lay emphasis on economic diversification.

He recalled that President Barack Obama of the United States had inherited an economy in crisis in 2009 and was not judged in his first seven months in office.

Shehu explained that in the case of Buhari, it was a double tragedy because he inherited an economy in crisis on account of declining oil revenues and an economy also ravaged by large-scale corruption.

He, however, said progress was being made in recovering the nation’s stolen funds.

He said an escrow account had been opened for that purpose.

Shehu added, “He (Buhari) is making good strides towards improving governance by tackling corruption. Till date, a good number of persons believed to have collectively stolen billions from taxpayers have been arrested and are facing the courts.

“We are working with our allies across the world from Britain and America to France and Germany to China and the UAE to source, locate and repatriate misappropriated funds.

“So far, an escrow account has been opened for money that is being returned. This is only the start. The return of stolen funds is important, but it is just as critical to ensure that those who seek to steal realise that no longer will there be such impunity in Nigeria.”

He said Buhari’s war against corruption and terrorism had become a template for Africa and the rest of the world.

$2.1bn Arms Fraud: I Will Testify Against Dasuki And Others At ICC- Senator Ndume

Senate Majority leader, Senator Ali Ndume says he is willing to testify against former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki and all those indicted in the $2.1billion arms deal at the International Criminal Court, ICC. Ndume said this in an interview with Daily Trust, while applauding the efforts of human rights Lawyer, Femi Falana, who says he will be approaching ICC to try all those indicted in the fraud with charges of War crimes:

“As far as we are concerned, these people shared blood money. Borno elders have made our position known on this through a statement they issued. We stand by our elders’ statement, that anybody who shared from the money meant for the purchase of arms to fight Boko Haram, is part of the sect, or they are sponsors of the sect. There are classes of Boko Haram – the army of Boko Haram, the supporters of Boko Haram and the sponsors of Boko Haram. Those people that shared the money for the purchase of arms are part of Boko Haram. We are supporting the government in the investigation and recovery of the funds. In fact, we are saying the government should take the case to Hague. We are very glad that somebody in the person of Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has taken the case further by going to the International Criminal Court (ICC). Kudos to him. If need be, I’m willing to testify at the ICC against those who collected the money meant for the Boko Haram war. This is because I am a victim too. We stand by Falana and we are going to support him to pursue the case at the ICC. We are not surprised that Falana has taken the case further because he is always by the side of the oppressed”.

Ndume also rubbished claims by PDP members that the probe was a witch-hunt against its members

“Dasukigate is not a witch-hunt because it is a fact that they shared the money meant for the Boko Haram war. Is the money stolen or not? They stole the money and they must be prosecuted for it. It has gone beyond politics. Apart from Falana, the international community has commended the country for trying to recover the arms money. John Kerry in particular said they were in total support of Nigeria.”

‘Buhari’s Govt Will Be Open For Probe After Tenure’- Oyegun

The national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s led government will be open for probe after his tenure.


The National Chairman APC, Chief John Oyegun, said the damages done to the nation by the People Democratic Party (PDP) government needed to be probed.

Addressing newsmen at the party’s national Secretariat on Monday in Abuja, Oyegun who was commenting on the allegation by the opposition party that the fight against corruption is being targeted at PDP members alone, stated that “We are investigating yesterday, let tomorrow investigate us.”

He said: “People tend to give the impression that we are so concentrated on corruption and nothing is happening. I tell you that a lot is happening which will bring cheers to Nigerians in the next few months. It was 16 years of solid PDP control only.

“If we want to clean out this country, if we want to save this country, we must be serious about it and wherever the train goes, we will also go. There is no two ways about it. All these attempt to divert attention from the reality will not succeed. If you are caught stealing from this nation, you must account for it.

“We must be ready to put up with the inconvenience of getting this country out of the current level of decadence that has almost destroyed the fabric of this country.”

The party chairman also used the medium to debunked reports that APC had gone to the presidency to beg for financial assistance.

He said: “There has been talks in the media about the state of our finances. That goes to tell you that just like the economy, the party is suffering the strain of funding. It also tells you that we are not a party that draws funds from either security votes or from any government agency.

“We have not asked for rescue from the President because that is not part of his national duties. In fact, there is no funds from which he can draw to support the party in the way it has been done in the past.

“The party had to come out with a fresh thinking on how to raise resources for its operations. The plan is ready and it will go into operation in a few months from now.”

Buhari Urges Greater Global Cooperation Against Climate Change

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for greater global cooperation against the devastating effects of climate change to avert disaster for the human race in the 21st century.

Addressing the opening of the 2016 World Future Energy Summit on Monday in Abu Dhabi, President Buhari reaffirmed Nigeria’s readiness to work with the United Arab Emirates and the rest of the world in a collective effort to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“Africa is already suffering from the consequences of climate change, which includes recurrent drought and floods. In Nigeria, the drastic drying up of the Lake Chad to just about 10% of its original size, has negatively impacted on the livelihood of millions of people and contributed in making the region a hot bed of insurgency.

“Desert encroachment in Niger (Republic), our northern neighbour and in far northern Nigeria, at the rate of several hundred meters per annum, has impacted on the existence of man, animal and vegetation, threatening to alter the whole ecological balance of the sub-region.

“In the middle and southern part of Nigeria, land erosion threatens farming, forestry, town and village peripheries and in some areas major highways. Constant and abrupt alteration between floods and droughts prove that climate change is real and therefore a global approach and cooperation to combat its effects are vital, if the human race is not to face disaster in the 21st century,” he told participants at the summit.

Noting that the summit was taking place soon after the United Nations Conference on Climate Change held in Paris late last year, the President praised the United Arab Emirates for consistently supporting international action on climate change.

“We see Abu Dhabi as a dependable partner in the collective effort to manage climate risks, including the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Thank you Abu Dhabi, for consistently continuing to support international action in this sphere.

“We appreciate your immense contributions worth hundreds of millions of dollars in energy aid to developing countries,” he said.

President Buhari is expected back in the country on Tuesday, January 19, 2016.

Credit: Channelstv

Ashimolowo To Buhari: Looters Deserve Only 20% Of Your Time

President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised to adopt the Pareto’s Principle in governance, where just 20 per cent of governance time is dedicated to the past, “otherwise, it will take forever for majority of Nigerians to see changes.”


Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, Senior Pastor of Kingsway International Christian Centre, KICC, who gave the advice, said going by Parento’s Principle, the Federal Government should dedicate 20 per cent of its resources to going after perceived looters, while 80 per cent should be given to creating an enabling environment for Nigerians.

Speaking to journalists at the 10th edition of the annual widows New Year party in Ode-Omu, Osun State, he said: “President

Buhari is a man of great integrity, who wants the best for the country. But if he spends all his time pursuing looters, the majority of us who did not steal will suffer.

“Therefore, he must use the Parento’s Principle to approach governance. If you have your eyes permanently on the rear view mirror, you cannot drive fast. The past deserves just 20 per cent attention.”

PDP Leadership Asks Jonathan To Speak Up On The $2.1bn Arms Deal Scandal

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Abdulahi Jalo, has called on former President Goodluck Jonathan to speak out on the current $2.1 billion arms deal scandal. At a press conference in Abuja yesterday January 11th, Jalo said President Jonathan is still alive and should speak up on whether he authorized the former NSA Sambo Dasuki to disburse the money that was meant for the purchase of arms.

“As all of you know, no single kobo can be spent by the Federal Government without an act of the National Assembly. Money earmarked for arms purchase, some people diverted it to something else.
So many people that you cannot even expect were involved. Now, darkness has come to light. Jonathan is alive, he should clarify whether he asked the National Security Adviser to divert money meant to fight Boko Haram into his campaign. I’m from the North-East and I know the terrible security situation our people are facing there.

The money was meant to fight Boko Haram, and we all know that you can’t rule without peace. Now darkness has given way for the light. It was not only members of the PDP that shared the money; members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Accord Party and the Social Democratic Party, among others, also shared.

At least, Chief Olu Falae is not a member of the PDP. All of them should return the money. Then, (former) President Jonathan must speak on it. He is still alive. Has he ever said anything like this to Dasuki, ‘go and take from the money meant for the war against Boko Haram and share for my campaign’? It is time for him to speak up.”he said

‘Numerous Evidence Shows President Buhari Loves Igbos’ – Femi Adesina

Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina says contrary to popular belief, there are many evidences to show that President Buhari loves the Igbos in Nigeria. He stated this in an interview he had with Radio continental on Friday January 8th

“When the President ran for political office in 2003, who was his running mate? Dr Chuba Okadigbo. And in 2007? Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke. If he hated Igbos would he run with them? That shows you the respect and the regard he has for Igbos, it was political reality that compelled him to come south-west in 2011 and in 2015. 

  Let me tell you a story. There is a prominent Igbo family in this country, if I mention their names you would know them, they are very prominent in the society. They told me a story that in the 70s, President Buhari was Minister of Petroleum, the family wanted to join the petroleum industry and then they made a bid. By then, there were not too many Nigerians playing in that industry, and there was a lot of scepticism from those around the then Lt Colonel Buhari, who was Oil Minister. They all said they don’t believe that the company as represented by that family had the capacity to play in the industry. This family told me that eventually, they got to Lt Colonel Buhari, he listened to them, and asked them; ‘Are you sure you have the capacity to do this?’ And they told him, ‘we can do it’. Then he removed his military cap, banged it on the table and told them, ‘it is done.’ And he instructed that they give them that opportunity they wanted in the oil industry and today that family is so big and they never forget that the then Colonel Buhari as oil minister gave them the break they needed. They told me that story about three weeks ago. The next day, when I saw the president, I told him the story. He laughed and then went on to tell me that when people say he is against the Igbos, it baffles him, that really he never knew that family, he just trusted the assurance they gave him that they could play in the oil industry, and today they are very big. He went further to say that even under PTF, so many Nigerians, including Igbos, benefitted a lot. So there is no way you can say the man hates Igbos. The second Niger bridge is on the budget in 2016. Let’s recall that the last President sometime in 2011 said that he would complete that second Niger bridge before 2015. He didn’t even go beyond the architectural drawing, but in 2016 budget, that project is there”he ssaid

Read more excepts from the interview after the cut
Q: What do you have to say about the Chibok schoolgirls? Any negotiation in progress with Boko Haram?
ANS: We need to know a little bit of what happened behind the scenes, between the last government and some people masquerading as the leadership of Boko Haram who wanted to get the Chibok girls released. They actually turned it into a franchise, it became a commercial thing and they got money, possibly in millions of dollars, only for government to discover it had been swindled. They kept saying they could get the girls released , they could interface with Boko Haram and they went smiling to the bank with all that money, and nothing happened. So you should understand why this government is being careful and the President has said the genuineness of the leadership of Boko Haram must be determined before any negotiation takes place.
Q: The commendation actually goes to you and your media team, for the media chat of President Buhari a few days ago. Arising from that chat, it is reported that the president said that he would not grant bail to former NSA, Sambo Dasuki, and Nnamdi Kanu of Biafra. What was in the mind of the President.
ANS: Our president is a straight shooter, whatever is in his mind is what he tells you. He doesn’t believe in manipulating or any form of rigmarole. What he said, was that those people had grievous charges against them, but then, he does not preclude bail, if there are no pending charges against them. The situation now is when bail is granted, before that bail is perfected, those who are prosecuting them would have come with fresh charges, which warrant their being held further. So, that is the position, if there are no fresh charges, and there is bail, there is no reason to hold them. But the truth is that there are fresh charges leveled against them.
Q: One of the APC men has been arrested by EFCC, and that is Col Jafar Isa. What does that mean to you?
ANS: It means that in this corruption fight, no friend, no foe. One of the quickest ways for President Buhari to lose confidence in anybody is for that person to be tarred with the brush of corruption, and if proven to be true, you are on your own. All those who have said he is selective, it is because they do not know him. We know how much he detests corruption, and if any case is proven against anybody, no matter how close the person is, no matter how high ranking, that person will answer for it.
Q: On Forex policy of CBN, and Miss Christine Lagarde of IMF talking down on Nigeria, despite corruption allegation against her back home
ANS: If Miss Christine Lagarde has any corruption allegation, it is not Nigeria that has brought it against her. Nigeria has absolutely no role in that, we know what happened to her predecessor in office, when he had issues over sexual assault and all that. He was removed and he answered for it in court . We leave that to them for them to handle. But in terms of talking down, there was no talking down at all. I was at the meeting that she held with the President, there was absolutely no talking down, she spoke nicely and decently, I don’t agree that she spoke down on anybody. In fact she ended up commending the President, commending Nigeria, and she said she wouldn’t expect to hear a knock on her door any day from Nigerians asking for support because she has seen that Nigeria has all it takes to pull through this rough patch that she is passing through. I wouldn’t agree with you that she talked down on anybody, she had the right as MD of IMF to make prescription, Nigeria has the right either to accept or reject.
Q: When would the disability bill be signed into law?
ANS: This is the second time this is coming up on this show, because I remember this question came up the last time I was here and now that the Ministers are about two months in office this is also something that I would bring up.
Q: Please lead us into the privacy of the President.How does the President carry the enormous problem of this nation? How true is the statement that the only thing he is doing now is fighting corruption, neglecting issue of economy, infrastructure and welfare of citizenry?
ANS: I would like to begin by saying that corruption is central to every other thing in this country. If we want to talk about the economy, education, health care, if all the funds we would need to address these are squirreled away, how then do we address them? Fighting corruption is central to Nigeria’s development, therefore the President has taken it as one of the key things that his administration would do. But then, that doesn’t mean that corruption is the only thing he is fighting, you need to see the man’s schedule. He gets to the office in the morning about 9 a.m, the first thing he has required us to do is get the highlights of newspapers ready for him, and so before he comes in, we have reviewed the newspapers, we have done all the highlights and that is the first thing he looks at. Then he begins to attend to all the other things lined out for him. Across all the sectors, ministers and directors of agencies are meeting with him. He is a hard worker and at 73, I wonder how he does it. He does that till early evening, when he then retires home to have a late lunch and a rest, and then in the early evening he takes on people that have been scheduled to meet him, if there are. One thing that about this President is that as much as possible, you don’t get to his house and see a market. I was told that in the last dispensation the place would still be a beehive of activities as late as 2 a.m. But this man is methodical, he plans his days and in the process he is able to attend to much more. All the sectors are receiving attention, I can assure you.
Q: Funding the real sector is going to be very important in getting diversification, in getting the economy back on track. What about our developmental banks?
ANS: Talking of the real sector I know of BOI because, I engage with them, the MD, the corporate affairs people, we spoke two days ago and they have this programme on television which I follow. I think BOI is doing well and they have to be further empowered to do more. Talking of Treasury Single Account (TSA) it is work in progress, the rough edges are being smoothened. You heard the President on National Media Chat saying that about N1. 5 trillion has been harnessed into TSA. If you don’t harness this money, how do you use it? Now that that money is there, that is when we can talk of using it for the real sector.
Q: What is the plan of the government on state police?
ANS: I know that the APC had some promises in that respect, don’t forget that APC promised to look at our federation, and re-tune it, rework it, and part of the promises was to look into state police.
Q: The Nigerian Labour Congress is threatening to call out Nigerians to embark on strike, the reason is based on subsidy removal, which was alleged would bring untold hardship to common Nigerians. Could you shed light on this issue?
ANS: What hardship can be greater than what Nigerians passed through in the past four- six weeks, queueing endlessly to buy petrol and at the end of the day buying it at N200, N250, N300 per litre; what hardship can be greater than that? On the flip-side, what we are entering into now is something that would make life a lot easier for Nigerians, getting petrol, making sure that the supply is sustained because with crude oil prices down, why should Nigerians pay so high for refined petrol? That is what government is doing. Now that crude prices are down, this is the opportunity to arrive at appropriate prices for refined petrol, that is why we now have N86 from NNPC, N86.5 from other marketers, and it has also been said that this would be subject to review every quarter. That means if oil prices inch up again, it would affect how much we buy petrol. Labour, I am sure will look at the matter again, and know that it would be better that Nigerians get petrol at clearly affordable prices, reacting to prices of crude oil, rather than a subsidy regime that is fraught with so much corruption.
Q: What are the foreign policy plans of this administration?
ANS: We just had a minister of foreign affairs, who is settling down. The Ministers would just be two months in office soon. Economic diplomacy is very important for us. We know that we have engaged with the West, we have also gone East; China for instance is doing a lot of with us. Economic diplomacy is very important for Nigerians at this time, because like the President says, no country in the world can afford to stand alone again. Even President Obama said it at the UN General Assembly last September, no country in the world can afford to stand alone again because the things that unite the world now are economy and security. No country can afford to do it alone, so Nigeria’s foreign policy would also be conditioned by that.
Q: Restructuring our federalism, what is the President approach to it?
ANS: As I said earlier, restructuring the federation is part of the promises the APC made when it campaigned, but you would also agree that it is not a one man show; it is not the President that would say, this is the way to do it. No, It has to be a deliberate policy, starting from the party, to the national assembly and then it becomes law and all that. It is not the President that would direct it.
Q: We want to bring five members of this parliament to Aso Rock, I mean people who call in on this radio, and present our needs to the president.
ANS: I assure you that it can be done. I will raise it with the President
Q: Most business people are having problems funding their transactions. What is being done in terms of bridging this?
ANS: It is not targeted at anybody. It is a policy from the Central Bank. During the Presidential Media Chat, the President promised that he would get the CBN governor to look at the matter again. He said it openly and publicly. But one thing about economic downturn and revival is that it is not at the snap of a finger, economies don’t collapse in a flash, it is a gradual thing. So you can’t expect that it’s going to be by the snap of the finger, and the economy is revived again. It has to be rebuilt, the foundation has to be relaid, that is what this government is doing, and with a government that is serious and focussed like this one, we would get there. All of us have to be patient to get there.

Minister of Labour & Employment Chris Ngige speaks on those that will benefit from FG’s N5k stipend

Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige says unemployed graduates, market women and the Civilian Joint Task Force in the north-east are those that have been targeted to be beneficiaries of the Federal Government’s N5,000 stipend.

Ngige gave further clarifications in Abuja during an interview with journalists today December 28th. He explained that the N5,000 stipend would be disbursed through a social security scheme.

Jonathan’s Administration Triggered Soldiers Into Mutiny – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, in an interview he granted the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation has accused the past administration led by Goodluck Jonathan of provoking soldiers to go into mutiny for sending them to battlefields without arms and ammunition. The President said;

“We investigated and discovered how funds that were pencilled down for arms procurement were diverted and shared by government officials who served the last administration.

“The government at that time sent the soldiers to the battlefield without arms and ammunition to prosecute the war. That was what led some of them to mutiny. They were arrested and detained because of this.”

Speaking on the December deadline given to the Nigerian Army to win the war against Boko Haram, Buhari said;

“If people are going to be fair to us, they themselves know that the Army is winning the war. You can no longer find any huge number of Boko Haram members in Adamawa and Yobe; only may be, in about three local governments of Borno in the area around our borders with Chad Republic. They are no longer in position to threaten the country, so we have won,” he added.

He also spoke about the arrest and ongoing prosecution of arms scandal suspects. Buhari said the government would use documents that were already in its possession to prove to the courts that the suspects stole and their ill-gotten wealth would be confiscated and they would be jailed.

Nigeria’s Budget Without Oil Realisable – Fayemi

The Minister of Solid Minerals and a former Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said the N6.08tn 2016 budget proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari is realisable.

The minister also said the budget was not bogus despite the dwindling revenues from crude oil.

The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, while criticising the budget, had said that, “It is only in a confused and clueless economy that government will plan to spend more when revenue has reduced by more than 50 per cent.”

But speaking in Isan Ekiti on Sunday during a thanksgiving ceremony marking his ministerial appointment, Fayemi said there was no amount budgeted to develop a vast country like Nigeria that was too much.

He lamented the neglect of the solid minerals sector since independence, saying the sector had the capacity to turn around the country’s economy, considering its local consumption by industries and export benefits.

He argued that the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing that received a staggering sum of N433bn largest share in the 2016 budget could still not boast that the amount would be more than enough to turn around the infrastructural facilities across the nation.

He said, “The former governor of Lagos State who superintends over the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing with about N433bn budgetary provision cannot say the amount is enough to turn around the facilities of this country if you look at what was involved.

“The Lagos-Ibadan expressway alone will gulp a sum of N250bn while the remaining amount may go with the second Niger bridge, so no minister can say the amount budgeted is more than enough.”

Fayemi assured Nigerians that the budget was targeted at improving their lives, promising that it would be pursued with passion to realise its goals.

“The budget presented by President Buhari has a focus and the focus is to improve on the well-being of Nigerians and to improve on the infrastructural facilities across the nation.

“So, what we need now is to prove our mettle by being innovative and be creative. We need to work very hard to actualise the focus of this budget and this will only be measured by the level of impact we are able to make on the Nigerian masses.”

Fayemi maintained that Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in cement production was enough to prove that the country was richly blessed.

Fashola Gets N433.4bn for Power, Works And Housing

The Federal Government has earmarked N433.4 billion in the 2016 budget for the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing led by Babatunde Fashola.
President Muhammadu Buhari stated this on Tuesday in his 2016 budget speech delivered at the Joint session of the National Assembly.
“To deliver our development objectives, we have increased the capital expenditure portion of the budget from N557 billion in the 2015 budget to N1.8 trillion in the 2016 budget.“For the first time in many years, capital expenditure will represent 30 per cent of our total budget.“In future years, we intend to raise the percentage allocation for capital expenditure,” he said.

Ogundana Michael Rotimi: #DasukiGate; The Real Terror!

Boko Haram was tagged the world most deadly terrorist group in 2014. According to The Global Terrorism Index, Boko Haram killed more people- 6,644 in terror attacks in 2014 than any other terrorist group in the world. The Islamic State, ISIL, which is based in Syria and Iraq, follows closely behind, at 6,073 deaths through terrorism in 2014.


Figure 1: ©

The Global Terrorism Index is an annual report by the New York City-based Institute for Economics and Peace. It tracks global deaths from terror attacks, which it defines as “an intentional act of violence or threat of violence by a non-state actor.”

In confirming this figure, the highly respected Nigeria Security Tracker, compiled by the U.S.-based Council on Foreign Relations, found that over 6,000 people were killed in clashes between Boko Haram and Nigerian forces in 2014.

From 2013 through 2014, the death toll from terrorism-related attacks climbed drastically in Nigeria, increasing by 300 percent. It was the largest increase in terrorist deaths ever recorded by any country.

Regrettably, Nigeria is second of just the five countries that suffer the bulk of terrorist acts in 2014. The rest countries are: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria – accounting for 78 percent of all fatalities in 2014. Iraq bears the heaviest burden with 9,929 terrorist fatalities in 2014.

Putting the consequences of this terror together, Boko Haram activities in the north eastern part of Nigeria have been reported to be responsible for dead of about 13,000 people, damage of properties worth billions of naira and the displacement of over 3 million Nigerians.

Truth be told, I agree with all these facts. They are genuine, they are actually what Abubakar Shekau, the Boko Haram leader stands for and the world already knows him for that.

However, what do you say about those that had the opportunity to stop this terror, those that were in charge of the administration when Boko Haram was unveiling its devilish act, those that had all it takes to put an end to the insurgency before it escalated but blatantly refused to do so? How do you categorize such act? Isn’t it terror itself?

After the report of the presidential committee that looked into the details of the arms procurement activities of the last administration was released, and Sambo Dasuki the  former National Security Adviser (NSA) was arrested due to shady deals discovered by the committee, it became apparent that the negligence to combat and defeat the insurgency was a deliberate act in the face of ending corruption.

It was meant to be the office of the NSA and not the office of a Money Disbursing Agent (MDA), but it was the latter that it stood for during the last administration.

The revelations so far from the on-going investigation of the arms procurement scam during the last administration have confirmed the hypothesis of so many – the lack of political will to defeat Boko Haram.

Funds meant for arms procurement were shared among some political elites and fortunate folks close to the administration. While innocent Nigerians were being killed by Boko Haram, school children were being abducted, properties were being damaged and millions were being displayed.

Pathetic as it were, the NSA after denying the military especially the soldiers at the forefront of the war arms to confront the insurgency, on a global platform he called them cowards and when they revolted against the malicious act they were compelled to pass through, he charged them for mutiny and sort to kill them. There is no terror greater than this!

The point is, there is no terror anywhere greater than the #DasukiGate. Because, the reported most deadly terrorist group- Boko Haram, could have been overcome had #DasukiGate not existed. #DasukiGate was indirectly responsible for the loss and the pains Boko Haram caused the people.

Had #DasukiGate not existed, and the funds meant for arms procurement were judiciously utilized, the Boko Haram terror would have been easily curtailed, contained and defeated.

Had #DasukiGate not existed, Boko Haram would have not attained the rank of the world most deadly terrorist group in 2014.

Had #DasukiGate not existed, Boko Haram may have been defeated or rendered completely powerless.

#DasukiGate was the real terror indirectly behind the death of innocent Nigerians. It was the real terror responsible for the loss of lives of Nigerian gallant soldiers on the battle front against the Boko Haram insurgency. It was the real terror connected to the abduction of our men, women and children and for the displacement of persons from their abodes.

#DasukiGate is the world most deadly terrorist group in 2014 not Boko Haram.

With the #DasukiGate in place, government actions and decisions only benefitted a set of people close to the presidency while public interest came second.  Scarce resources meant for all were diverted away from the poor and disadvantaged and shared among a few elites.

Meanwhile, while the investigations and the prosecution go on, I hope this prosecution will be different from many other investigations and prosecutions we have had in the past that ended up in trash bins.

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous nation, largest economy and biggest oil producer, but astounding levels of corruption have left it without basic developments and infrastructures.  

It is high time we called on our politicians and public officials to be accountable for their actions. Hence, starting with #DasukiGate is not a bad start.

God Bless Nigeria  

Ogundana Michael Rotimi, is a Nigerian Biochemist, Socio-economic & Political Commentator and Public Speaker. He tweets @MickeySunny.

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

Petrol To Sell For N97 Next Year – FG

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has said the country will need to revert to the old pump price of N97 per litre of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, next year.

Kachikwu said the nation’s economy could not adequately support the current price of N87 per litre.

He, however, added that the Federal Government might exit the subsidy regime if the current strategy invariably failed.

The minister stated this on Monday while defending his ministry’s projections as contained in the 2016 to 2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper before the Joint Senate/House of Representatives Committee on Finance, Appropriation and Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions.

Kachikwu appeared alongside the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; Minister of National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma; Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele; Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Mr. Babatunde Fowler; and Director-General, Debt Management Office, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, among others.

On January 18 this year, the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Deizani Alison-Madueke, announced that the Federal Government had approved the reduction of the pump price of petrol by N10 due to the fall in the global price of crude oil.

She stated that in effect, PMS was to sell for N87 per litre and directed all filling stations and the regulatory authorities to effect the change of price immediately.

But on Monday, Kachikwu explained that the Federal Government was considering a reversal to N97 per litre in order to ensure that it would no longer fund the subsidy scheme.

He said the issue of total subsidy removal would come after the nation had been able to convince itself that the reversal to N97 would still be costing the government extra funds.

The minister admitted that the government would pay over N1tn to fund petrol subsidy this year, which according to him, included the N670bn paid to the major oil marketers for the 48 per cent of the product imported, and the 52 per cent brought in by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

Kachikwu said, “The total subsidy figure for 2015, when taken along with the NNPC’s subsidy payment, will be in excess of N1tn. The current pricing work we are doing has shown that there shouldn’t really be subsidy. The government doesn’t need to fund subsidy.

“There is energy around the removal of subsidy. Most Nigerians we talk to today will say that’s where to go. I have since left the dictionary of subsidy by going to price modulation, which is a bit more technical.

“The price of refined petrol today is N87. It was N97 before it was reduced and we really have to go back to that because we don’t really have the finance to fund it. There are lots of safety barometers between the N87 and N97per litre regime. The government does not have to fund subsidy and yet the prices would have been fairly close to what it is today.

“That is the first mechanism we are going to work. It is when that mechanism fails that we will begin to look at a total subsidy exit. We believe we can achieve that.”

On the issue of daily oil production target, Kachikwu noted that from August this year, the country had been exceeding two million barrels through stringent monitoring of the production process by getting quick fixes for instances of pipeline breaks.

He said the projection for next year was in excess of 2.4 million barrels per day, which would come from enhanced and increased production from NPDC field.

The minister said, “A lot of efficiency has really been applied in this regard. The NPDC will, for instance, be producing 300,000 barrels on its own, while other partners would process at least 2.2 million barrels.

“We would address issues of security and other impediments to the realisation of our target. We are looking at a collective and holistic handling of security issues between the NNPC and the oil majors with us taking the lead.”

On the oil price benchmark of $38 per barrel, Kachikwu said the projection was based on the outcome of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ conference, adding that the conservative price would suffice if the Federal Government did not interfere in terms of production cost.

He expressed confidence that the price of crude oil would increase as from early January to around $50 per barrel in spite of OPEC projections, adding that it might also hit $70 per barrel in 2017.

Speaking on strategy to reduce costs of governance, the Finance minister explained that the Federal Government had taken measures to ensure that all government revenues were accounted for.

She said the days when MDAs would generate revenue and spend 99 per cent out of it were over, because all expenditure would henceforth be captured.

Source –

Stop Social Media Bill, IT Experts Tell Senate

Some Information Technology experts on Wednesday urged the Senate to stop the Social Media Bill, saying the Cyber Security Law had addressed the issues in question. The experts, in separate interviews with newsmen in Lagos, said that there was no need for such a bill.

The bill for an “Act to Prohibit Frivolous Petitions and other Matters Connected therewith,” sponsored by Sen. Bala Ibn Na’Allah (APC-Kebbi South), has passed the second reading. The Chief Executive Officer, Teledom Group, Mr Emmanuel Ekuwem, said the Cyber Security Law had addressed all concerns about citizens’ rights infractions via the social media with appropriate sanctions.
He said that all that was necessary was to ensure enforcement of the Cyber Security Law. Mr Lanre Ajayi, the President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), told NAN that the bill would take the country backward in the internet world.
Ajayi said that the internet was open and its openness had led to innovations being enjoyed by everyone. “I find it very strange and very disturbing. The internet is there for development and now our own country is trying to hinder development by introducing censorship into it. “People should quickly intervene before Nigeria is taken to a backward direction.

The developments that we have seen in the past decade are strictly because of the openness of the internet. “Internet guarantees freedom and when we should be thinking of the freedom of our people, we are now talking about backwarding people, in the name of censorship,’’ he said.
According to him, the Social Media Bill is not a welcome development hence the bill should be suspended indefinitely.
The President of Medallion Communications, Mr Ikechukwu Nnamani, said that the bill still had a long way to go before becoming law.
Nnamani urged Nigerians to stand against the bill whenever there was a public debate on it, as it would hinder freedom of speech. He said that the bill would “curtail breaking news’’ in journalism profession, since all facts might not be available as at the time an event might unfold. “Nobody wants to publish frivolous information or information that cannot be backed up, but one has to be careful that the freedom of speech and the ability to disseminate information on the go is not curtailed by this bill.
“If there are still issues the Cyber Security Law needed to address, then we have to amend the law, instead of enacting another separate law,’’ Nnamani said. The Executive Director, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, Mr Gbenga Sesan, said the bill was just one out of 100 bills under consideration by the Senate.
Sesan called on Nigerian citizens to realise the need to engage the good old rule of eternal vigilance, the price of liberty.
“You probably don’t want to follow all the bills, but you can at least watch out for those that touch on your rights and make sure you initiate or support advocacy efforts around them.
“From time to time, legislators need to be reminded that they work for us all, and this is one opportunity to ring that bell of sanity,’’ he said. On Dec. 2, a bill seeking a two-year jail term for Social Media offenders was presented before the Senate.
It also provides an option of N4 million fine for offenders for false newspaper, radio and television statements and N2 million for false phone text, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or WhatsApp messages.

PDP Needs To Change Its Name- Chieftain

Jackson Lekan Ojo is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In an interview, he bares his mind on the Kogi State governorship challenge.
When asked, “What is your impression about PDP’s zoning of its 2019 presidential ticket to the North?”, he said:
“Anything done on illegality is illegality on its own. If some people are saying that Prince Uche Secondus still maintaining that position is illegal, then any decision taken by him is illegal. At the same time, are these people not confused? For now, the PDP is not in order; they are divided into three. One of the camps has sympathy for former President Goodluck Jonathan, one has sympathy for Secondus and his cohorts, while the other I think is headed by some of the governors and the Minority Leader. To me, for the PDP to rule at the centre again, they must change name and I want to talk like a political prophet.”
I foresee very clearly today that the PDP at the end of the day will scatter. Some progressive elements will go out. The progressive elements will turn to another party. The APC too, so those people that are the progressive elements in the PDP and the APC will come together under the umbrella of another party before 2019.
But we are talking about the PDP today, what about the APC. While Bola Tinubu has some people who are sympathetic to him, Buhari is also forming and building his own structure. Whether you like it or not, Atiku Abubakar is a giant and he cannot stay under the leadership of any of these two persons. So, he will stand on his own. So, the APC also will soon scatter and some of them will go and form another party. I assure you that before 2019, a mega party will come up from the PDP and the APC that will be stronger. But as at today, I think the PDP is badly mutilated.”
Credit: DailyTrust

FG To Spend N500bn On Social Welfare Programme To Cater For Poor Nigerians In 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari in a proposal that was contained in the 2016-2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper, which he sent to the National Assembly on Tuesday, stated that he is proposing to spend N500bn on a social welfare program that will cater for the needs of youths and other “vulnerable” groups in 2016.

Buhari wrote a letter to Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki, and another one to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, which were read to members in their respective chambers.

The social welfare programme would be executed in phases and it would also take care of the school feeding programme initiative as well as the “conditional cash transfer to the most vulnerable and a post-NYSC grant” but did not categorically say whether it was meant to implement his administration’s promise to pay each unemployed person in the country N5, 000 monthly.
The president stated that the relief welfare programe will start next year as a pilot scheme and that his government would work towards securing the support of donor agencies and development partners in order to minimise potential risks.
The proposal stated:

“Government will institute policies to ensure that our students learn skills and provide funds and equipment that will make them self-employed upon graduation. This will be supported by a post NYSC grant,”

The House took the decision as soon as Dogara read the President’s letter to members.
The House agreed that the proposal was very important and urgent and that the clerk would circulate copies of the MTEF and FSP to all members in preparation for the debate today

‘Jonathan Would Have Ruined Nigeria If He Was Re-Elected’ – Soyinka

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka yesterday during a programme titled, ‘Channels Book Club’ on Channels Television said that Nigerians made a good choice of voting Good Luck Jonathan out, else the country would have been ruined if he was allowed to rule for another four years. Soyinka said he is happy that he encouraged people to vote for Buhari, because his Government can’t be anyway compared to that of Jonathan. He said;

“We were left with two credible contestants in terms of catchment area for the nation. We had reached, in my view, the bottom. I became convinced that if this country underwent four more years under President Jonathan, the country would run aground completely. I looked at the record and said
this cannot go on, this has to stop.

“Then I looked at this man who had contested elections three times before and said he would not contest anymore and then decided to throw his hat in the ring. I talked to people and I said do you know what you’re doing?

“And after weighing all the options, I said let’s try a new one. And since in electoral terms, he was the one, I guardedly, with reservations, announced that no, not a continuation under Jonathan.

“And so very reluctantly, I want this on record, because I made it quite clear, I weighed the two of them and I said this nation stands a better chance under Buhari. And what has been coming out now? Look at all that has been coming out? Look at the figures (loot) which virtually hammer one into the ground just the sheer enormity of the robbery of this nation that is getting exposed progressively. It shows that we did not make a bad choice.”

Olawale Rotimi: Has Anything Changed After The Change?

After a stretch of poor governance in Nigeria for sixteen uninterrupted years, Nigerians home and abroad demanded for a “change”. That the change requested for is uniform in ideology to Nigerians is apparently not clear. Under the “change” cloud, some Nigerians desperately wanted a change of political party/government, whether the other parties were made up of same hands who messed the former ruling party was not important to the set of people. Further to this, to some other Nigerians under same “change” cloud, their crave for change implies a transformation in social and political ideology in the country while some conceived the “change” has a reformed leadership that will bring about developmental changes in the nation in no time. In all these views, one thing is certain, Nigerians wanted renewed approach in the way the nation is been governed.

The 2015 elections came with huge expectations which accosted the new government; considering the outrageous flow of propaganda against the ruling government and the juicy electoral promises of the All Progressive Congress prior to the general elections, majority of Nigerians believed and argued vehemently that once the People’s Democratic Party government is voted out and the All Progressive Congress is voted into power, Nigeria will experience dramatic progress in all sectors of the nation, particularly in the areas of insecurity, unemployment, economic growth and corruption.

In the history of Nigeria’s democracy, there was never a time the citizens are this tasty for improvement in governance. The decadence caused by previous government prompted this- Nigeria became globally recognized for corruption and terrorism, infrastructural plight of the nation became depressing and the economy regressed daily with increased number of unemployed graduates. The campaigns promises of the Muhammadu Buhari led government centres on these pressing issues. Been a former military head of state and a converted democratic president, with outstanding records of service, particularly in the fight against corruption, more and more Nigerians believed the task of rebuilding Nigeria, speedily is possible with Muhammadu Buhari. Six months down the road, but nothing seem to have changed.

On swearing in, Muhammadu Buhari received global support to deliver his campaign promises to Nigerians. Play markers in the globe pledged their support for Muhammadu Buhari in his fight against corruption, terrorism, unemployment among others. The United States and United Kingdom had promised to support the Nigerian government in recovering stolen funds saved and invested abroad, the frenzies that followed these promises gave specific assurance to Nigerians that all stolen funds will be released and guilty public office holders will be prosecuted in no time. Even though, the Buhari administration has made moves to charge a few public office holders who were alleged of corruption, none seem to have been productive for over six months. So far, the alleged persons end up with a bail in the court. The fight against corruption seems to have been frustrated early enough. The approach used as a military head of state cannot be used as a democratic president. Over time, the president has alleged the judiciary of frustrating his fight against corruption.

The hope and confidence invested in this government on election has dropped drastically, as the government proves incapable to deliver its promises to Nigerians. Aside the fight against corruption which is been frustrated, the president had promised to crush Boko Haram extremist in two months, contrary to his promise, the group seem to have waxed stronger in its activities, as more deadly attacks are launched against the Nigerian people, including the deadly blasts in outskirt areas of Abuja. Even though he has extended timeline to crush Boko Haram to December 2015, recent activities of the sect in Kano, Yobe and Borno places strong doubt about the tendency to crush them by December.

Economic imbalance and unemployment is one of Nigeria’s major challenges. Contrary to Buhari’s campaign promises, there no clear economic direction yet, even after six months. After tough intra party crisis on the emergence of NASS leadership, the president produced his ministerial list in the dying hours of September, four months after he was sworn-in. Unemployment is rising, so also inflation. No doubt the fall in oil price is affecting Nigeria’s economy; however, diversification plans are yet to be unveiled by the government despite the on-going regression. Almost immediately after the president announced himself as the petroleum minister, nationwide fuel scarcity commenced which has lasted for more than three weeks, with no solution yet.

Now the change has come, has Nigeria changed? Nigeria is systematically returning to the old ways. So far, the situations are becoming more complex for the government to handle. More of the campaign promises have been contradicted. Nigeria today is turning out to remain the same, no changes, at least none yet!


Olawale Rotimi: Nigeria Today; Has Anything Changed After The Change?

After a stretch of poor governance in Nigeria for sixteen uninterrupted years, Nigerians home and abroad demanded for a “change”. That the change requested for is uniform in ideology to Nigerians is apparently not clear. Under the “change” cloud, some Nigerians desperately wanted a change of political party/government, whether the other parties were made up of same hands who messed the former ruling party was not important to the set of people. Further to this, to some other Nigerians under same “change” cloud, their crave for change implies a transformation in social and political ideology in the country while some conceived the “change” has a reformed leadership that will bring about developmental changes in the nation in no time. In all these views, one thing is certain, Nigerians wanted renewed approach in the way the nation is been governed.

The 2015 elections came with huge expectations which accosted the new government; considering the outrageous flow of propaganda against the ruling government and the juicy electoral promises of the All Progressive Congress prior to the general elections, majority of Nigerians believed and argued vehemently that once the People’s Democratic Party government is voted out and the All Progressive Congress is voted into power, Nigeria will experience dramatic progress in all sectors of the nation, particularly in the areas of insecurity, unemployment, economic growth and corruption.

In the history of Nigeria’s democracy, there was never a time the citizens are this tasty for improvement in governance. The decadence caused by previous government prompted this- Nigeria became globally recognized for corruption and terrorism, infrastructural plight of the nation became depressing and the economy regressed daily with increased number of unemployed graduates. The campaigns promises of the Muhammadu Buhari led government centres on these pressing issues. Been a former military head of state and a converted democratic president, with outstanding records of service, particularly in the fight against corruption, more and more Nigerians believed the task of rebuilding Nigeria, speedily is possible with Muhammadu Buhari. Six months down the road, but nothing seem to have changed.

On swearing in, Muhammadu Buhari received global support to deliver his campaign promises to Nigerians. Play markers in the globe pledged their support for Muhammadu Buhari in his fight against corruption, terrorism, unemployment among others. The United States and United Kingdom had promised to support the Nigerian government in recovering stolen funds saved and invested abroad, the frenzies that followed these promises gave specific assurance to Nigerians that all stolen funds will be released and guilty public office holders will be prosecuted in no time. Even though, the Buhari administration has made moves to charge a few public office holders who were alleged of corruption, none seem to have been productive for over six months. So far, the alleged persons end up with a bail in the court.The fight against corruption seems to have been frustrated early enough. The approach used as a military head of state cannot be used as a democratic president. Over time, the president has alleged the judiciary of frustrating his fight against corruption.

The hope and confidence invested in this government on election has dropped drastically, as the government proves incapable to deliver its promises to Nigerians. Aside the fight against corruption which is been frustrated, the president had promised to crush Boko Haram extremist in two months, contrary to his promise, the group seem to have waxed stronger in its activities, as more deadly attacks are launched against the Nigerian people, including the deadly blasts in outskirt areas of Abuja. Even though he has extended timeline to crush Boko Haram to December 2015, recent activities of the sect in Kano, Yobe and Borno places strong doubt about the tendency to crush them by December.

Economic imbalance and unemployment is one of Nigeria’s major challenges. Contrary to Buhari’s campaign promises, there no clear economic direction yet, even after six months. After tough intra party crisis on the emergence of NASS leadership, the president produced his ministerial list in the dying hours of September, four months after he was sworn-in. Unemployment is rising, so also inflation. No doubt the fall in oil price is affecting Nigeria’s economy; however, diversification plans are yet to be unveiled by the government despite the on-going regression. Almost immediately after the president announced himself as the petroleum minister, nationwide fuel scarcity commenced which has lasted for more than three weeks, with no solution yet.

Now the change has come, has Nigeria changed? Nigeria is systematically returning to the old ways. So far, the situations are becoming more complex for the government to handle. More of the campaign promises have been contradicted. Nigeria today is turning out to remain the same, no changes, at least none yet!

Olawale Rotimi
B.A, M.A Ilorin, DELF Paris.
T: @RotimiLawale
“You don’t struggle to grow, grow the grass and the sheep will come, nurture it and they will never. Increase in quality not in quantity”

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

Governor Ambode Asks Lagosians To Change Attitude

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday canvassed the need for Lagosians to embrace attitudinal change and shun all forms of unethical activities in the interest of socio-economic wellbeing of the State.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the Iyalode of Lagos Forum/Health Screening with the theme: “Improving the Ethical Standard of the Citizenry in Lagos State,” expressed delight at the return of peace among youths and various trade groups, especially in Lagos Island.

Represented by Special Adviser on Civic Engagement, Mr. Olaide Kehinde Joseph, the Governor said he believed that such attitudinal change recorded on the Island would be replicated in all the nooks and cranny of Lagos State.

He also expressed hope that the development would be sustained in the long run for the socio-economic benefits of the State.

Besides, Governor Ambode said as a demonstration of his administration’s resolve towards sustenance of peace and ethical rebirth in the State, the Office of Civic Engagement was created to engage the people on attitudinal change and public civility.

While assuring that government would reawake good public conduct and moral rebirth, the Governor urged the people to spread the message and encourage public civility and good moral conduct within the family, the communities and the entire State.

The Governor also commended the Iyalode of Lagos, Chief Mrs. Bintu-Fatima Tinubu for taking the initiative to organise free health care for residents as part of the programme.

The medical mission, which was organised in conjunction with the Lagos State Ministry of Health, witnessed free distribution of drugs and screening for over 1,000 Lagos residents on various illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, eye screening, dental health screening and HIV screening.

Earlier in her opening remarks, Tinubu said her major motivating factor was her desire to see a better Nigeria, and urged great businessmen, intellectuals and entrepreneurs who have come out of Lagos to give back to the society as part of civic responsibility.

While alluding to the fact that Lagos State Government under Governor Ambode has taken major steps to ensure sustainable investment in the economy, Tinubu, however, stressed the need for government to listen and promptly act on the complaints of the people.  

“We Are Solidly Behind David Mark” – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Part (PDP) has described the former senate president David Mark as an asset to the Nigerian nation.

former Senate President, David Mark
A statement by the party’s national publicity secretary, Oliseh Metu said the PDP and the entire people of Benue state are “solidly” behind Mark in an election re-run for Benue South senatorial zone.

Metu said the former Senate president is expected to repeat his victory in a re-run ordered by the court of appeal.

He said the Benue people and supporters of the PDP since 1999 would remain steadfast in giving Mark another resounding victory at the rerun election.

He said the party is confident the senatorial seat will be retained even stronger now.

He said this is possible now that ruling party, All Progressive Congress (APC) deceit has become obvious to Nigerians.

Metu said: “The inexplicable ruling of the Appeal Court, even when all evidence pointed to Mark’s victory as upheld by the lower tribunal, is yet another evidence of APC’s dangerous interference in the judiciary, which negative consequences the PDP has continued to alert the nation.”

He said contributions by the senator in the growth and stability of the nation’s democracy growing and stabilizing through his mature, responsible and patriotic leadership of the senate is still highly needed in the polity.

The party also urged its members in Benue South to resist any attempt of intimidation, especially in their determination to ensure effective and result-oriented representation in the senate as typified in senator Mark.

Mark’s elections as senator representing the Benue South zone was nullified by the Court of Appeal on Saturday.

The court also ordered a re-run of the election.

However, Mark has also said he is confident of winning the election many times.

‘I won the election clean and clear. If we go back to the polls 100 times , I will still win convincingly,” Mark said in a statement by his media assistant.

Zayyad I. Muhammad: President Buhari And The Fuel Scarcity

Acute scarcity of petroleum products in Nigeria dates back to the early days of oil production in the country. It tends to be frustrating to know that many factors are responsible for the scarcity of petroleum products, however it placates that the solution is always simple- adequate supply of petroleum products to the nation’s fuel service stations.
Nigerians are yet again currently suffering from this problem. Being a former minister of petroleum who understands the complexity of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, President Buhari is in the best position to find a solution to this problem
There are two ways through which Mr. President can tackle this menace- the short term and the long term. With the presentation of a bill to the National Assembly seeking its approval to spend N413 billion for fuel subsidy payment to oil marketers for their outstanding subsidy claims, President Buhari has solved the crisis in the short term.
The long term solution to the recurrent scarcity of petroleum products in Nigeria is what is critically needed. The long term is double-pronged; complete removal of fuel subsidy and bringing Nigeria’s refinery capacity to what oil refining experts call a high Nelson Complexity Index. A Nelson Complexity Index of 10 or above is indicates a refinery has high potential in value addition and high value products.
Complete removal of subsidy means higher prices. President Buhari may not be quick to remove subsidy because of the resultant harsh economic effects that will affect majority of Nigerians. So, President Buhari may be more tilted towards improving Nigeria’s refining capacity.
With the right approach, coupled with the available cheap and easily accessible crude oil; competent manpower and funds, Nigeria’s refineries would operate at near 100 per cent utilization with minimal downtime. What is that right approach? – effective management of Nigeria’s 5,120km pipelines network, efficient management of the nation’s four refineries and building of new refineries.
The biggest problem facing the oil pipelines in Nigeria are: incessant illegal tapping by oil thieves, sabotage, right-of-way incursions, slow detection of leaks and in-line equipment failure due to inaccessible sites, including the old-fashioned method of managing the pipelines. However, there are advanced technologies that can successfully tackle these problems: SCADA- Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, Fiber Optic Cable (FOC) and Go-devils /scrapers or Smart pigs (also known as intelligent pigs). SCADA or FOC provide advanced warning in real time which helps pipelines companies to take quick action to protect long-stretch of pipelines network, even if it is located in inaccessible areas where visual inspection might be difficult. The impressive aspect of the SCADA and FOC technologies is that they sense and locate interference before the pipelines damage takes place. Smart pigs are used for detecting anomalies in pipelines or other mechanical damages. As for right of ways incursion, experts argue that the best way to tackle it is via community involvement through sustainable CSR projects and programmes. In addition, a robust standby force is needed to effectively man the security of the pipelines.
Our refineries are not working because of poor management system. Since government will not privatize them, let the government put up effective conditions for their operations: the four refineries should be granted full autonomy to cater for themselves- pay their bills and dividends to the government. When the workers know that the refineries output will determine their take-home pay; things may change.
Buhari being very passionate about reforming the oil and gas sector, he will definitely build more refineries. To increase our refinery capacity, government should go modular, mini and mobile refineries:   There are affordable 1,000 bpd – 30,000 bpd Modular refineries whose equipment units are pre-fabricated on skid-mounted structures prior to shipment to any location. If this is done, the only lasting solution to the recurrent scarcity of petroleum would have been found.
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State,, 08036070980. He blogs at
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Boko Haram Abducts More Girls In Borno

An unspecified number of girls have reportedly been abducted by Boko Haram members after an attAack in Bam Village which is about 7 kilometres away from Buratai village, the hometown of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai in Borno state.

A resident of Bam village, Ali Bam told The Nigerian Tribune that the sect members arrived their village in the early hours of yesterday November 29th, shooting and setting the place on fire. Four people were killed while an unspecified number of girls were abducted.

“We Are Aware Of The Hardship And Suffering Of Nigerians With The Fuel Scarcity”- APC

The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has said that it is aware of the suffering and hardship that Nigerians are passing through, occasioned by the biting fuel scarcity across the country.

The party pledged that the situation is being addressed, urging Nigerians to be patients as ‘nothing good comes cheap. Sacrifices are required’

Motorists faced untold hardship in their quest to purchase Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, also known as petrol.

Most of the petrol stations in the country, Tuesday, were shut due to unavailability of the petrol, while the few filling stations selling the product were besieged by a large crowd of motorists.

APCfuelBlack marketers were seen at the front of almost all the petrol stations, hawking fuel in 10 litres plastic containers at exorbitant prices, ranging from between N150 per litre and N350 per litre.

Even at the front of the NNPC headquarters in Abuja, the black marketers continue to ply their trade unhindered, providing an alternative for motorists who could not afford to spend several hours queuing for fuel.

In apparent reaction to the hardship experienced by Nigerians, the APC took to its Twitter handle to assure Nigerians that the Muhammed Buhari-led government will deliver.

“The APC is aware of the hardship Nigerians are passing through, resulting from the ongoing fuel scarcity. Situation is being addressed!”

“Let’s be a little more patient with the new cabinet of President Buhari. Most importantly, be assured that this govt will surely deliver!”

“Nothing good comes cheap. Sacrifices are required. By the time we pass through the foundation stage, Nigerians will see a new Nigeria!

President Buhari To Have Final Say On Decision For MTN N1.4 trillion Fine

It appears the onus if on President Muhammadu Buhari, to take a decision on the issue of the N1.4 trillion fine imposed on MTN Nigeria bu the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC).

Adebayo Shittu, the Minister of Communications, made this disclosure on Tuesday, at the Alliance 4 Affordable Internet Nigeria Coalition conference in Lagos.

He said the fine imposed on MTN was in the interest of Nigerians, adding that the telecommunications company had already apologised, and the President is now expected to decide on what happens.

“I don’t think there is any conflicting position on where government stands on the MTN issue. Recall that there were violations which were established against MTN.

“The violations were to the tune of five million subscribers. There are many countries where subscribers, in the entire country, are not up to half of the five million. In the case of Nigeria, we had more than five million violations.

“However, both the government and MTN are on the same page that rules have been broken in this instance.

“The issue is now before Mr President. He will take the necessary decision at the appropriate time. And the President would do what is best for the public interest,“ the Minister said.

“The good thing is that MTN did not contest the fact that they had violated the regulations and guidelines. They never contested it. They admitted they were at fault. They apologized for their role in the saga and they made a commitment that what happened will never happen again. And of course, they made a plea for review of the payment terms,” he said.

“Have Faith In President Buhari’s Govt”, Group Urges Igbos

The Buhari Media Support Group (BMSG), has commended Igbo leaders and Governors of the south-east states for seeking dialogue between the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and the Federal Government.

This is contained in a statement jointly released in Abuja on Tuesday by Malam Mohammed Labbo and Cassidy Madueke, the Coordinator and Secretary of BMSG respectively.

The statement said the option of dialogue would be explored between the Federal Government and pro-Biafra agitators like the MASSOB and Independent People of Biafra (IPOB).

The statement noted that the Pro-Biafra agitators and protests had crippled economic activities in some parts of the south-east and south-south during the detention of the IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu.

The statement also noted that President Muhammadu Buhari had been in power for only six months and could not be held responsible for the neglect of the zone over the last 16 years of the Peoples Democratic Party administration.

“In the words of the late British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, it is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war’’, the statement read.

The statement said that it was expected that the agitators would utilise these windows of dialogue to formally table their grievances before the federal government.

“We urge all Igbos to have faith in President Buhari’s administration with his commitment to be just to all sections of the country when he said, `I belong to everybody, and I belong to nobody.

“Continue to explore avenues for peaceful solutions to the grievances of your region, as it is only through peace that the much-sought after infrastructure and social development can be realized’’, the statement said.

Fayose Asks Citizens To Prepare For Hard Times

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has said with the continued downward trend in the price of crude oil in the international market, except by God’s intervention, Nigerians should brace for more challenges next year.
The Ekiti State House of Assembly also on Tuesday reviewed the 2015 operating budget and the tenure of regents in the state.

With the passage of the bill, regents in the state shall cease to enjoy government recognition after six months on the throne in their respective domains.

According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Speaker, Stephen Gbadamosi, the 2015 Revised Appropriation Bill was aimed at re-allocating funds to projects that are of paramount importance to government
The governor, who spoke in Efon Alaaye during his sensitisation tour of local governments in the state, said this year’s budget performed poorly because it was predicated on $68 per barrel, while it sold much lower than that.
Fayose, according to a statement on Tuesday in Ado Ekiti by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, opined that if the trend continued, there would be more financial challenges to cope with next year.
“This year’s budget did not meet expectations, especially in the area of capital expenditure because of the poor revenue coming in from oil sale in the international market. The oil now sells for less than $40 per barrel.
“Without being an economic expert, one can envisage a tough economic terrain next year. You know that I don’t hide things from you, the other day they said they have given out bail-out fund, I said it was not. It will amount to sheer deception for a leader to hide the true position of things from the people.

“We are heading for a serious financial challenge next year, as there seems to be little hope for the economy bouncing back. Our administration has always put our finances in the open for all to see. We are on this tour because we need to let you know what is happening. The power of the people is greater than the power of the leaders,” he said.

Badejoko Adewale: All Hail Babatunde Fashola Nigeria’s New ‘Prime Minister’

Let me be the first to employ the word Fasholaism, which should today and henceforth be incorporated into the Nigerian vocabulary as a fervent believe in a superhuman named Babatunde Raji Fashola. Apparently I’m not alone in this belief; His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari shares my faith, albeit subtler in expression as the president isn’t a man to give away too many emotions, but then, giving one man about three ministries isn’t giving too many emotions, is it?

Who is this exemplar named Fashola isn’t the question I intend to answer in this piece, Wikipedia and Google are rife with articles on that subject already; why does he deserve to be taken into account, and at all serious, is what I propose to paint in my little object dart. Wednesday, November 11, 2015, the President inaugurated 36 ministers from all over the country, all of who will be administering, hands in glove, with him to ensure the smooth sailing of Nigeria, a country that appears to have been tilted overboard by previous administrations. Of these men and women of valour selected is of course Babatunde Fashola representing Lagos state.

Surprising to many but interesting to progressives, the man Fashola was appointed Minister for Power cum Minister for Works and Housing which has generated several ‘beer-parlour arguments’. Some regard the appointment as nothing but a compensation of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu’s efforts to the ascension of the president (Asiwaju figuratively representing Fashola’s political father). Others, based on ethnic or religious sentimentality just think the appointment silly. Why should he be given such posts, why can’t someone else be given the other positions instead of saddling him with ‘too much work’ some others have questioned?

Well, it will be entirely wrong to make sweeping statements that the above cited sentiments are completely devoid of any truth. Nobody gets into power without being helped, it’s no news Asiwaju played a vital role in the last presidential election, and so if he indeed worked why shouldn’t he be duly compensated, after all the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn shouldn’t be muzzled. As to the sentiment of ‘too much work’, here’s an unspoken rule in leadership many are ignorant of: The reward for good leadership or stewardship is more responsibility. Great leaders don’t (and won’t) die of too much work, truth be told, it brings the best out of them, it challenges them to go beyond themselves, break new boundaries and finding newer horizons. The president isn’t a fool; his ample leadership experience was why Nigerians voted him in in the first place, and with the depth of decay in the Nigerian society, there’s need for persons with not just head knowledge but great leadership skills to make the vision of change a reality.

Of course, there’s the case of the blind loyalists who doggishly cited “Fashola’s work” in Lagos state as an outright justification for his appointment, here’s my reply: whose duty is it to provide citizens with amenities and basic rights? Isn’t good road or good schools part of the government’s duty too? So why the incessant praise-singing for someone who has done what he was voted, and as a matter of fact paid to do. Or was Fashola’s time as governor of Lagos on a Charity basis? But in a deformed society as ours where government failure is the menu of the day, the few ones who perform expected duties a little above average deserves some commendation.

On a concluding note, it would be sheer stupid of anyone (the media especially) to pray or await Fashola’s fall on his new assignment; but to fail himself is to set unrealistic goals like the MDGs; who can eradicate world’s poverty? For when all is said and done, Fashola’s failure or success affects the 170 million Nigerians still waiting for the dividend of their democracy.

Written By: Badejoko Adewale. He is @tha_krone on twitter

Soyombo Ayomikun: Alleged Looters Of Nigeria Falling Sick… Karma Or Drama??



  1. We heard

He stole


We heard

He carted our treasures


To distant


We heard

He once dressed

As a woman

To escape

Being caught…

Then we heard

He died!

Though we didn’t

Know the whole truth,

Some wondered

If it was all

Karma or drama…

Or a non-fictitious sad twist

To the plot?



  1. He was decorated

To battle

In our


To buy us


And bombs,

And fighter jets,

So the chains

On our Chibok daughters

Can be


So Boko Haram

Can become


So we can

Again enjoy

The dusk

In peace-

Watching children play

Beneath the moon,

From the smallest

Of our villages

To the biggest


We heard

He also


We heard

Dealings in the dark

Were orchestrated

By him.

As he was called

To recount

He sought

To fly

To greener shores

For medical check-up,

As if Nigeria

Has lost

Its hospitals

And great healthcare


That conquered


To enemy bombs

Or whatever.

We heard

He has


The truth is indeed

Beyond us,

But one

Can’t but wonder

If it is all

Karma or drama…

Or a non-fictitious sad twist

To the plot?



  1. She was

The emblem

Of power,

The goddess

Of our oil,



And smart.

For her

We also heard

She stole,

We heard

She embezzled

Loads of naira,

To the point of making

White men cringe.

As her past

Was questioned,

Then we heard

She has



Didn’t believe.

Despite a renowned writer

Meeting her

Taking her pictures

And sharing

With the world,

Still countless

Chose to


‘Karma shouldn’t strike

That fast’

They said…

They are still


If it is all

Karma or drama…

Or a non-fictitious sad twist

To the plot?



  1. To condemn

Without proof

Is foolish,

But the ancient wisdom


That smoke doesn’t

Get birthed

Without a fire.


Is enveloping


With the truth

Taking on the skin

Of the winds.

Our judiciary barks

But doesn’t bite,

Our leaders scream ‘foul’

But then become mute

After seeing

Some ‘divine visions’.

Why do we

Keep chasing


And if our targets

Ain’t shadows

Why does justice

Find it almost impossible

To strike?

We are lost


If it is all

Karma or drama…

Or a non-fictitious sad twist

To the plot?



Soyombo Ayomikun tweets from @alabaster85




“68% Of The Total IDPs Are Children” — Dogara

SPEAKER of the House of Representatives, yesterday, said 68 per cent of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in Nigeria were children.

Speaking at the sensitisation workshop and launch of UNHCR hand book, “On Internal Displacement for Parliamentarians,” Dogara said statistics from the UNHCR showed that 68 per cent of IDPs in Nigeria were children, adding that there had been about 60,000 births in IDP camps so far.

*Displaced children scrambling for food at an IDPs camp in Maiduguri... How safe are they?

The speaker further stressed that today’s event offered the opportunity to restate the fact that there was no adequate legal framework for handling issues of internal displacement.

According to him, though Nigeria at the executive level has ratified the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention), it has not yet been domesticated by the legislature.

He said: “We need to further explore the theme of this handbook for parliamentarians, which is ‘Internal Displacement: Responsibility and Action’, in a nutshell, who and what is responsible for internal displacement and what action is being taken by relevant authorities to address the problem.

“For our purposes, I think we should adopt the description of IDPs as ‘persons or group of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized state border.’ (Article 1(k) of the Kampala Convention).

“Large scale development and environmental projects can also generate IDPs. What is clear from the above definition is that IDPs are citizens of our country. They are not refugees from another country.

“They are our constituents, some of who voted us into office. As legislators, we have a duty and responsibility to care for them, protect them, assist them, provide for their needs, their welfare and to advocate on their behalf.”

“To be displaced or uprooted from one’s home is one of the most degrading and humiliating experiences that can befall any human being.

“They are very vulnerable and are exposed to all forms of exploitation and misery, women and female children are sometimes subjected to sexual abuse, and trafficking.

“IDPs lack appropriate shelter, food, water, sanitation, healthcare, child protection and educational opportunities.

“Access to money and work is severely limited or non-existent. Statistics from the UNHCR show that 68% of IDPs in Nigeria are children and there are so far about 60, 000 births in the IDP camps.

“The National Assembly has made its own contributions to the fight against terrorism and internal displacement, over the years.

“On the fight against Terrorism, we should recall that the National Assembly speedily passed both the Terrorism Prevention and the amendment Acts to aid the executive in its anti terrorism measures.

Nigerians Are Imbibing Culture Of Change – Lai Mohammed

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has disclosed that things have changed within the last few months of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government as Nigerians are already imbibing the culture of change.


He tied this to the President’s demonstration of the virtue of change by adhering strictly to transparency in his fight against corruption and by instructing his drivers to obey traffic rules at all times.


Speaking at an interactive session with newsmen on Tuesday shortly after meeting with the Association of Civil Servants of Nigeria, ACSN, in Abuja, Mohammed stated that Buhari and the ministers had equally imbibed the culture of keeping to time slated for any event by the organiser.
He reasoned that if the President leads by these good examples and ministers follow suit, Nigerians have no option than to imbibe same culture.


The Minister applauded the merger of information and culture into one ministry, assuring that it would make the ministry to easily drive the change agenda.

He therefore sought the cooperation of the ACSN to join the ministry in its efforts to drive the change agenda, insisting that “If the Buhari administration is to successfully implement its change agenda, we must not only partner with the government, we must be the face of change and we must live change.

“My doors are always open, and I am willing to work with you for the realisation of the dream to make our country great,’’ he added.


Credit : Daily Post

Kelechukwu Uzoka: “APC, The Campaign Reggae Is Over, Let The Blues Of Governance Start”

The All Progressive Congress (APC) won the last general election massively by overthrowing the People’s Democratic Congress (PDP) the self-acclaimed largest political party in Africa. Now APC is the majority and ruling party in Nigeria. But since after winning the election I still think otherwise because the only thing I see the APC doing is still the same thing they have been doing since their formation accusing the PDP as if PDP is still in power. One may ask, is it that the APC were never ready for governance or that winning the elections came to them as a surprise. The All Progressive Congress is still in the campaign mood six months after being sworn in, if this campaign mood last till the next general election in 2019 then Nigeria is doomed. This campaign mood governance still makes them feel like the opposition party that they cannot even unite in the National Assembly and trying everything possible to hold Nigerians to ransom by their ‘opposition mentality of governance’. Since the formation of APC they have been attacking the PDP and accusing Jonathan’s government of financial recklessness and misappropriation. Now six months after getting into power APC’s story have not changed, all we have been seeing in newspaper headlines is President Buhari accusing Jonathan’s administration of looting trillions of naira and billions of dollars of Nigeria’s money, PDP killed and buried the economy of Nigeria. Oga Buhari please if Goodluck Jonathan is with our money why have you not asked him where he kept it throughout his visit to you in Aso Rock. If it is true that PDP rendered Nigeria bankrupt for the past 16 years, Obasanjo and Atiku are your closest paddy and I hope their recent visit to Aso Rock was for them to tell you where they kept our billion trillions.
APC will kill corruption, APC will bury corruption and President Buhari is not corrupt has been the campaign mantra of the APC and from all indications the only policy that this government have as regards how to give us steady power, basic infrastructure of living and making our economy attractive. For President Buhari to tackle corruption he has to build institutions and an independent judiciary that will do the work without fear or favour unless he want to leave the duty of being our president and become the prosecutor and judge of the anti-corruption tribunal but just like the legal maxim ‘nemo judex incusa sua’ you cannot be a judge in your own case. If we want corruption cases to be fast tracked my opinion is that an anti-corruption tribunal should be established by an Act enacted by the National Assembly but the body language of the 8th National Assembly does not seem as if they are ready to do their primary duty rather they are busy fighting over who heads which committee and why were juicy committees not given to ‘our party men’. Now my question is, are all the committees not important for the development of Nigeria? If you do not like the committee you head please vacate your seat as a law maker.
The other day some APC Senators led by Senator Oluremi Tinubu walked out of a plenary because it was presided over by Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu who is from the minority party, the PDP. This is a dangerous trend for our nascent democracy. It has been the norm and law that when the Senate President is unavailable to preside over the Senate sitting, his Deputy is to preside. The APC slept on its right to produce a Deputy Senate President and if they want to undo the ascendance of Ike Ekweremmadu as the Deputy Senate President they have the Nigeria 1999 constitution (as amended) for them to read.
Finally congratulations to The New Ministers of the Republic. But I ask myself why it took this government six months for the appointment of those persons most of us knew that will make the list of ministers. As a note of advice they should face the enormous task ahead of them and should not try to dabble dip into the politics of talk plenty and do less. Special congratulations to Baba Fash the trinity minister now all those boasting and cabashing that he has been making in Lagos when he was the governor, he should manifest it now. I and majority of Nigerians are expecting nothing less than 30,000MW of electricity being generated, distributed and transmitted in Nigeria by the last quarter of 2017. For the Lion of Ubima, yours is well deserved, you can now complete the Portharcourt monorail project which you could not do as a governor despite having everything at your disposal to do it then. For Lai Mohhammed the job is still the same.
Before I drop my pen Dear President Buhari please I need my monthly stipend of five thousand naira promised us during campaign which is now in arrears of about Thirty Thousand naira since your inauguration.
Kelechukwu Uzoka can be engaged on twitter and Facebook via @kaezydon
He blogs at
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

Ambode Reads Riot Act To Traffic Offenders, Okada Riders, Street Hawkers

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, Friday, read the riot act to commercial motorcycle operators popularly called Okada riders, commercial buses and street hawkers, saying that the state government will no longer tolerate their nefarious activities on the streets and highways which has caused untold hardship for the people of the state in recent times.

Addressing Government House Correspondents shortly after an emergency Security Council Meeting which he chaired, Governor Ambode said that it had become evident that traffic crimes and robbery are mostly as a result of the menace of Okada riders and street hawkers, while recalcitrant commercial buses have become lawless and reckless on the road.

He said the Council made far reaching decisions at the meeting in line with the commitment of his administration to ensure security of lives and property as well as the enforcing of the Rule of Law.

The Governor said that the government will not allow a few notorious elements to cause a breakdown in law and order and upset the peace that the state has enjoyed over the years.

To this end, he said he has directed the full enforcement of the Lagos Road Traffic Laws, especially as it concerns the restriction of okada and tricycle operations.

He reminded that Schedule II of the Lagos State Road Traffic Law 2012 restrictsOkada, tricycle (Keke Marwa), carts and wheel barrows on some routes including Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, Oworonshoki-Oshodi Expressway, Lagos-Ikorodu Expressway, Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway and Third Mainland Bridge.

Others routes include Eti-Osa/Lekki –Epe Expressway, Lagos –Badagry Expressway, Funsho Williams Avenue, Agege Motor Road and Eti-Osa/Lekki Coastal Road.

The Governor therefore said, “Any person who fails to comply with any of the provisions of this Section commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction as stipulated in the law.

“Henceforth, all commercial vehicles, except Bus Rapid Transport buses, must use only the service lanes in accordance with existing traffic laws. All conductors of Commercial buses must sit down in their buses and keep the doors closed at all times while in motion. It is against the Law for conductors to hang on the bus doors and leave the doors open. Any bus contravention will be met with severe punitive measures.

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You Must Be Agents Of Change, Buhari Tells Ministers

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday charged the ministers- designate to ensure they key into the goals of his administration and be the agents of change that will transform the country.

Buhari spoke during the opening session of a two-day Presidential Retreat for the 36 ministers- designate at the old Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja.

The theme of the retreat is: “Delivering Change: From Precepts to Practice.”

The President also told the ministers- designate to observe the rule of law and shun impunity in the conduct of government activities.

Stressing that they must count themselves privileged to have been chosen to serve among millions of Nigerians, he said the retreat was aimed at getting them acquainted with the direction of his administration.

Credit: NationOnline

Buhari To Ministers-Designate: “Avoid Wastage, Impunity”…

President Buhari has charged the minister-designates to avoid wastage and impunity while in office. Buhari gave the charge during the ongoing retreat for the 36 ministers-designate holding at the state house Abuja. The retreat started yesterday November 4th and will end November 6th.

He called on the ministers-designates to be change agents and work as a team to achieve his administration’s dream for Nigeria. He also asked them to use the office of his chief of staff as official communication Channel inline with the presidential system of government.


Clearly Communicate Your Policies For Change, Kingibe Advises Buhari

Running-mate to late MKO Abiola during the infamous June 12, 1993 presidential election, Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe, yesterday, advised President Muhammadu Buhari, to communicate very clearly – to Nigerians and the world at large, his administration’s core principles, strategies, policies, plans and programmes for change, noting that he has limited time to bring the needed change in Nigeria.

Kingibe, Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Greece and the country’s representative in Pakistan, said though Nigerians are patient with the president because of the goodwill and respect he commands, they can also get agitated if their expectations are not met at a given period of time.

Kingibe also said that to successfully fight corruption, there was the need for the APC-led Federal Government to deal with the past fairly and firmly, using the principles of the rule of law.

Baba Gana Kingibe

The former Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) said: “The task is more urgent because there is only but a limited time before impatience on the part of the public blends with resistance from vested interests and dilutes the national consciousness for change.

“Fortunately, goodwill for the person of President Buhari is considerable, and people are willing to give him time to reset the country.’’

The Elder statesman added that the Federal Government must make its policies clear, pointing that Nigerians cannot afford to be kept in the dark in this computer age.

According to him, President Buhari should be prepared for resistance from some quarters, especially those who would be affected by his policies for change.

He said: “Looking ahead, to sustain change and overcome resistance, government must communicate very clearly – to Nigerians and the world at large – their core principles, strategies, policies, plans and programmes for change.

“We live today in a world of the 24-hour news cycle: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and all the other real communication tools of the internet age. No leader or government can afford to lag behind their detractors in the competition for public support.’’

Kingibe further said there could not be any meaningful change without an aggressive reform in the public service, adding that government has a duty to instill positive change in the attitude of public servants.

“For the change we seek to be more than a mere slogan, it must also temper official attitudes in the public service. It is necessary to reform all arms of government and their institutions.

“The simple truth is that despite the leadership and vision of the president, and regardless of the merits and commitment of every member of his team, without change in the attitude of the public service, good intentions will not produce change.’’

Tribunal Reserves Judgement In Akwa Ibom Governorship Petition

The Akwa Ibom Governorship Election Tribunal has reserved judgment in the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Mr. Umana Umana, challenging the victory of Governor Emmanuel Udom at the April 11 election in the state.

The tribunal resumed hearing after a 2-week recess to adopt the final arguments of the parties.

The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Sadiq Umar, reserved ruling following the conclusion of hearing on the petition.

Lawyer to the petitioners, Mr. Wole Olanipekun (SAN), asked the tribunal to nullify the election on the ground that the petitioner had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the governorship election was not properly conducted.

But the Governor, through his lawyer, Paul Osoro, argued that the petitioner failed to establish his fact. He said that the petitioner gave evidence in less than 50 polling units out of over 2,000 polling units in the state.

Meanwhile, Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Oyeachi Ikpeazu (SAN), claimed that the electoral body has complied with all court orders, which should enable the tribunal do justice to the case.

No date was fixed by the tribunal for the judgment. However, following the conclusion of their arguments, both parties would know where the pendulum swings, not later than October 29.

Source – Channels TV

VP Osinbajo Explains President Buhari’s Administration Economic Policy Direction

*We will diversify, Scale-up MSMEs & Reduce pressure on foreign exchange

*Social investment coming to address extreme poverty, Recession will be avoided


Your Excellency, the 2015 and 2016 budgets, where are we at that level? May be you need to shed more light on the Zero-Budgeting that government proposed.

Answer by the Vice President:

Of course you know the 2015 budget cycle is obviously coming to an end and that was the budget set in by the old administration which had up to 90% as the recurrent expenditure and the rest of it capital expenditure.  Of course we know that that is not a model that is sustainable for long term. We also understand some of the reasons why that has been so; some of them historical, some of it are legacy issues but we must rectify that and going into 2016 budget, we intend to put things slightly differently.

In the first place, this Zero-Budget system is the one we intend to adopt; it is the one we are working on.  We’ve started working on it very seriously in the past few weeks.  What that means is that we are doing away with the Envelope system and we are coming to a system which more or less, you know, involves you having to justify from practically nothing. You know, we are not just giving some funds to do with in accordance with what you have. In the Envelope system, as it were, you are given an envelope and then you spend from that amount of money.

What we’re trying to do now, is to ensure that every ministry, every department will plan based on policy, as a matter of fact, and the first point I think is important to bear in mind as far as Zero-Budgeting is that we are going to very strictly adhere to a policy, and this is going to be very policy-driven. That is why our National Planning Commission (NPC) working with Ministry of Finance and Budget Office have tried to develop, you know, a robust policy base, of course on the government own objective and aspiration, the party manifesto, based on other documents, trying to define what this government is about.

So we are more or less at the point where we have a clear policy document and of course at the same time we are doing the long term and the medium term review, the MTEF-Medium Term Expenditure Framework. We are also putting that in place in order to be able to ensure that the budget itself is purely policy driven because that is very important. If it is what it is, (that is without clear policy direction) basically we are just running government, you know, and implementing expenditure, capital expenditure, some capital projects and all of that.  But there is a policy here.

One of the critical issues for us is that in the past we seem to have budgeted on the basis that this is a country that is concerned only with, well, growth figures as they say, averages, may be about 6% in the past few years until last year into this year.  But growth figures by themselves don’t mean much. In a country where you have such a large population of extremely poor people, your budgeting has to reflect that, you know, because otherwise, you are going to have more of the same…one of the critical things for us is that the budget must reflect the fact that we want to deal with the fundamental question of poverty at the same time, we have huge infrastructure deficit which we must also deal with.

So those are two issues that go into our planning. We are looking into planning generally, into policy formulation.  We may be seeing for the first time a three to four year planning period and we are looking at social investment. I just take social investment for example…of course, we have one meal-a-day programme, we are looking at substantial investment in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), and we are looking at substantial investment in Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and all of that.

Now, how do we do that?  You know, given the cash constraint and all that.  So we are looking at how to do this over a three year, four year period; spreading the expenditure over that period. Whatever the programme we are doing, we have to spread it over that period, especially because we know that we simply don’t have the fund to attack this the way we wish to.  If we have the fund today we certainly would have wanted to implement every one of those policies in full from day one but the revenue situation seem not to justify that.  So that is part of why planning is crucial.

Zero-Budgeting is more or less for us a product of a style, you know one of the reasons why we think that budgets are not taken that seriously is because there is no policy champion.  There is no one to say look, this is what we plan to do, you know a budget is just essentially an estimate of what we intend to spend.  But we think a budget should also have some ideological content, it should be driven by thinking and some people should champion that way of thinking and in which case you don’t have more emphasis on getting things done.

Question 2:

The business community is seemed not to understand. They want a kind of clarification on the general economic policy direction of this government?

Answer by the Vice President:

Let me explain, you see, and frankly I’m lost some time, when we are asked about general economic direction, I think it’s clear we’ve made that point repeatedly, you know sometime we mix up sectoral concern with general economic policy.  Our economic policy direction is very clear, we know what it is that we intend to emphasize.  Every one of us knows that oil and gas sector is our main revenue earner. But oil and gas revenue have dipped. We know that we must diversify our economy. We are committed to that diversification.  How are we going to diversify?  Agriculture is critical to that diversification effort and when we say agriculture, how do we intend to proceed?  We are going to look at certain critical areas, for example rice.

We think that some work has been done on rice production but we now strongly believe that if we are able in the next two years or so or three years, we can actually become self-reliant or self-sufficient in rice production.  So we are working with seven states that are, if you like, rice producing states.  And we believe that we must focus our attention on those states in helping them, by providing infrastructure, providing whatever components that are required down that value chain– silos, milling facilities. Already many of those states have silos but we can further encourage them. Kebbi State for example is one of the major rice producing states.  We were already advancing a concessional fund to Kebbi state to enable them work especially with the farmers directly to enable them increase their rice production.  In fact they have flooding recently which is a setback, but we are focused on those rice producing areas, we intend to work closely with them.  Even some of our infrastructure plan is directed at those areas because we believe that they must have all the required support.

So agriculture is very important in our efforts at diversification of the economy.  We also believe that putting funding to MSMEs is very important. If you look at a lot of the effort all through the past ten years you find that there has always been focus on MSME but the problem has always been that of scale, not the problem of execution but scale. It’s okay to initiate a YOUWIN programme with a couple of thousand people. But how can that affect the lives or the economy of a country of 170 million people? So you have a good idea but how do you scale it up?

So we identified Small and Medium Scale including the market women. So one of the critical issues that we are reviewing now is how to ensure that we’re able to invest in the market women, give them funding through their Cooperative Associations across the country, give them funding which will enable them to improve their capacities, and then also training, capacity building, financial planning. Capacity building planning just helps them because, you see, this is a country of traders and merchants.

You must recognize that even in our definition of what is MSME you must not forget that that is a very critical sub-sector and you can do scale-up in that sector. You already have established structures for doing so.  Then of course we are trying to create the windows for opportunities for Small and Medium Scale people – the artisans and the rest of them.  So that’s going to be a critical aspect – the Small and Medium Scale area for purposes of diversification of the economy.

Of course we are going to be looking at services and technology. Then we look at music and entertainment, and all of those areas because this is our natural strength and what we think that government ought to do aside from our major role of improving infrastructure, security and all of that which I may not have the opportunity to talk about now. Government is going to facilitate doing business in the area of agriculture, so that there is diversification. Everybody for instance who wants to know what Nigeria will be preoccupied with in another two to three years must know that agriculture is one of the keys. I just gave you an example of rice production and then looking at wheat. One of the reasons why we are targeting some of these things is because it will also reduce the pressure on our Foreign Exchange. We are spending a lot of money on foreign exchange.

In the oil and gas sector, you know, part of our policy in that sector is to reduce importation of refined petroleum and that is why we are trying to work on the refineries and all of that. There are those who will say look, we are now at $45 per barrel which means that what we are actually spending on subsidy is substantially lower.  There is a time for even removing subsidy or not removing subsidy.  But there is also a time, because we are not spending so much on subsidy and we may not and we don’t expect, but we don’t know what the Lord God Almighty will do. We may be back to $100 per barrel but the short to medium term projection is that we may probably remain close to where it is- may be $50 or probably $55, and all of that, which still means that we have some room in terms of what we can do now.

So we think that we also have opportunity to improve refining capacity.  We are going to encourage the major refinery that Dangote is putting up in Lagos- 650,000 barrels, which we hope, will come on stream by 2017. If that comes on stream, it’s private sector, it is not government funding.  It will resolve a lot of our consumption issues and of course lower almost to a minimum or almost completely our refined petroleum needs which of course put question on the economy, on the Foreign Exchange Reserve.  So I think that in terms of what our economic policy is, it is quite clear.  We made this point when I gave a speech at the ICAN conference, and went to great detail.

I talked of course of social investment, which is another aspect of our economic policy and we made the point that if you have a number of poor people that we have, you cannot ignore that number otherwise you are always going to have growth without jobs, growth without any real improvement in the standard of living of the people which is what we have experienced for years.  So you have the very, very poor who are dying daily because they simply don’t have any resource at all.  So we need to do something about that. That is why we have social investment.

The one meal-a-day, we expect will also energize the economy down the entire chain. Taking an example of a state that had done very well with the one meal-a-day programme- Osun state, and is No. 2 in terms of GDP in the country today, strangely, next to Lagos. In terms of the number of the poor, I think Osun is No. 3 in terms of states that have lowest poverty. You can hear about Osun state in the press that they have not paid salary, of course there are 23 states that haven’t paid salary. That is another issue. The indication is that because there is a lot of investment in the people, poverty has been reduced and that is what we need to achieve in Nigeria. We want to achieve a situation where as much as is possible, we have to deal with poverty otherwise most people are completely alienated, you know. And they are not even part of the system at all. And we need to deal with that.

So that is why our social investment policy is robust and there are those who have shouted, oh! How are you going to sustain it, you know. But I hardly hear this argument when you are talking about poor people. Nobody asked how we bailed out few Nigerians who owed almost Seven Hundred Billion Naira during banking sector crisis. Nobody said how you are going to sustain it.  In fact, the entire bail-out of the banking sector was N5.7 trillion. Even if you give out conditionally, if you give out cash transfer to 25 million people over a 4-year period, one year will cost you about N1.3 trillion. I have challenged some of our economists that look, if you like, you can think as if you are in the West. Sometimes it is almost as if you are running an economy somewhere in the West where all we are concerned about are interest rates and the macro economic issues and of course, the general hard core fiscal and monetary issues.  But we have to ask ourselves if you have growth at 7%, and you have graduate unemployment at 80% and you have 110 million poor. What growth is that, you know. I think that we need to really readdress the critical question that concern us and that is the thrust of our economic policy. At the end of the day, whatever it takes to get to the root of the problem, we have got to do it.


Question 3

May be you can give us slight explanation considering the time we have on sectoral issues, for example what is the government plan on Public Private Partnership (PPP), government plan on Local Content like the major area which is the Oil and Gas sector.  You know, they say investors are worried.  They say they don’t understand government economic policy, for instance you are the Chairman of National Council on Privatization (NCP).  Investors made investment in power sector and some other areas so they are worried. They don’t know what the government is thinking, whether it will reverse some of the agencies like NITEL and the things that were done in the immediate past administration.

Answer by the Vice President:

No. Let me say very quickly, first let’s take PPP. Of course, government is committed to PPP definitely. As a matter of fact we have no choice. Even in our budget projection, we expect that PPP will constitute substantially, the development of our infrastructure.  Let me at this point explain something about plans for infrastructure because that will address the PPP question. If you look at what has happened in the past, what happened is that for instance, you have the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.  You set aside 200 billion in the budget to do Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and this is just an example.

Now, what happen is that you don’t have that 200 billion when you are starting, so you put in 20 billion this year, next year you put in 10 billion. And that is what has happened with a lot of major projects because throughout the budget cycle you just keep putting a little money, a little money. So, we intend to set up an Infrastructure Fund.  Now that Infrastructure Fund is going to be a combination of our own seed money as well as concessional funding and private sector funds, which would be committed to certain projects which we think are strategic.

Now when you have that Infrastructure Fund you then have those different projects.  Of course you do an open bidding process. What is interesting about Infrastructure Fund? One of the advantages is that it is a disciplined process, you cannot have opaque process. Because Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), peoples fund from everywhere is involved, you know. So you must have a disciplined process – contracting, bidding and all of that. Because the money will be there, we expect that you should be able to take a project from start to finish. So PPP is extremely important because some of the projects, depending on what project, some of them are going to be PPP project. For example if you are doing a major road, depending on where it is – let us say Lagos to Sokoto or Lagos to Abuja, there will be tolling at some point, so that there is income stream for maintenance, income stream for private sector participants and all of that; depending on what the project is.  In fact, some power projects will be involved in this, just depending on the project. PPP is a very important component of our overall approach to this.

Look at what we are going to do on the Local Content, you see, a lot of excellent policies you know, are abused at implementation.  A person who carries a brief-case around the place in the Oil and Gas and of course he calls himself a Local Content participant, he has nothing and he’s not concerned in the infrastructure. A lot of individuals who have nothing that you can say is there to add to infrastructure or any kind of investment but he get good contracts and all of that, and they are middle men.

Our Local Content system and many other things have been abused by rent seeking individuals who are encouraged and who make the noise; there is no Local Content, and they are not encouraging Local Content.  For them Local Content is no more than a rent seeking arrangement. Why? because I know who is in government. They give me an allocation and I lift crude oil.  What is important in local content is that it must be local content. It must mean jobs. If you give me a lifting contract or something, as part of my so called local content, I don’t provide job. Apart from my personal assistant or may be my drivers. Local Content is absolutely important policy but the most important thing is that it must achieve the result that is meant to achieve.

On privatization, obviously there is no intention whatsoever to roll back privatization, no intention at all. The government generally must honour its obligation, government is a continuum. But what has happened in some cases is, for example, if there was no bidding process, if it was just an allocation; some of the noisiest people about policies that does not favour them are people who have benefitted from the system where things were not done properly. There is no reason at all why anybody will interfere; there is no way you can even interfere with things that were done properly. But if they were just allocated without a bidding process, if someone allocates you a major government facility without any kind of process, it is the duty of government to ensure it goes through the right process.  There have been some occurrences, I don’t want to be specific because some of them are in court, when individuals were allocated resources that are very, very beneficial there was no process done, you simply approach and ask how much can you pay and that was that.

Look at the bidding process that took place for Telecoms, you know. In 2001 people came and bought licenses, even the bidding process that took place in NIPP plants, although that was stalled and we have to open that. People will come forward and make competitive bids.  That is the way that government grows its resources. You can’t give people gift of resources that belong to everyone. So privatization itself must have integrity. It must be open, transparent and must be proper. And one of the critical things as Chairman of NCP, I very, very strongly believe in privatization in the first place and I believe that it’s a way to go. I also believe that the process must be strictly transparent and must be clear to all that there is no backdoor. Nobody is being given any free bids and all that. So there is certainly no intention to roll back any of the privatization process that has already taken place, no such intention.

Question 4

Your Excellency because of the time factor, I am going to take you back on Zero-Budgeting. This policy, the word Zero-Budgeting is alien to Nigerians and they will really want to understand apart from the fact that it is going to be policy driven. You know zero- for nothing, you said it is going to be policy driven. What else?


 Answer by the Vice President:

There is nothing new about Zero-Budgeting.  Lagos state implemented Zero-Budgeting from 2001 and still implements that Zero-Budgeting till today. So there is nothing new, let it not be seen as something that has never been tried and tested.  This is something that has been done. Basically what it means is this. You know, we are told this is what we have, we have N1 million. We all agreed and that is the envelop system, take your N1 million, distribute it as you wish. This involves justifying at every stage; tell us what you really need to achieve this objective.  This is your objective; this is what you want to do.  So tell us what you need to achieve it.  So you come from the bottom-up as it were.  And you tell us what it is that you need at every stage.  So you cannot for example, say last year we bought 200 computers and this year we are also going to buy 200 computers, no. Budgeting is much more of a disciplined process and we are looking at every stage of that whole process.

What we are saying is that you don’t start from the top, you don’t say I have N1 million this is what I am going to give you, no you start from the bottom.  You have nothing, you are starting with zero, you tell me what your needs are so we are going to do it, that’s it.

Questions 5

Will the agencies still be allocated certain funds?

Answer by the Vice President:

Yes they will.  What we are saying is the process. If for example under the old system you got N5 million for budget, we hope that this system will remove inefficiency because you are justifying it. We are not just giving you the money and say well, allocate it as you want. It is a much more rigorous system because it means that you have to show why it is that you need this. It’s much more rigorous.  That’s why, you know, it requires a bit of capacity and as we go along we try to develop that capacity.  You must show as we go along, why is it that you need this, why is it that you need that, you know. And then hopefully, you will be able to get what it is you want to achieve that objective but there must be a process for justifying it. The reason why policy is important here is because we are also trying to direct our resources towards the objectives we want to achieve.

If you know Universal Healthcare Insurance is your important objective you try to justify it. And we are trying to direct resources to the particular areas that we think must be concentrated on.

Question 6

The Foreign Currency Policy where you cannot pay into your domiciliary account has one way or the other affected the availability of foreign currency somehow and then the foreign investors, they cannot easily pay their profit. Now, is there any plan to ease this. Is it a short time policy?



Answer by the Vice President:

Of course you know that it is a policy option.  You have to make tough choices.  So the CBN faced with very, very low foreign exchange on account of the fallen oil prices.  It has to take some tough policy choices.  One of these was exchange control but you must accept that. Of course because there is not just enough foreign exchange and there is sharp drop, you must control foreign exchange especially when you are a largely import dependent economy.

Now here we are faced with several people who want foreign exchange. Some time you look at the actual demands and the demand is huge. I don’t want to come up with figures that I am not entirely certain about as at today. But it is a huge amount. You have to control that demand.  So the Central Bank adopted a demand management strategy for the short term and had been really successful so far.  One thing that happened is that our foreign exchange reserve has stabilized and our current account deficit has narrowed, it is short term and there is a reasonable degree of success. It cannot be a long term strategy.  For a long term strategy, we want an open foreign exchange market where that market must be one that has the resources to make operation robust open.

On the long term we expect that the Central Bank will ease restrictions as we go along in the medium to long term. Hopefully, we will be able to go back; more or less where it was a bit easy, where there was quicker freedom of movement of foreign exchange. Definitely it is short term there is no question at all that it is a short term measure.

Question 7

On the general economy sir, there is this fear that Nigeria’s economy is slipping into recession. Is there anything or a quick fix that government is hoping to put in place?

Answer by the Vice President:

You must know that all over the world, there is a slowing down in economies. Our slowing down is greatly affected by drop in oil revenue. But we think that in the next two quarters, especially when we are able to implement the budget, we think that we will be able to ramp up growth a bit more; you know we think that that will definitely improve growth. There is no question at all that if you have as it is now, a budget that was essentially meant to fill in the gaps, there is very little that can be done.  By the time 2016 budget is implemented, we will be able to ramp up growth. There is improvement in power, it will help industry to spring up and some of the policies we want to put in place will also be helpful. Agriculture will be kicking, we hope that funding for SMSEs will be kicking, the trajectory will be good. I don’t think we will, as some have suggested that recession is inevitable, I don’t think so. I think that we are well on the way, especially if we are able to implement our budget we will get out of the worse part of where we are today.

Question 8

The TSA implementation is another issue causing a lot of pains to some people now, some of the MDAs are beginning to complain that the policy is biting hard and some of them say they no longer have access to funds, even their own expenditure budget is now holding up. My question is with media reports that some agencies – NNPC has been exempted from this TSA. Just yesterday one director was telling me that NNPC has not been “TSAed”.  We want to find out why would that be?

Answer by the Vice President:

I am certainly not aware that any particular agency has been exempted. Clearly there is no exemption. I think some agencies have tried by way of explaining why they have difficulties getting certain exemptions so perhaps in the process of trying to get the exemption, of course you will wait for the outcome but nobody has been granted an exemption and I know that even NNPC has complied to a certain extent. I know that they may have some outstanding but NNPC has definitely started to comply but don’t forget that NNPC has several foreign accounts. Any MDA that has foreign account may be given a particular outlet with the CBN and all of that. I don’t believe that any MDA has been exempted. Certainly I am not aware that NNPC has been given any exemption. Those who complain about the TSA; as you know, any policy at all, especially the policies that may not allow the kind of laxity that has to do with running account of your own in several different accounts, in additional banks and all of what that implies, that does not necessarily mean that corrupt activities is going on.

One of the key issues why TSA was implemented is because government has a duty to know what its entire revenue profile is.  There is no government to my knowledge who does not know how much it has in terms of receipts.  Unfortunately what has happened in the past few years is that there are agencies that have accounts that government is not even aware of.  In some cases some revenue agencies will take the revenue and some of them interpret their laws to mean that you can take revenue, retain certain amount and give certain percent back to government. There is nothing wrong with thinking that way but the constitution is very clear. The constitution says that all revenue must be paid into the government coffers first.  Now you then have your budget.  When you then present your budget, you are then given the resources to run your organization but you cannot become the first repository of government fund.  Any normal government enterprise to the best of my knowledge must first pay into a bank. Pay it first and then run a budget of your own expenditure and I think that is very important, you see, the idea that you should first spend what you have, like in NNPC.  The NNPC was particularly guilty of running huge expenditure and then remitting some back to government and you saw how much NNPC expended in the past years. Even the PWC report, in about 18 months NNPC takes $1.85 billion on remuneration, and spent almost $700 million on travel and training.  If you have that kind of access to revenue then you can spend what you like.  Well, you ought to have a budget.  So if government says it cannot afford $700 million for training all we can give you is $100 million that’s all we get. But if you have access to all the money then you can decide how much you want for your training budget.

What it means is that you have your own budget that is not the budget approved by the National Assembly.  There has to be appropriation and that is what the constitution says. The constitution process is one that guarantees transparency in the process of expenditure of government revenue.  That is why it is so important that we have TSA so it gives government a clear picture of what it holds, what it earns and then decides how it spends its money.  Of course it will involve some problems initially. There is no question about that. And that is no reason to reverse or be bothered about a decision that obviously has greater benefits. Some may feel that they have been restricted but as we go down, things will be eased and things will fall in place.

Question 9

Your Excellency, 2016 budget preparation, what state are we?

Answer by the Vice President:

What we are doing at the moment is that we are working on the MTEF and we expect that that will be submitted to the National Assembly very shortly. A lot of the ministries are already working, by Monday we will be sending the guidelines to the ministries – the guidelines for the Zero-Budgeting process. We have tried to sensitize them; several meetings have been held with revenue generating agencies – FIRS,   Budget Office, National Planning Commission, all the revenue generating agencies.  We are basically meeting and working out the parameters for the new budgeting system.  By Tuesday the guidelines will be sent to them but I can’t say now when the budget will be ready.  It’s a new process, it’s a lot of work and we are trying to work round the clock and we are holding meetings day by day and the last meeting we had was Wednesday, we have another on Tuesday, and the agencies are meeting.  It’s a rigorous process; I don’t want to commit to any timelines or dates. Very soon, hopefully, we are going to have our ministers in place and they are also going to join.

Question 10

Another question sir, a follow up to the TSA, Zero-Budgeting and cutting down the ministries. Going by the number of ministers which the President has already mentioned, are we looking at a situation where some ministries will be merged very soon, where parastatals will be merged?

Answer by the Vice President:

Definitely we are not going to have as many ministries as we have right now. There is no question at all about that.  The President has made it quite clear that he intend to work with fewer ministries and of course you may not have fewer ministers because the constitution says that you must have a  minister from every state.  But surely you must have fewer ministries and that is definitely what the President has said not once, not twice.

Abiola Akintunde: Nigeria At 55; The Path Towards Development

   Fellow Nigerians, greetings to you on this day as we celebrated together Yesterday, the crown we achieved as a reward of the agitation and struggles of our heroes past towards a free society freed from dependence and servitude forcefully imposed on our people over a century ago. The conditions of today may be a stumbling block to the realisation that; this is a day we should and must celebrate. Since it is the attainment of independence that has provided us with the opportunity and capability to chart our path towards economic development; a journey that we have refused to embark on.

     Dear compatriots, it is this reality that compelled you to vote “change” in the last general elections which was symbolic in the history of Nigeria’s democracy and have seen President Muhammadu Buhari being positioned as its ultimate product. This mandate you have invested in President Buhari and the All Progressive Congress, I perceive will not be wasted. It is in hope of a better country that he was given the mandate of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and it is in hope of a better country that he is expected not to stop pursuing the policies that he believes will solve the challenges facing Nigeria.

     As our compatriot, President Buhari is not immune to our shared pain and patience and I expect him to share in our eagerness to see things change for the good of Nigerians as soon as possible. This feeling is legitimate and well grounded considering where we are coming from, but I must seek your patience, trust and cooperation if we must reach where we are going. I will be a part of our problem if I desist from pointing out where your contributions are needed as patriotic Nigerians. In hope of distancing myself from being the problem, I ask you to be responsible in all you do. Being responsible is the soul of every good attitude and it is the inevitable line of divide between value and vice.

So far so good, President Buhari’s administration have attended the challenges of terrorism facing our nation by forming a local coalition through coordination of our armed forces with our neighbours; Chad, Niger, Cameroon, and seeking military aid from the G7 leaders. All theses efforts have not only allowed us to stand up to the challenges of Boko Haram attacks on our northeastern territories but has also given us victory in some of our previously occupied territories against Boko Haram and the victorious campaign continue still. However the necessity to address any threat to our national security can never be overemphasized. In the spirit of ensuring security particularly in northeast and in Nigeria as a whole, it is expected that the Nigerian government of today must not only assure compatriots in this Nigerian region that security vigilance will be heightened and tightened but must also ensure it.

     Though power supply has become more stable today than previous times, we are still lagging behind compared to other developing regional and continental neighbours. However, this improvement was not achieved because the Commander-in-Chief makes things happen for he is no magician but because stakeholders in this sector are cooperative, responsible and humane. Certainly, there has been an improvement in the power sector but the efforts of this government in this sector can never be regarded as enough. Thus, our government must continue to consult with stakeholders in this sector and must continue to invest in it, create conditions that will attract investors to invest in it and make such processes transparent enough so as to avoid any form of corruption. Development is unattainable without a constant power supply which is the wheel upon which development proceeds.

     Today, it is evident that Nigeria’s economy is being challenged by dropping oil prices which has put a tenacious pressure on national income revenues. Prior to this development, we have seen state-owned refineries deteriorating; income revenues from oil proceeds dripping away without hope of being recovered; and corruption eating away the whole sector. Without being forgetful of the status quo in this sector, President Buhari’s administration must make it a priority to pursue the introduction of financial prudence and responsibility in this sector; to repair state-owned refineries so that they will be able to refine crude oil at their maximum capacity; audit oil revenues; and probe administrators and other key players in the sector for corruption. Private investors must not be enriched illegally due to mistake, overlook and corruption at the expense of government purse.

     In pursuit of providing Nigerians with welfare security, government must never abandon the policy of social welfare system that should attend to the wellbeing of the elderly and the unemployed. The skyrocketing figure of those that are unemployed must never be allowed to gain momentum under this administration. Instead, these figures should be cut down by an increasing number of industries and investments that will bolster the economy. These should not be promises that will not be fulfilled, they should be objectives that this administration must fulfil by promoting, encouraging and investing actively in local manufacturing industry and service providing, which will in turn provide jobs, earn tax income, earn export duties and make local market price to be more competitive.

     Nigeria, with a population of an estimated 182,000,000 people with about one out of every four Africans being a Nigerian, is referred to as the giant of Africa. Giant or not, one thing is certain; Nigeria is a principal power in Africa and must start acting as one. This Nigerian government has made it clear that it will not only seek to address security, social and welfare issues challenging its people but will also play the influential role it is strategically positioned to play in regional, continental and global politics. This intention was seen materialised in Burkina Faso and was also reflected in Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s speech which seek to attain a permanent seat in United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

     Being a permanent member of the UNSC is not a trophy in itself if such privilege will be subjected to the dictates of some global powers, for such privilege must at all times protect life and means to its sustenance, and at all times must protect everything that is right and just. In preparation for such privilege, our foreign policy must chart a new course distant from that of the past that saw our sovereign state; a temporary member of the UNSC, voting to pass resolutions that do not pursue what is right and just but instead pursue the interest of some particular global powers at the detriment of other sovereign states and global citizens. Example of such are the different resolutions passed on Libya and other matters of importance which contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousand and displacement of millions in just few years.

     Celebrating this 55th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence is incomplete if Nigerians as a people and its goverment will not make a strategic shift towards solving its domestic challenges and playing the role expected of it globally. To achieve this, the government must cooperate with its people to derive the best from this trust that will be established in the spirit of cooperation and development that must be self-sustainable.

     Abiola Akintunde

     The writer tweets via @AAbiolat on twitter and can be reached via

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

Habeeb Whyte: President Muhammadu Buhari’s Reforms And The Nigerian Youths

I remain Habeeb Whyte and I am still obliged with the responsibility that life placed on me to suggest a path deserving a collective action from Nigerian youths towards what fate have for us as Nigerians. You would agree with me that we are the architect of our present circumstance and blaming anyone for our actions or inactions would be injurious. However, this present action of voting the ‘change’ we desire is not injurious but a blessing in disguise. Nigeria is our father’s land and so shall it remain. The struggles of our heroes shall not be in vain and that is why we keep advocating for ‘positive change’ and not just change. The much talked about change can’t be taken by face value; it will resonate well on our daily lives, but after a long and painstaking work. In essence, President Muhammadu Buhari’s effort in the last 100 days in office cannot be said to have failed the youth constituency.

I would be right to say that President Muhammadu Buhari was elected because we got tired with lying and looting personnel in the realm of governance. The country desperately needs an honest leader at that period. To the glory of God, we got one and our criticism of him should be to avoid the repeat of GEJ days. We can’t afford another stray administration, Change is not just a word, and it takes collective action. I would not join the bandwagon of those that assume that criticizing a shortcoming of Buhari is an expression of regret for ever supporting him. Of course, we must do criticism but what our government needs as at now is criticism that is founded on intellectualism devoid of bigotry, hatred or ethnic sentiments. Nigerian youth movement will make meaningful contributions to national development if only it is driven by intellectualism. The issue of PMB failing youths in 100 days is a perspective that is out of consonance with the interests of the youth constituency.

PMB in his manifesto before elected said among many things that relate to youth matters that he would harness and develop our potentials to the fullest so as to facilitate the emergence of the new generation of citizens. He said further that he would put in place measures to identify talents and promote Nollywood to fully develop into world class movie industry. All this emphasized statements are directed towards the youths. It is so shameful that most of us are already having heated arguments on whether he has made attempt to make this come to past in his 100 days in office. It is just so painful that most youth movements are not driven towards a defined goal and with clear constructive objectives. Individual youth and youth leaders has personal goal and objectives perhaps but a movement must be unified with a vision and commitment stimulated by some mutually beneficial objectives. My own understanding of the problems are clear and have been stated on many occasions vis a viz;

  • That the phones, games, electronic gadgets, cars, clothes, shoes, jewelry, wrist watches, etc. that we crave to acquire and fondly display to the extent of undertaking unethical ‘jobs’ and crimes to earn enough to buy, are made by our mates in Singapore, China, Brazil, India, Korea, and even South Africa. Therefore what youths in Nigeria need is not to be handed leadership. We rather need a development programme comprehensive enough to provide for ideal value-orientation, standard education and training, entrepreneurial capacities, and funding mechanism that will enable us to compete with our mates in knowledge, skills, executive competencies, and industrial diligence.
  • That an average actor in India writes films that promote national interests, revamp failing value system, or depicts India’s strength over Pakistan and Kashmir or express the values of Indian culture in comparison with Western culture. Indians won’t kiss in films nor have sex but play love within the parameters of their culture. Where are we? What do our Nollywood actors do? Imitate western cultural behaviours that are illicit in our cultural eyes in the name of civilisation. Nollywood and our music industry, a youth driven sector, as it is only contributes to the bastardization of our future leaders and therefore need serious orientational reform before funding.
  • A youth that will make meaningful contribution to national development must have trained and developed his/her mind to be stimulated by patriotism, constructive contribution and a sense of pride attached only to dignity. It has being a count of scores (deaths) in some state capitals among warring secret cult groups and the increase in cyber fraudsters is so alarming. Are these the youths clamoring for youth inclusion in governance? We had seen youth given top executives positions in the dark days of democracy and were at best doing the dirty jobs for their ‘good and youth-friendly’ bosses, I appreciate that PMB has a responsibility to depart us from this trend. How is he going to go about it, I don’t understand but his leadership styles in these 100 days suggested to some of us that he understands the implication of a nation with over 100 million youths population mostly uncultured, mostly half-baked in education and training, and with zero sense of pride in their nation.

I will therefore mobilise Nigerian youths to support the ongoing reforms tar getting firstly our orientation about governance and corruption. Without fear of disagreement I would say PMB has not failed the Nigerian youth constituency. He is already setting the pace for us to be handed a good leadership system. My reasons are stated below:

  • Every other sector he had touched has youths benefiting the most. Civil service has over 60% youth population. So, his interventions that put smiles on the faces of workers benefit youths the most. Even the elders in the civil service can now fund their youth-children’s education and upkeep.
  • When the Agric sector reform takes off, youths will make over 60% of benefactors.
  • If the treasury management reform saves us a fortune in national revenue hitherto unremitted to treasury, Nigerian youths will benefits the most.
  • When road accidents reduce, when avoidable deaths reduce in our hospitals, when Boko Haram killings stop, when security of lives reached climax, youths will benefit the most.
  • There are youths in every sector of the economic and every aspect of our national life affect youths. So, there is no gainsaying that PMB has touched the lives of youths.
  • Our Universities centers on youths. So, reforming education is youth centered project.

The problem is that we assume some individuals that are self-christened and parades themselves as youth leaders to be the youth PMB must talk to or ‘touch’ directly. It is a crooked thinking and Baba himself is aware of this. Our constituency holds the key to the greatness of this country. We must assume the position to help and not be helped. We must reform ourselves before we are been reformed.

(WHYTE HABEEB IBIDAPO is a Lawyer, United Nations Award winner, Africa International Arbitration Award winner, Coca cola/ The Nation Campuslife Award Winner, Promasidor Runner-up for the Best Future Writer in Nigeria, i-Hustle Campaign Initiative Ambassador and Editor Egba Youth Awards Foundation.



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

Jonathan’s Former Aide Cries Out From Hospital Bed, Don’t Touch My Bank Account

The immediate past Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Niger Delta, Mr. Kingsley Kuku has asked anti-corruption agencies not to tamper with the account of his charity organisation, Keketobou Care Foundation, which he has been using to help the poor in the society.

Kuku, who made the call in a telephone interview with Vanguard from his hospital in the United States on Sunday, said there was no public fund in the charity account, which has helped to render succour to indigent students, women and men over time.

Kuku was reacting to reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has frozen the accounts of close allies of former president Jonathan, including the Keketobou Care Foundation, run
by Kuku.


The former Presidential Amnesty Programme Chairman, who is recuperation in an American hospital after a knee surgery, told Vanguard that there were no government funds in the said account, which had a total deposit of N720, 484.00 as at the end of July this year.

According to Kuku, the amount found in the account was the proceeds of his book: “Remaking the Niger Delta: Challenges and Opportunities”, which he presented to the public in Lagos last year.

He said before now, he had used his personal earnings and other donations by well-wishers to fund the account so as to provide enough funds for buying JAMB forms for poor indigenes of Ondo State and provide support to poor widows, women and traders in the state.

Pres. Buhari Withdraws Diplomatic Passports Of Ex-govs, Ministers, Others

The Nigerian Immigration Service has directed former Nigerian public office holders to immediately surrender official and diplomatic passports issued to them while they were in office.


The action, officials say, is based on the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The categories of officials affected by the directive are former governors, former ministers, former senators, former members of the House of Representatives, and former members of state Houses of Assembly.

Others are former commissioners, for special advisers/special assistants, former chairmen/deputy chairmen of local government areas, all retired heads of parastatals and retired public servants.

“These categories of persons are hereby informed that these passports which were previously held by them have been revoked and should return them to the Nigeria Immigration Service Headquarters Sauka Abuja with immediate effect,” the Comptroller-General of the Immigration Service, Martin Abeshi, said in a statement Monday.

“Failure to comply with this directive will amount to an offence under the Immigration Act 2015. Such unauthorized possession will be impounded at our control posts on arrival or departure.”

The Federal Government had on August 24 directed the Immigration Service to retrieve all valid diplomatic and official passports from all persons not entitled to hold such documents.

“The attention of the Federal Government has been drawn to the fact that some Nigerians who are not entitled to hold diplomatic and official passports are in possession of these documents,” a statement by Yusuf Isiaka,the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Interior, said at the time.

According to the statement, the measure was intended to protect and promote Nigeria’s integrity in the comity of nations in addition to ensuring law and order.

Chichi Ikebuiro: Finally, A President Who Gives A Damn

As I asked him what he thought about the recent appointments made by President Buhari thus far, my barber glared at me with a cross between disdain and Fury. Boss, he said, I swear nothing concern me and appointments as you dey see me so(For me though, I know that in the end, we’d have federal character and competence as has been assured by Mr President- A win- win for Nigeria and Nigerians).
Baba , he continued, it is a giving that my daughter’s school fees would be paid with no hassles when they resume  this  September. You can’t imagine how much I have saved from not having to fuel my generator for the past three to four months. I have not had it this good! I pray this trend continues so life can be easy for me ,Otitan.
Believe it or not, this is the general feeling across the country. I have always said that with constant power supply, at least 50% of the problems facing this country would be solved. The effect the stability of electricity has brought to Nigeria has had a positive effect on both the rich and the poor.
Like it or not, we have the emergence of the no nonsense President Buhari to thank. This new honcho emerged, and everybody just whipped into line. You see in Nigeria, most people know what is right and have the capability to do same, but when impunity reigns from the top, when the body language of the honcho is uncircumspect, scoundrelism reigns, period. This new Honcho made it clear that malfeasance is a no no from the get go and everybody understood and conformed.
As regards the appointments, I’d say we have been too quick to judge. I’d appeal that we wait till all the appointments are made before we begin to make conclusions. This President I believe is putting the right pegs in the right holes. How I know?  I had an issue with only one of the appointments, that of Hamid Ali as the head of customs because I thought it would discourage career officers until I had a discussion recently with a friend who is in that system.
The noisomeness that goes on there according to this fellow is killing. The stench starts right from the top and it is easier for a camel to pass through the eyes of a needle than finding an upright person in the rank and file of the honchos there. This is not me talking folks! Some of them like the fact that a no nonsense outsider has been brought to head that sector. It is believed Colonel Ali would come clean that stable in no time and leave.
Not long ago, the four refineries we had were on their knees and all of a sudden they are on the mend. Coincidence?  I hear tales of turn around maintenance done by the previous administration being the reason for the sudden resurgence of our refineries. That, brethren is a lie from the pit of hell and here is why. With the sleaze around allocation of crude to these refineries as well as that around crude swap, there is nothing a million turn around maintenance could have done.
The feculence of the previous administration was legendary!  Again, the no nonsense Honcho we have today has made everybody conform. Finally a president we can trust and believe.
At last, President Buhari has declared his assets and from what we’ve seen, there is no disputing the fact that we have a modest man at the helm. A man who is not greedy. This is a huge breakaway from the norm. Not long ago there were those who did not give a damn about asset declaration. Today we have been blessed with someone who not only gives a damn, but is determined to make those who do not , do.
This country has been milked dry over the years and we the people have been left for dead. No one gave a damn about you and me, but today just look at what’s going on ala blockage of leakages. On this the CBN governor had this to say, “It is true that Mr President, based on his insistence that leakages must be blocked, there have been serious attempts to block leakages both in Naira and in dollars.  Some funds have been trapped in banks and that is the reason there is a vigorous effort to ensure that we all embrace the Single Treasury Account where all revenues collected must come to the centre and after all the revenues have come to the centre, then based on the budget that has been approved for any agency of government, whatever is due to them to meet their operational expenses would be given.
“But first point is that all revenues must come to the centre.  In the course of these, yes, I can confirm that there were leakages that have been blocked and as a result we have seen some funds trapped in some areas now coming into the center and that is part of the reason you see the reserves build up.”  Need I add more? It’s never happened in this clime!
When President Buhari moved the command center of the military to the base of the Infidels-Boko Haram, I along with so many others thought it was a good move and knew from then on that we, in the end, will win this war. If you take a closer look, you’d realize that today there is a renewed effort against Boko Haram. You’d notice that the capability of our soldiers have been enhanced. You’d realize that finally there is an “added impetus and renewed vigour”, what with the recall and re-instatement of over 2000 soldiers who I believe were dismissed because they spoke up against the impunity in the then run-of-the-mill Military.
It’s just a hundred days Nigeria and to be honest there is this renewed feeling of hope. It is evident Nigeria is in capable hands and is headed in the right direction. At this rate, something tells me that in the end we’d beg baba to run for presidency again after four years. Whether he accepts is matter of discussion for another day but for now, keep calm and let Baba.
Chiechefulam Ikebuiro
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its assocaites

Buhari Reassures Nigerians Fulfilment Of Campaign Promises

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that Nigerians will soon see the fulfilment of his election campaign promises. He spoke on Wednesday in Abuja while receiving university students.

The president assured Nigerian youth that his government’s anti-corruption campaign would secure their future.

In an address to members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) who marched to the presidential villa to pledge their full support for his anti-corruption campaign, President Buhari promised that he will do his best to place Nigeria well on the way to becoming the nation of their dreams.

“Everything you have asked for are the things that will make for a good country, and what we are after is a good country, a country where our youths can have a future and a hope,” the president said.

Read More: premiumtimesng

President Buhari Names 13-Man Panel To Probe Yar’Adua, Jonathan

President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, set up a 13-member panel to probe two of his predecessors, late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on procurement of arms and ammunition for the Armed Forces.

The investigative committee’s mandate is to identify irregularities and make recommendations for streamlining the procurement process in the Armed Forces.

The committee, which was constituted by the the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (retd), on the directive of the President, is headed by AVM J.O.N. Ode (retd.)
while Brig-Gen. Y. I. Shalangwa is secretary.

Other members are Rear Admiral J. A. Aikhomu (retd.), Rear Admiral E. Ogbor (retd.), Brig-Gen. L. Adekagun (retd.), Brig-Gen. M. Aminu-Kano (retd.), Brig-Gen N. Rimtip (retd.), Commodore T. D. Ikoli, Air Commodore U. Mohammed (retd), Air Commodore I. Shafi’i, Col A. A. Ariyibi, GP Capt C.A. Oriaku (retd) and Mr. I. Magu (EFCC).
A statement from presidential spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, said

 “the establishment of the investigative committee is in keeping with President Buhari’s determination to stamp out corruption and irregularities in Nigeria’s public service.
“It comes against the background of the myriad of challenges that the Nigerian Armed Forces have faced in the course of ongoing counter-insurgency operations in the northeast, including the apparent deficit in military platforms with its attendant negative effects on troops’ morale.
“The committee will specifically investigate allegations of non-adherence to correct equipment procurement procedures and the exclusion of relevant logistics branches from arms procurement under past administrations, which, very often resulted in the acquisition of sub-standard and unserviceable equipment.”

Meanwhile, the Presidency has declared that Buhari’s administration is not a government of probes but of due process, law and order.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, who spoke with Vanguard, yesterday, also stated the administration of President Buhari will not shy away from probing the government of former President Jonathan in the face of alleged fraud and corruption.

He spoke following an accusation of selective probe against Buhari by a prominent northern leader, Tanko Yakassai.
The presidential aide said there are sensitive matters arising from briefings and official engagements, which the President cannot overlook and described as laughable the allegation that Buhari has excluded other former presidents like Chief Olusegun Obasanjo because he was close to them.
He said:

 “Let me say that officially, nobody is under probe, even Dr. Jonathan. People should not make mistakes about the fact that what is going on are routine investigations. These are matters that the President has found on the table.

So, there is nothing like a probe. If Jonathan will be probed, you would have heard of, may be, an administrative panel of enquiry or judicial panel of enquiry. But it hasn’t come to that. These are matters of routine engagements of due process of law and order.

“President Buhari in his campaign said his government was not going to probe into the past. We are not probing but as a responsible government, you cannot bring to the table matters such as we are dealing with and then, the President will wave them off.
“The Office of the President may be powerful but it is controlled, regulated by due process and the constitution of the country. The President cannot wave away matters that are arising from either handing-over or the routine briefings.

How can anybody say he was part of the Obasanjo military regime and that’s why he’s not probing them?

Speaking further, the presidential spokesman queried why the allies of former President Jonathan would wait until now to champion the cause of probing past governments before Jonathan.

He stated that it was Jonathan’s responsibility to probe the governments of Obasanjo and Yar’Adua.

“Let me tell you, if Obasanjo and Yar’Adua and all of the past governments before Jonathan needed to have been probed, why did Jonathan shy away from his responsibility? Why didn’t he probe them while he was in office? Why didn’t Tanko Yakassai ask Jonathan to probe Yar’Adua, Babangida, Obasanjo? Why do they have to wait for Buhari to come and do what he should have done?
“It is common sense. So, if he didn’t probe them, why should his people ask some other person to probe them? If they felt it was desirable to probe the past administration, as a party, why didn’t they do it themselves? Why do they have to wait for President Buhari?
“This is not a government of probes. It is a government of due process and law and order. President Buhari is dealing with the matters he has found on the table and he has no power under the constitution to wave them. If somebody had stolen Nigeria’s one billion dollars of oil, President Buhari is not authorized to wave it off under the law. He should ask questions. There is no probe going on now. People who are creating the spectre of probes in the country just want to create unnecessary fear.”


Nigeria’s Economy In Trouble, As Oil Price Crashes Even Lower

Nigeria’s economy may be heading for trouble, as oil price crashed even lower at the weekend, thereby threatening the 2015 budget and fiscal plan.

The international price of crude hit a six-year low below USD40 per barrel with West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures as low as USD39.89, while Brent crude declined further to USD45.10 from previous week’s level of USD48.87 per barrel. Nigeria’s sweet crude is similar to the Brent.

It is envisaged that prices will crash even further once Iran begins to enyoy its international pardon by pumping more oil into the already saturated market.

This will spell more doom for Nigeria, which is producing less than its projected 2 million barrels daily, thereby increasing the cash crunch and liquidity flow in the economy, with many states still unable to pay salaries.economy1

The steep decline in oil prices had in March this year forced the National Assembly to settle for USD53 per barrel as the oil benchmark price for 2015 budget, down from USD65 earlier proposed by the Federal Executive Council under ex-president Goodluck Jonathan. The government had earlier in the year effected downward review of the budget benchmark twice in response to sliding oil price from USD78 to USD73 and later to USD65. It even said it had planned for possible price fall scenarios of up to $50/barrel.

With this development, economists are expecting further downwards adjustments in the budgetary benchmark, revenue projections and ultimately expenditure provisions. Also, they expect further pressure on the value of Naira as the development has wiped off any accretion to the country’s Excess Crude Account.

According to the Global Chief Economist, Renaissance Capital, Mr. Charles Robertson, lower oil price will be painful for the budget. It means less money is available for much-needed investment in infrastructure.

Budget projections

The 2015 budget had envisaged federal government’s share to be about N3.6 trillion of total oil component revenue at USD65 per barrel, with estimated production output of 2million barrels per day.

At current oil price, the component accruable to the federal government would drop massively to less than N2.5 trillion, putting the entire budget in disarray. Evidently all the projected expenditure, Vanguard learnt, are already being curtailed in the recurrent expenditure provisions in the budget, while capital expenditure of N634 billion is completely dropped.

Read full story via:  Vanguard

Nigerian Air Force Destroys Boko Haram Transport Trucks

Two trailers suspected to be carrying logistics support to members of the Boko Haram Terrorist sect have been intercepted and destroyed by the Nigerian Air Force Agusta helicopter on armed reconnaissance mission around the Nigeria-Cameroon border.

The trailers were covered and parked at different locations in the bush around the border town of Belel. The recent air operation against the BHTs was commanded by the Chief of the Air Staff, CAS, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar from NAF reconnaissance aircraft, the King Air 350i. The CAS coordinated the various NAF platforms involved in the operation to provide close air support to ground forces, led by the Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, as they advance from Dikwa to Gamboru Ngala.

Meanwhile, NAF 260, a Mi-24V attack helicopter was hit during the operation. One of the main rotor blades was hit and damaged. However, the pilot was able to successfully fly the helicopter back to base to land. The affected aircraft has since been repaired and is back to the theatre of operation.

You are please requested to publish this information in your mass media for the awareness of the general public. Thank you for your usual support and cooperation.

Air Commodore Dele Alonge
Director of Public Relations & Information
Nigerian Air Force

With Buhari, Our Dreams Of Nigeria May Be Coming True – Obasanjo

While receiving the executives of the National Association of Nigerian Students at his hilltop home in Abeokuta, Ogun state earlier today, Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said with President Buhari as the leader of Nigeria, the dreams of a better Nigeria may be coming true.

“There is no angel here on earth. none. For me there is no messiah except Jesus Christ. but for me there are people, there are leaders who are mindful of what is required for the majority of this country and they are ready to take out time to do it. I believe that God has given us such a leader in this man. What we have seen in the last two and a half months is an indication that our dream may be coming true” he said.

Nigerian Customs Service Boss Resignation Letter Accepted By President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the resignation of the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi.

With the acceptance, Abdullahi is expected to proceed on his voluntary retirement from Tuesday, August 18.

He had earlier written a letter dated August 3 to the President in which he notified Buhari of his desire to proceed on voluntary retirement from Tuesday.

Buhari’s approval of Abdullahi’s request was dated August 14 and personally signed by the President.

He thanked the NCS boss for his services to the county in the last six years.

The President’s letter was titled “Voluntary retirement from the Nigeria Customs Service.”

The approval read, “Dear, Alhaji D.I. Abdullahi. I write to acknowledge the receipt of your letter Ref. No. NCS/ADM/HQ/P. 35802 of 3rd August, 2015 conveying your decision to voluntarily retire from the Nigeria Customs Service with effect from Tuesday, 18th August, 2015.

“I note with appreciation your services to this nation, especially as the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service in the last six (6) years.

“Accordingly, I hereby approve your voluntary retirement from the Nigeria Customs Service with effect from 18th August 2015.

“I wish you the very best in your future endeavours.

“Yours sincerely, Muhammadu Buhari.”

Abdullahi had, in his letter to the President, thanked him for the confidence and trust reposed on him since he (Buhari) was inaugurated on May 29.

He said by August 18, he would be six years in office as the Comptroller-General of the NCS.

He recalled that on assumption of office, he articulated six-point agenda which he vigorously pursued.

He said the agenda had positively impacted on the efficiency and performance of officers of the service and had drastically changed the negative perception of the service.

He listed the six-point agenda to include capacity building, introduction of e-Customs, enhancing productivity through improved welfare package, moral rebirth for discipline and integrity in service, collaboration and partnering with stakeholders and international organisations, as well as  fostering understanding of the Service in the eye of the general public  using an intensified and a well-coordinated public relations platform.

The NCS boss said under his watch, the revenue collection into various coffers of government increased drastically.

He said the Service’s average monthly collection in 2009 when he took over was about N29billion, adding that the average monthly collection is currently between N90billion and N100billion.

He hinged his decision to embark on voluntary resignation on the need to allow young bloods to takeover the mantle of leadership of the Service in order to sustain and improve on his legacy.

Abdullahi concluded, “While thanking Your Excellency and indeed Nigerians for the opportunity to serve and contribute my quota to the development of our fatherland, I wish to seek approval of Your Excellency to be allowed to retire voluntarily on 18th August 2015.

“This decision is taken with a view to allowing young bloods takeover the mantle of leadership of the Service in order to sustain and improve on my legacy.”

The President has yet to name Abdullahi’s successor at the time of filing this report.

Ugochukwu .J. Amasike: Reconstructing Nigeria For Progress

The foundation of our problems as a Nation is our distorted national Political and Economic Architecture, it sustains vested interests, rewards laziness and places premium on ethnicity over Merit, and this naturally breeds corruption.
However, the direct and indirect beneficiaries of this flawed political-economic structure, choose to continue to turn a blind eye to the futility and folly of trying to maintain such a system, choosing as it were to postpone the evil day; but sooner or later, the chickens will come home to roost, and it is already happening as exemplified by our current economic fortunes nay misfortunes, with the Federal Government of Nigeria having to at some point borrow money to finance its recurrent expenditure and with state governments needing “financial bail-out’s” to meet the most basic of their duties: the payment of worker’s salaries.
President Muhammadu Buhari, as patriotic and determined as he is, can not succeed in his noble and desirous ambitions of changing Nigeria, under the current political and economic architecture we inherited from the Military Dictators of our chequered past; they are stifling. This military-tailored system, which was designed specifically for the purpose of the maintenance of “Command and Control” is obsolete, and was never intended to deliver the dividends of democracy to the long suffering people of our beautiful and beloved Country, Nigeria.
The people of Nigeria have wallowed long enough at this mountain of stunted development, occasioned by the bequest of a flawed and downright corrupt political-economy bequeathed to us by our military adventurers. If Nigeria is to emerge from the doldrums of darkness, and stagnation, and make meaningful and sustainable progress, then it must do away with all stifling national legislation that sustain and facilitate corruption and inefficiency, while simultaneously inhibiting it’s development as a modern State.
Thus, it behoves on Nigerians to see to the amendment of its Constitution and the adoption of a truly Federal Constitution, that encourages the creation of wealth, rewards hard-work and   industry, and places more premium on Competence and Merit rather than fraudulent census figures, religion and ethnicity.
Nigeria’s current quasi-federal nay Unitary 1999 Constitution (as amended),has effectively set Nigeria up for failure and mediocrity. A constitution that ensures that component States remain dependent appendages of Mummy – Federal Government, even at a time, when they are full grown “adult State Governments” that should be catering for themselves, their children (Local Governments) and contributing to the up-keep and welfare of Mummy- Federal Government. Instead, we are treated to the unseemly and abominable sight of adult State Governments fighting over who gets to get the largest share of Mummy Federal Government’s “national cake”.
The foundation of this aberration is effectively captured and provided for by Section 162 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) which provides thus:
 (1) The Federation shall maintain a special account to be called “the Federation Account” into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the Government of the Federation, except the proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the armed forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry or department of government charged with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
(2) The President, upon the receipt of advice from the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, shall table before the National Assembly proposals for revenue allocation from the Federation Account, and in determining the formula, the National Assembly shall take into account, the allocation principles especially those of population, equality of States, internal revenue generation, land mass, terrain as well as population density;
(3) Any amount standing to the credit of the Federation Account shall be distributed among the Federal and State Governments and the Local Government Councils in each State on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.
(4) Any amount standing to the credit of the States in the Federation Account shall be distributed among the States on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.
The foregoing Section of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) effectively turned Nigeria into a Unitary State, and it is the foundation of the lazy mindset of many Governors nay “Stewards” of otherwise co-ordinate component States of the federation; they simply get elected and eagerly await the monthly CREDIT ALERT from Mummy (Federal Government); there is no reason to think creatively or outside the box when there is oil money to be distributed by Law!
The only State that has strived to wean itself off the apron strings of Mummy-Federal Government, is Lagos State, which has greatly increased its internally generated revenue (reportedly generating one billion dollars from taxes in the year 2014 according to the British weekly publication – The Economist) and has since been making considerable and concerted progress at becoming self-sufficient.
However it is to be noted that even Lagos State was forced to look inwards in the year 2004, when the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo withheld its “share” of the Federal Allocations, when the former, in contravention of the wishes of Mummy-Federal Government created additional Local Government Areas. Thus, necessity forced Lagos to grow up and it hasn’t looked back since then.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Nigeria can not achieve its famed great potentials by practicing a corrupt system, a system that rewards the indolent, and punishes the industrious; a society that places more premium on ethnicity rather than merit, no society progresses without Justice and ours is an unjust set up that and supports and facilitates nepotism and corruption. This situation must thus be rectified if we are to survive and thrive as a modern Nation.
President Muhammadu Buhari won the elections on the back of his famed anti-corruption credentials and his integrity, and his actions and statements reveal his aversion for corruption and he is clearly poised to help reset Nigeria to a path of development and progress.
 However, in spite of President Buhari’s best efforts to eradicate corruption and place Nigeria on the path of greatness, no matter how concerted, he stands little chance of lasting sustainable success, IF he does not see to the reconstruction of our national political-economic architecture by seeing to the amendment of our Constitution and taking due cognizance of the feelings and thinking of the over 250 distinct ethnic groups in Nigeria who sent in memoranda and Representatives to the 2014 National Conference convened by former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan.
The perceived disposition of the new administration to discard everything from the past Administration led by Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is unhelpful; for all of its gross failings,  (and they were many), there were some few positives, such as the Report and Recommendations of the 2014 National Conference, and the amended version of the now famous or infamous Petroleum Industry Bill, (depending on which side of the divide you stand).
The Report and the Recommendations contained in the Report of that Conference may not be perfect, but its nationalistic intent leaves no one in doubt, and within it, we find a sound template for the demolition of this corrupt structure that has stifled our development for decades, and beyond that, we were also given an excellent template for the reconstruction of our national and economic architecture for the attainment of growth and development, under terms that are agreeable to ALL Nigerians who make up this great Country.
It is the considered opinion of this writer, that President Muhammadu Buhari should use his influence and powers as a Nigerian statesman and as President of Nigeria to push for the implementation of the Recommendations of the 2014 National Conference and by necessary extension the amendment of the 1999 Constitution or the enactment of a new and better Constitution, that will form the foundation of a new and progressive Nigeria.
If Nigeria is to continue to survive and if it is to thrive, then we must reconstruct our political architecture and revert to the practice of fiscal Federalism, a system that served us well in the 60’s and 70’s (even if it’s implementation is in to be done in phases and stages), this is the ONLY way Nigeria can make sustainable progress and the only way to administer a multi-ethnic society like ours; and eliminate or reduce to the barest minimum the scourge of nepotism, corruption and the shameful scars of poverty and under-development that dis-figures our national landscape and has turned us into a laughing stock among the comity of nations.
In conclusion, I borrow the words of President Buhari during his inaugural speech, wherein he quoted Shakespare’s “Julius Caesar”, “there is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and miseries…We have an opportunity, let us take it. “
A word is enough for the wise.
God bless Nigeria
Thank you.
Sign: Ugochukwu .J. Amasike Esq.
(Lagos, Nigeria)

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

APC Lists Instances Of Looting In The Last Administration, Says No Worthy Leader Will Ignore Such Cases

Press statement from APC..

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as spine-chilling and mind-boggling the massive looting of the nation’s treasury by public officials, saying nothing but the total recovery of the funds will be acceptable to all patriotic Nigerians. In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said anyone who attempts, either by deeds or words, to sabotage the recovery efforts is not a patriot and deserves nothing but public opprobrium.

It therefore thanked Nigerians for their overwhelming support for the Buhari Administration in its tough but important task of tracing and recovering the loots, while also ensuring that the looters face justice.
”It is absolutely gratifying that Nigerians are vehemently opposed to the few who would rather have the government of the day turn a blind eye to the looted funds and, in their words, carry on with the process of governance.
”Truly, what sort of governance can go on if the billions of Naira in a few hands are not recovered? In the first instance, the government needs every kobo of the funds it can muster to bring about the change it has promised Nigerians. Secondly, leaving such hair-raising funds in the hands of the few looters is dangerous, because they can use the funds to destabilize any government. In fact, no one will be surprised if the looters use their dirty funds to sponsor public demonstrations against the government’s determination to recover the funds.
”Thirdly, allowing those who privatized the commonwealth to get away is offering a thumbs-up for looting. No responsible government will do that,” APC said.
The party said that already, the looters have embarked on a relentless and an increasingly-bold campaign to discredit the government of the day and sabotage the funds’ recovery process, using newspaper columnists, ‘talking heads’ and otherwise respectable opinion leaders.
”They and their paid hirelings have tried to employ sophistry to muddle the waters, but Nigerians are much wiser, and will not succumb to the dirty antics of the looters’ megaphones,” it said.
APC said it is necessary to remind Nigerians of the kind of massive looting of the treasury that took place in the past few years, so they can better appreciate the seriousness of the issue at stake. It therefore listed some instances of the looting as follows:
– 3.8 trillion Naira out of the 8.1 trillion Naira earned from crude oil (2012-2015) withheld by NNPC
– 2.1 billion US dollars from Excess Crude Account unaccounted for
– Department of Petroleum Resources’ unremitted 109.7 billion Naira royalty from oil firms
– 6 billion US dollars allegedly looted by some Ministers of the last Administration
– 160 million barrels of crude worth 13.9 billion US dollars lost between 2009 and 2012
– 15 million US dollars from botched arms deal yet to be returned to Nigeria
?- 13 billion US dollars? in NLNG dividends mostly unaccounted for
?- 30 billion Naira rice waiver?
?- 183 billion naira? unaccounted for at the NDDC
?The party said the listed ‘missing’ funds constituted just a tip of the iceberg since they are mostly from a few sectors of the economy, mostly the oil sector, and were discovered even before the forensic audit now being undertaken in some key areas.
”The level of looting that went on in other sectors is better imagined, hence the need for all Nigerians to rally around the Buhari Administration to recover the loots, bring the looters to justice and to put in place measures to prevent such looting in the future,” it said.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed
National Publicity Secretary

Buhari Seeks Fearless Judges To Try Looters

President Muhammadu Buhari has commenced the process of identifying a few fearless and courageous judges who will be saddled with the responsibility of prosecuting persons who have been found to have stolen national resources, THE PUNCH has learnt.

Buhari had while granting audience to members of the National Peace Committee led by Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar in the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday disclosed that the prosecution of the indicted persons would commence in a matter of weeks.

“Those who have stolen the national wealth will be in court in a matter of weeks and Nigerians will know those who have short-changed them,” the President had told his guests.

Our correspondent however learnt on Sunday that the prosecution would not be open to “just any

It was learnt that the President was committed to ensuring that only judges who would expedite action on the cases and would be fearless in discharging their duties would be enlisted for the prosecution.

A source confided in our correspondent that that was one of the assignments Buhari gave to the Prof. Itse Sagay-led Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption which he set up on Monday.

The source said it would not be necessary to set up special courts to try corruption cases since efforts were already underway to identify judges that would key into the President’s dream of ensuring that no looter was left unpunished.

He said, “We do not need to entertain any fear that the prosecution of corruption-related cases will not be fast enough because many of our courts are already weighed down by many cases.

“The truth of the matter is that not all judges will be considered to take up the cases of those who have stolen our commonwealth.

“As a matter of fact, one of the assignments the President gave the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption led by Prof. Sagay is to identify fearless and courageous judges that will handle the cases.

“The idea is to ensure that the judges who will handle the cases will not be just any judges. They must be those who will expedite actions on the cases and discharge their duties with courage.

“You can see that with this development, the issue of special courts for corruption cases may not come. It is about special judges.”

Our correspondent also gathered that Buhari was already considering withdrawing national honours from any individual found to have looted the nation’s treasury.

It was learnt that the President’s position was that the nation should not be seen to be honouring any fruadulent person.

“The President will not hesitate to strip any corrupt person of national honour. Can you honour a person for milking the nation dry? It is irrelevant how long such persons have been bestowed with the national honours, they will be stripped of them,” the source said.

When contacted, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said it was reasonable that anybody found to be corrupt should be stripped of national honours.

Adesina however said such withdrawal of national honours would not be done until affected persons had been convicted by competent courts.

“Although it has not been considered, it is reasonable that those found guilty of corruption should be stripped of national honours bestowed on them. However, this will not be done before conviction,” the presidential spokesman said.

While announcing the establishment of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption on Monday, Adesina had said its brief was to advise the present administration on the prosecution of the war against corruption and the implementation of required reforms in Nigeria’s criminal justice system.

He said the committee was also saddled with the responsibility of developing comprehensive interventions for achieving the recommended reforms.

Source: Punch

US Sending Arms To Nigeria – Report

THERE are indications that the United States government is sending arms to the Nigerian military in its efforts to crush Boko Haram.
Facts that the US might start sending arms to Nigeria came on the heels of the US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle’s revelation in an interview with one of our correspondents that the US government never placed arms embargo on Nigeria.
“There’s been a lot of misunderstanding on this issue before, during and after President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to Washington. Let me be clear about a couple of things. One, we had worked very closely with Nigeria on the Leahy Amendment….The second piece of misinformation, which has been bandied about in (newspapers’) headlines, is that the US has lifted its arms embargo on Nigeria. There was never an arms embargo,” Entwistle said.

According to Radio France Internationale, the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency records

show that the country’s Department of Defence is set to transfer military material to Nigeria.

The RFI noted that a DSCA list of “so-called Excess Defence Articles” slated for Nigeria indicated that the US Army was about to transfer Caiman trucks, armoured vehicles designed “to defeat current and emerging threats,” according to their manufacturer, British-based BAE Systems.
The RFI added that the US government was also sending armoured vehicles known as MaxxPro MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected), made by Navistar Defence, an Illinois company, and Israeli-based Plasan Sasa.
It is unclear which Nigerian military units will receive the equipment, but the report said that the US government had confirmed that deliveries were pending.
When The PUNCH contacted the Department of State to confirm the types of military hardware the US would be sending and when deliveries of the weapons would be made, the newspaper was directed to contact Nigeria’s Ministry of Defence.
The spokesperson for the US State Department, Noel Clay,   via an email to The PUNCH, said, “The United States is set to expand its efforts to provide bilateral security assistance to Nigeria to counter Boko Haram. We will refer you to the Nigerian MoD to confirm the arrival of any US-origin material, but we can say that a key component of our security assistance to Nigeria in recent years has been training on the importance of respect for human rights and professional military conduct.
“Impunity for human rights violations by security forces not only tarnishes Nigeria’s reputation, but cannot prohibit us from engaging with involved units. We will continue to work with the Nigerian military to ensure they conduct disciplined military operations in accordance with clear rules of engagement and international law; treat all detainees humanely; allow access to independent monitors to all detention facilities; and hold accountable the perpetrators of unlawful violence.”
Meanwhile, a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, has said prayer is the best weapon against terrorism.
Gowon, who is also the founder of Nigeria Prays, a non-profit organisation, said this on Sunday at the National Prayer Rally, which held at the Olive Tree Parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Ikoyi, Lagos.
He observed that Boko Haram insurgency had been the most disturbing of all the problems of Nigeria.
“There is need for Nigerians to begin to change their orientation and begin to pray according to the will and purpose of God. The only way prayer can be of benefit to all is for us to ask that God’s will be done. We should pray that God will answer our prayers in way that it will be a blessing to all,” he said,
Gowon, as Nigeria’s ruler between 1966 and 1975, prosecuted the Nigeria-Biafra civil war.
He said the incessant suicide bombings in the country were enough cause for worry.
He said, “It is sad that some people wilfully take their lives and the lives of others. This is a great concern. There is no longer respect for lives. There is no regard for human dignity. This is worrisome. That is why I really want to appeal to Nigerians to raise an altar of prayer for Nigeria. We should consistently pray and constantly ask that God will cause his mercy to flow in our nation. The bloodletting is embarrassing and ungodly. It is time for us to raise our voices and cry to God for His mercy on our land.
“If God could save the Biblical Saul who later became Paul, I am confident that God can touch the lives of these people called Boko Haram. We know they are faceless and nobody knows their agenda. That is why I believe that it is only God who can really intervene in their lives and bring a change.”
Source: The Punch

President Buhari’s Administration Has Brought Change To Electricity – Ministry Of Power

The Muhammadu Buhari administration has promised Nigerians change and it seems that this change is already being witnessed in the country’s power sector.

The improvement in the electricity situation was confirmed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali during a meeting with Buhari on Wednesday, August 12, 2015.Mr Igali told the President that power generation in the country was 1,750 MW in 1999 and now peaked at 4,600 MW.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Power, Godknows Igali

In May, just before Buhari assumed office, Igali said that power generation nationwide had dropped to 1,327MW, a situation which was worsened by the fuel crisis which was being witnessed at the time.

The President also pledged, during the meeting, to further improve electricity in the country adding that his administration had already identified the critical problems in Nigeria’s power sector and was taking appropriate actions to address them.

Credit –

More Workers To Go In NNPC – GMD

The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Emmanuel Kachikwu, said on Thursday that more purges were on the way as part of activities aimed at restructuring the company for better performance and accountability.
He said the restructuring would affect all levels of the corporation with the new group executive directors and group managing directors taking the exercise to the lower cadres.
Kachikwu spoke with State House correspondents shortly after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“Things have been done wrongly and things need to be done differently. We are doing a lot of work in terms of repositioning, restructuring, getting the right personnel in key places and setting a culture of accountability and service delivery so that the new NNPC that you are going to see will be a

different institution altogether,” he said.

When asked specifically how far the restructuring could go, the NNPC boss said it would be a complete exercise.
Kachikwu also said after the personnel aspect must have been done with, he would order for a proper forensic audit covering 2014 and 2015.
The exercise, he added, would show the true state of the company.
He expressed the conviction that the whole process would lead to a new look NNPC within five to six months.
He said, “The restructuring will be complete. I have done the first three layers, from the GEDs to the GGMs and general managers. You are going to have a lot more now. The GEDs and the GGMs will take it to the next layer, which is the lower layer.
“The whole idea is to go back to being able to look at your appraisals; and how well have you done in the job? If you have done very well, how do we elevate you to a position where you can offer more service? If you have not done well enough, we can retrain you and if you have not done well enough and there is no possibility of retraining you, we will let you go.
“The NNPC is not a public service. It is a corporation and we run like a company generating money for the people of Nigeria. And so, that whole concept of ‘anything goes’ should stop. And this is the first stage of that whole process.”
Kachikwu said he was pursuing what he called a three-pronged process in the restructuring of the corporation.
He said, “It is three-pronged process that I am pursuing. There is a people aspect, which we are dealing with now. There is a process aspect. And after placing the people at the right places, you are going to get a forensic audit done, that will be able to say to you, ‘this is the state of the company.’
“We are going to put processes and control in place. We are going to do retraining and repositioning and then, we are going to re-engage our majors and minors, all those who are active in the sector, for us to work as a team to take Nigeria forward. It is going to be the process stage.
“The final stage will be the business stage, which will be looking at all the existing contracts. Are they good? Are they okay? Do they need to be re-kitted and redone?
“We will look at the PSCs. What should we do, going forward? We will look at the challenges posed by reduced balance sheet as a result of $40 or $50 per barrel oil. What do we do to energise recovery and income growth so that government will have money to work with?
“It is a very intensive work; very calibrated work. A lot of us are not spending time sleeping but over the next five to six months, you will begin to see a new NNPC. A new process of oil administration in the country and obviously, giving fillip to Mr. President’s dream of taking the oil industry back to where it should be.”
When asked about his position on the President’s directive on the Treasury Single Account, Kachikwu said the directive was being considered.
He said he was looking at how to merge accountability with the need to ensure the survival of the industry.
“The reality is that to run an oil company, you’ve got to have funds. If you don’t, you will close down the corporation and the production system will close down. So, we are looking at how to merge the need for accountability and openness with the need to make sure that the industry itself survives. We cannot throw away the baby with the bathwater,” he said.

This Government Is Alive To Its Responsibilities – Gov Tambuwal

Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, said yesterday that, the current crop of leaders in the country are people who knows why they were elected by the masses.
Tambuwal, who lamented that, a large chunk of money meant for the development of key sectors were being diverted to fighting insecurity within the last five years, added that, insecurity was greatly undermining Nigeria’s growth and development.
Speaking while declaring open the 5th National Conference of the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Usman Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Tambuwal appreciated the institution for its contributions to humanity and national development.

Referring to the theme of the conference: “Security, National Integration and the Challenges of Development in Nigeria,” Tambuwal opined that, the theme was apt, hence it could help boost the already existing peace in the state.
“As I have mentioned earlier, the theme of this year’s conference is not only timely but absolutely critical to any effort at rebuilding our society and taking the country to a better place. Without doubt, insecurity is the most daunting challenge undermining the growth and development of Nigeria as a nation.

Tambuwal begins registration of Sokoto unemployed youths
In his quest to productively engage the unemployed youths of Sokoto State, governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal said yesterday that, his government has started the process of documenting all unemployed youths in the state.
Tambuwal, in a statement signed by his spokesman, Mallam Imam Imam informed that a total of 25, 000 unemployed youths would be registered within two years.
This according to him was to allow for proper streamlining of his government policies for planning purposes.

Ayisha Osori: We need more than a new broom at the NNPC

Last week was eventful for the Nigerian oil and gas sector. The NNPC got a new GMD with superb professional credentials and will be the first outsider GMD after a succession of seven career NNPC men (Kupolokun, Yar’adua, Barkindo, Ladan, Oniwon, Yakubu & Dawha). Timed perfectly, maybe with insider knowledge, the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) released a 163-paged report titled ‘Inside NNPC’s Oil Sales’. The publication confirms what Nigerians know or suspect about the historic mis-management of the oil and gas sector and makes recommendations to ‘stop the bleeding’ and ‘cure the patient’.


The current state of Nigeria’s finances, dependent on oil sector revenue and NNPC’s efficiency, means that in line with APC’s anti corruption promise there are great expectations for a deep spring-cleaning and fundamental structural changes to NNPC’s operations. It is not clear though that a technocrat at the helm of affairs is on it’s own enough because the NNPC has not lacked technical expertise. Since Marinho in 1977 through Dawha in 2014, engineers, geologists, physicists and one lawyer have served as head of the corporation, some with masters and doctorate degrees and stints in some of the international oil companies.

The issue is: what is the brief for this new NNPC broom?

The question is pertinent because self-centered provisions aside, in the struggle to pass a petroleum industry bill, Allison-Madueke faced criticism from some quarters for working surreptitiously to uphold her ‘mother board’ Shell. It is clear that there are certain provisions that the international oil companies would rather operate without. With clear terms of reference for the new GMD it should be easier to deal with such insinuations and put stakeholders on notice on how Nigeria intends to progress on the issue of transparency in the oil and gas sector.

In addition, Nigeria has witnessed people coming in from the outside, presumably to make the needed changes in policy and governance, but who get in and want to keep the ‘too-good-to-be-true’ structures that they have found. When he was the head of the Presidential Task Force on Power, Prof. Bart Nnaji was allegedly a firm proponent of dismantling the power ministry as part of the privatization of the power sector. When he became minster of power, suddenly he saw things differently.

The NRGI repeats a few well-known solutions such as “eliminate fuel subsidy; tackle crude oil theft; and develop and implement a road map for restructuring and commercializing NNPC” and ties 5 key recommendations to some of the most egregious malpractices of the NNPC.

The outcome of these recommendations will be painful. For instance, NNPC will have to budget for its operating expenses and live within the approved limits with no recourse to the discretionary spending which allowed the NNPC to spend funds meant for the federation account on jets and non existent kerosene subsidies. If the practice of using middlemen to sell Nigerian crude to non-refining buyers and other unqualified companies ends, this will have deep implications for the political patronage system which presidents and ruling political parties have relied on for years.


Transparency about what the new management of NNPC is expected to deliver will strengthen the supervisory capacity of the legislature and executive and boost the monitoring capacity of civil society and NEITI. However, the Presidency must ensure the right incentives are in place for the new management to perform the surgery required. One such incentive is to move the NNPC to the general civil service salary scale. It is unconscionable to retain the generous pay and benefit packages which were originally intended to be an incentive for professional performance. If NNPC has been running at a loss for years and cheating the nation of revenue, it is time for the employees to take ownership of the failure. When NNPC starts running like a proper corporation and making profits then benefits may be revisited. It is also not enough to retire or transfer NNPC employees implicated in mismanagement. Starting with the recent revelations which have resulted in billions of dollars in revenue lost, those implicated must be publicly prosecuted and when found guilty, imprisoned.

Despite what is already in the public domain about the rot in the NNPC and the oil sector, reading the report leaves one dazed not for the complexity of the content, but for the sheer thievery that has taken place for years. It is a shame that after 38 years of existence, “the corporation has neither developed its own commercial or operational capacities, nor facilitated the growth of the sector through external investment”.

Accompanying the applause for meritocracy should be hard questions to ensure that it is not business as usual at the NNPC. Only with clear and public deliverables for the new management, including the amendment or enactment of laws regulating the sector will the necessary changes come to pass.


CBN Bans Cash Deposits Into Domiciliary Accounts

The Central Bank of Nigeria has banned the payment of cash into domiciliary accounts in the country, TheCable reports.
In a circular released on Wednesday and signed by the Director of Trade and Exchange, CBN, Olakanmi Gbadamosi, the central bank said its action followed recent statements by individual banks suspending the payment of foreign currencies into domiciliary accounts.
Gbadamosi wrote, “The Central Bank of Nigeria has considered the recent statements by Deposit Money Banks concerning the large volume of foreign currencies in their vaults and the decision to stop accepting foreign currency cash deposits into customers’ domiciliary accounts as a welcome development.
“Therefore, in its continued efforts to stop illicit financial flows in the Nigerian banking system
which aligns with the anti-money Laundering stance of the Federal Government, the CBN hereby prohibits from the date of this circular the acceptance of foreign currency cash deposits by DMBs.
“For foreign currency cash lodgements made prior to the date of this circular, the account holder has the option to either withdraw his or her foreign currency cash or the Naira equivalent. For the avoidance of doubt, only wire transfers to and from Domiciliary Accounts are henceforth permissible.
“The CBN advises individuals that wish to source foreign currency for eligible and legitimate purposes such as BTA, PTA medical, mortgage, school fees, goods etc. to do so through recognised channels with the use of Form ‘A’ for “invisible” and Form ‘M’ for ‘visible’ transactions. By this circular, those who deposited foreign currencies into their accounts before the directive will now have to withdraw the cash as they are not going to be allowed to transfer the funds.”

Source: The Punch

Crisis in PDP Deepens As Police Block Staff From Entering Party National Secretariat

The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in regards to a disagreement between  the national leadership and staff over plans to reduce the staff strength, their salaries and allowances by 50%, took a new turn as men of the Nigeria Police blocked the gate of the National Secretariat.

In the wee hours of yesterday, following directives from the leadership of the party, a truck load of Policemen blocked the gate and prevented staff from entering the secretariat.
However, this action was met with a stiff resistance from the angry PDP staff.
The policemen, who were deployed at strategic ends of the PDP secretariat, refused to speak with the aggrieved staff that came to work as early as 7.30 am.

As part of moves to end the crisis, management of PDP who are directors, deputy directors and assistant directors,  had on Monday held a closed door marathon meeting with the warring staff where the National Director of Administration, Alhaji Gurama Bawa, presided and had pleaded with the aggrieved staff members to remain calm so that the management could figure out how to reach a favourable compromise.
Members of staff agreed to this suggestion which was why they went to work, but they were prevented from going in.

It took the intervention of PDP Acting Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed, who made a call to the leadership of the party that the staff be allowed into the premises, the Police immediately left the gate.

Source: Vanguard 

Governor El-Rufai Sacks ADC For Insubordination

Kaduna state governor Malam Nasir el-Rufa’i last week sacked his Aide De Camp (ADC), ASP Abdullah Usman over allegations of insubordination.

Governor el-Rufa’i had particularly asked the Police authority to appoint ASP Usman to work with him after winning the gubernatorial election.

LEADERSHIP understands that ASP Usman worked with governor el-Rufa’i throughout the electioneering campaigns, but was relieved of his duty in the Government House after being found guilty of many allegations.

LEADERSHIP gathered, the former ADC was found guilty of alleged mismanagement of funds
meant for his colleagues, shortchanging some friends of the governor and other domestic staff of the government house.

A dependable source at the Government House told LEADERSHIP that the former ADC, was also found guilty of causing disaffection and misunderstanding between the Police and men of the State Security Service (SSS), among other issues.

The governor, it was gathered felt disappointed over his ADC’s behaviour and asked him to vacate his position.

Meanwhile, the former ADC has been replaced with DSP Danasabe Ibrahim who was until his appointment chief security officer (CSO) of the government house.

Effort to speak with the state commissioner of police, Umaru Shehu proved abortive as he was said to be out of town.

Source: The Leadership

Kaduna Refinery Begins Production, To Hit 2m Litres Daily By October

The Kaduna Refining and Petrochemicals Company (KRPC), is now refining of about 60,000 barrels of crude per day following the rehabilitation of two of the company’s production lines.

The company said it was currently working with a target to release two million litres of petrol daily into the market by October.

The Managing Director of the company, Mr. Saidu Muhammed told THISDAY ON Friday that the company was on phased rehabilitation, with a target to hit 60 per cent of its local refining capacity, which is about 2 million litres daily, in the next few months, stating further that there is no reason why the company cannot achieve 6 million litres by early next year.

“We are doing alot at the moment to make sure that we achieve 80 per cent of refinning capacity.”

He assured that the KRPC’s production level would hit 90 per cent by the second quarter of 2016.

The company has an installed production capacity of 110,000 barrels of crude per day. The managing director said rehabilitation work on the remaining two production lines of the company would be completed by March 2016.

Freedom Online, however, quoted the Mohammed as urging the Federal Government to safeguard the oil pipeline from Warri to Kaduna from activities of vandals in order to sustain production.

According to him, vandalism remained a major threat to smooth transportation of crude to the refinery. Muhammed, therefore, advised the Federal Government to deploy military personnel to provide maximum security to pipelines in the area. The facility upgrade of the refinery, which started in October 2014 under the Jonathan administration, is to cover 18-months.

The work entails phased and simultaneous rehabilitation of all refineries in the country using in-house and locally available resources and manpower in line with the Nigerian Content Law.
It also involved the use of Original Equipment Manufacturer representatives to effect major equipment overhaul and rehabilitation.’

The KRPC boss said the resumption of production would open employment opportunities in both formal and the informal sectors as well as address the lingering fuel scarcity in the northern region.

Muhammed explained that thousands of transporters would resume lifting of the product, thereby providing employment to truck drivers and other stakeholders. According to him, the development will also boost other businesses including the banking sector.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), on Wednesday announced that the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries had resumed full production after the phased rehabilitation.

NNPC operates three refineries with a combined capacity of 445,000 barrels per day (bpd). They are the 210,000bpd Port Harcourt refinery, the 125,000bpd Warri refinery and petrochemical plant, and the 110,00bpd Kaduna refinery and petrochemical plant.

The commencement of operations at the Port Harcourt and Warri plants will boost the country’s local refining output and reduce the volume of petroleum products imported into the country.

I Am Praying For Buhari That God Will Protect Him – Rev Fr Mbaka

Founder of the Enugu Adoration Ministry, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, while preaching at a special mass organized to celebrate his 20th anniversary in priesthood yesterday July 29th, offered prayers to God for President Buhari, asking God to protect him from enemies. He also offered prayers to God for the Enugu state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi that God will not allow occultic men steal his vision

“I am praying for Buhari, that God will protect him so that enemies will not destroy him. I also pray for Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi so that God will not allow occultic men to steal his vision.”

The outspoken cleric who was very critical of the Jonathan administration, says the last 20 years for him has been of good health and miracles from God. He said there were times he suffered blackmail but he remained in God’s hand

“I am not tired after 20 years, 20 years of good health; 20 years of miracles from God; 20 years of hard apostolic work; 20 years in the hand of God. There was a time they blackmailed me; they were saying such things like ‘Mbaka why? Mbaka this, Mbaka that’, but I have remained in the hand of God.”he said

President Buhari yesterday released a statement congratulating the outspoken cleric for his 20 years Anniversary in priesthood.

DPR Collected N30 Billion Illegally – Gov. Oshiomole

Edo state governor, Adams Oshiomole who has been in the news in recent times over his allegations on the misappropriation of funds in the last administration, says he will not be silent when people are abusing power and stealing government funds.

Oshiomole, who was a guest at a seminar organized by the Post-Mortem sub-committee of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) yesterday July 29th , alleged that the Department of Petroleum Resources collected N30 billion illegally during the last administration…

“Chairman, you must compel the DPR to refund the money. Edo state will pursue its own share of that money because we have not authorized the DPR to take it. And we have the right to go to court if it is not done because for me I want to die for something and not for nothing because I know I will die. DPR’s budget as I understand is about N4 billion annually and in one month illegally they have deducted 4 per cent from certain accruals from royalties among others amounting to over N2 billion. If your annual budget is about N4 billion and you collect over N2 billion in one month which means in a year you are going to collect close to between N24 and N30 billion where your total expenditure is not more than N4 billion. This is not only illegal, it is unjust and not acceptable in a decent society. We cannot all keep quiet even in the face of everyone abusing power. We drive round the country we see a lot of our able young men. In today’s post mortem we want to know how much NIMASA has earned over the years under president Goodluck Jonathan that was never transferred to the federation account and where is the money and how much is it? We also want to know how much NPA transferred to the federation account and if they did not how much do they earn and where is the money?” he said

Source: PM News

Oil Worth $13.7bn Stolen Under NNPC, Says NEITI

The Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, Hajiya Zainab Shamsuna-Ahmed, on Wednesday said between 2009 and 2012, about 160 million barrels of oil valued at $13.7bn was stolen under the watch of the national oil giant, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

She also said that subsidy payment from 2005 to 2012 indicated that $11.63bn had been paid to the NNPC but that “there is no evidence of the money being remitted to the federation account.”

The NEITI boss, who called on the Federal Government to privatize the refineries, stated this during a courtesy call on Governor Nasir el-Rufai, at Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House, Kaduna, on Wednesday.

El-Rufai is among the four governors appointed by the National Economic Council to scrutinise the accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Excess Crude Account managed by the administration of Goodluck Jonathan.

Part of the terms of reference was to unravel the N3.8trn not remitted to the Federation Account by the national oil giant between 2012 and May 2015, as well as $2.1bn said to have been deducted from the Excess Crude Account.

Governors of Akwa-Ibom, Edo and Gombe states were members of the team.

Hajiya Ahmed said, “Crude product swap of $866m was lost from 2009 to 2011 and $8243m in 2012. Total amount expended in subsidy payment from 2005 to 2012 as captured $11.63bn have been paid to the NNPC. However, there is no evidence that these amounts were remitted to the Federation Account,” she stated.

Meanwhile, Governor El-Rufai disclosed that since he called for the scrap of the NNPC, the corporation has being sponsoring articles in the media to attack him to fight on till NNPC will be killed.

He added that the corporation would be made to pay all monies it owed before its final death.

El-Rufai said, “NNPC has become a monster that is too powerful. I will continue to fight NNPC till it dies for Nigeria to survive.

“It is either Nigerians kill NNPC or NNPC will kill Nigeria.

“Since, I called for the death of NNPC, the corporation has sponsored articles attacking me, but I am telling them my skin is thicker than an elephant.”

Port Harcourt And Warri Refineries Commence Preliminary Operations

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has announced that the Port Harcourt and Warri refineries have been successfully re-streamed after a nine-month rehabilitation exercise conducted by its in-house engineers and technicians.

The corporation, in a statement, noted that both plants commenced preliminary production of petroleum products after successful test-runs, adding that while PHRC was ramping up its operation to about 60 per cent of its 210,000 barrels per day capacity, WRPC production was projected to hit 80 per cent of its installed 125,000bpd capacity.

The NNPC said the Port Harcourt refinery was projected to boost the nation’s local refining capacity
with a product yield of five million litres of petrol per day, while Warri refinery would contribute 3.5 million litres of petrol.

Providing insight into the rehabilitation exercise, the NNPC noted that it had to adopt the phased rehabilitation strategy after the Original Refinery Builders, who were initially contacted for the project came up with unfavorable terms.

It said, “Though a decision was taken in 2011 to rehabilitate all the refineries using the ORB of each of the refineries, we were impelled to switch strategy after the ORBs declined participation and nominated some partners in their stead who came up with outrageously unfavorable terms.”

The NNPC stated that the nominated partners, as sole-bidders, came up with humongous price offers after two years of thorough and exhaustive scope of work definition and price negotiations.

It added that the proxies were also unwilling to provide post rehabilitation performance guarantees.

The corporation said, “The phased rehabilitation strategy which entailed phased and simultaneous rehabilitation of all the refineries using in-house and locally available resources in line with the spirit and letter of the Nigerian Content Law, also involved the use of Original Equipment Manufacturer representatives to effect major equipment overhaul and rehabilitation.”

The national oil firm said the phased rehabilitation programme, which started in October 2014 after the required funding stream was established, created a 70 per cent reduction in costs which helped largely in mitigating the financing challenges of refinery rehabilitation.

It observed that with the successful re-streaming of the PHRC and WRPC, attention has now moved to the 110,000 barrels per day Kaduna Refining and Petrochemicals Company which was billed to come on stream soon.

In a related development, NNPC disclosed that it had successfully recovered the System 2B Pipeline which was breached last week at Arepo, Ogun State.

The corporation stated that its team of engineers, who were deployed to the scene of the incident, were able to access the pipeline after the fire was put out and commenced repair work immediately.

It said, “We wish to announce that the vital System 2B Pipeline which was breached at Arepo last week has been fixed and brought back on stream. Pumping of products through the system commenced on Monday upon successful completion of repair work over the weekend.

“We also wish to call on all those engaged in the criminal acts of pipeline sabotage and oil theft to desist in order to avoid such horrendous deaths as was witnessed in the recent incident.”

Source: Punch

PDP Spent N2.5bn, APC N728m During Election Campaigns – Report

A report by Compliance and Content Monitoring Ltd (CCM) has revealed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Party (APC) spent a combined N3.23 billion on political campaign advertisements for this year’s general elections, according to a report at the weekend.

According to the report PDP spent for about N2.5 billion (77 per cent) and APC spent N728 million (23 per cent). CCM said the media advertisements were placed on radio, television, press and billboards for the PDP and the APC presidential campaigns between December 2014 and March.

The Managing Director of CCM Limited, Mr. Tunde Onadele, who spoke at the unveiling of the report, said about 253 creative materials were deployed across radio and television channels in all the 260+ stations monitored by CCM, with PDP utilising 145 materials. APC deployed 107 materials.

The split across media platforms showed that the two parties utilised mostly television and press platforms for over 85 per cent of total campaign spending.

States To Repay Bailout Loans From Allocations

It has been revealed that the bailout package being prepared by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the 36 states of the federation is to be deducted from their statutory allocations.

On Monday revealed that some state governors had started visiting the central bank to discuss modalities on how and when the funds would be released.

It was gathered that the CBN would release the package to the states as concessionary loans to be repaid over a longer period of time rather than the funds being given in form of a grant.

The Presidency said the implementation of the three-pronged financial intervention recently approved
by President Muhammadu Buhari to support the states to pay their workers was now in progress.

The Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande, said this in a statement.

Akande said state governments would start benefiting from the special intervention fund of between N250bn and N300bn in a matter of weeks.

He explained that planning meetings were currently being held between members of the Federation Account Allocation Committee and the CBN on the one hand, and between the central bank and commercial banks on the other hand.

A top official in the Ministry of Finance said that one of the criteria that might be used for the disbursement of the funds would be for the states to sign Irrevocable Standing Payment Orders guaranteeing the repayment of the loans.

He said while the deductions from the states’ statutory allocations might not be immediate, owing to declining revenue, it would be implemented as soon as the country’s revenue profile improved.

The source said,

This issue of bailout came directly from the Federal Government and it is an issue that must get the support of the CBN and other stakeholders for it to work. You will recall that what necessitated the CBN to intervene was because most states took short-term loans to finance long-term projects as well as service their obligations.

“So, once these loans are restructured, which is what the CBN is currently doing, they will be repaid and the only way that the funds can be recouped is to deduct whatever is their indebtedness as a result of the bailout from their allocations, but this may not be done immediately until revenue improves.”

 Another top official of the CBN also added that some state governors had been visiting the bank since last week to have further discussions on the modalities for the package.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had on Friday, when asked about the modalities for the package, said that they were still being worked out.

He said while the funds would be given to the states in form of loans, the bank would meet with the governors and the commercial banks to restructure their expenditure and revenue profiles.

He also said the CBN would meet with the state governors to encourage them to diversify their internally generated revenues so as to boost their states’ revenue base.

Akande said the meetings of the stakeholders had focused on the details of the special intervention fund and the debt relief programme of the President for the states.
He said,

 “Such meetings are reviewing loan profiles of the states, issues around restructuring of existing loans, including time span, and reconciling the figures. Already, it has been agreed that the existing state loans be restructured for 20 years, and regarding the bond option, the rates to be applied will be market-based but with a cap to make it affordable.

“Within weeks from now, the states are expected to start benefiting from these two other parts of the presidential intervention.” Akande said by extending the commercial loans of the states, the third part of the intervention would make more funds available to the state governments, which otherwise would have been removed at source by the banks.

 He further explained that to be able to offer the option to the states, Buhari brought the financial muscle of the Federal Government to bear by guaranteeing the elongation of the loans.

He said,

 “Besides, the availability of the $2.1bn from the NLNG, which has now been shared to the states, was made possible because President Buhari set a new fiscal standard and tone that all monies generated should go to the Federation Account.

“Before that constitutional standard was upheld by the President, the NLNG dividends were going to other NNPC designated accounts.

“None of the three parts of this intervention would have been possible without the creativity and approval of President Buhari. It should be noted that the backlog of the salaries in some of the states went back several months before the President took office.”

Source: Punch

Femi Adeshina : Now That The Phones Are Ringing……. By Sunday Osanyintuyi

As a trained journalist, I don’t take lightly issues around my first constituency, media. I handle media issues and industry related matters with great passion. It is so because our positions and thoughts have immense impacts on nation building. Among the first news items and opinions read yesterday was an article by a senior colleague, Dr Reuben Abati, (Media & Publicity) assistant to the immediate past president of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, PhD.

Hear oga Reuben “As spokesman to President Goodluck Jonathan, my phones rang endlessly and became more than personal navigators within the social space. They defined my entire life; dusk to dawn, all year-round. The phones buzzed non-stop, my email was permanently active; my twitter account received tons of messages per second.  The worst moments were those days when there was a Boko Haram attack virtually every Sunday.  The intrusion into my private life was total as my wife complained about her sleep being disrupted by phones that never seemed to stop ringing. Besides, whenever I was not checking or responding to the phones, I was busy online trying to find out if the APC had said something contrarian or some other fellow was up to any mischief”

Reading through the above, I was asking myself what Egbon, Abati expected as a media manager to the most vilified Nigerian president ever. No doubt, Dr Abati’s rich media experience, critical views and opinions must have informed the choice of his boss, Jonathan. Surely, Dr Abati was and still a competent media combatant. Clearly, Dr Abati lamentations of his phones nonstop as a media manager shocked me. In this age and times, when every citizen has become a “journalist”? To which extent are professional values upheld in the practice of this new “journalism“? That is another issue for later discussion. Other lamentations will be handled some other day. But the focus of that office now rests on another senior colleague, Femi Adesina.

To Femi, another dogged media warrior, he needs to sentinel himself not only with the necessary tools to deliver, but take due lessons from Dr Reuben Abati’s seeming lamentations and failures. Abati, though very competent, but in his own words didn’t prepare or really know the demands of his office when he said “Top of the task list was the management of phone calls related to the principal. In my first week on the job, for example, one of my phones ran out of battery and I had taken the liberty to charge it. While it was still in the off mode, the “Control Room”: the all-powerful communications centre at the State House tried to reach me. They had only just that phone number, so I couldn’t be reached. When eventually they did, the fellow at the other end was livid. “SA Media, where are you? We have been trying to reach you. Mr President wants to speak with you” “Sorry, I was charging my phone.  The phone was off.” “Sir, you can’t switch off your phone now.  Mr President must be able to reach you at any time. You must always be available.”  I was like: “really? Which kin job be dis?” The Control Room eventually collected all my phone numbers. If I did not pick up a call on time, they called my wife”

I think this is a key lesson for Femi Adesina, more importantly now that his phones will be ringing endlessly. He must set up viable machineries in place to respond PROFESSIONALLY to issues as against what he did sometimes ago which has made some refer to him as an “Apostle and creator of wailing wailers”. Sadly enough, that lexicon has now found its way into our industry. Let truth be told, 21st century media managers must learn how to respond to those “wailing wailers” without losing professional ethics and ethos.

In my view, Femi Adesina, unlike Dr Reuben Abati should admit for the period he will be on this seat, has no private life. His statements will be credited as the views of the presidency he serves. Unlike Dr Reuben Abati, Femi Adesina needs to master the techs of social media. His expertise on social media usage is still far below average. As a media manager serving Nigeria presidency, you cannot ignore young Nigerians who are more active than ever. Also, you need the old horses of the conventional media. Balancing the two is very germane.

He should know, like Olumide Iyanda, publisher of an online newspaper,, opines in his recent write up on “For whom the phones have stopped ringing” the phone will continue ringing as long as you cover a “juicy beat” or are in a position to influence what goes into any publication people reckon with. The phone will continue to ring as long as every journalist wants to have scoop or exclusive with the presidency. Oga Femi Adesina should know the change promised by his boss; Muhammadu Buhari will be demanded by Nigerians where and when it seems not showing. The phones will keep ringing until Boko Haram insurgency, Corruptions, weak institutions and abuse of power continue in Nigeria. Watching Femi Adesina on Channels TV Sunday 26th July night responding to issues raised by Seun Okinbaloye confirms his competency again. He was clear, lucid and details on president Buhari’s trip to America just as he was in his write up on same subject today. But he needs to do more providing online consumers with real time reportage, pictures and updates. If he fails, unverified online news media may feed the gullible with half truth.

But any journalist who has passed through the newsroom will have tales of people who became social orphans as soon as they were no longer in a position to write, kill or push a story of interest. We as professionals must accept to live with this sad reality that people only relate with or count you as useful when your presence or position benefits them.

While I agreed sometimes you can be defensive in your approach as a media manager, but such is not to be always. You can make your opposition sing your positive songs if you do the right things. Personal attacking or naming calling as professionals should be avoided. Positions and issues should be stated professionally, clearly with objectivity.

Till then, Oga Femi Adesina welcome to the “phones ringing arena”. And to Dr Reuben Abati, I join Olumide Iyanda to welcome you to “planet Earth”… whatever that means. | @SundayOs

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

President Buhari’s Trip To The US Was Fruitless – Olisa Metuh

PDP is still very much at it with APC and shamefully we must say we love the ‘fight’. Lol. Please read what the party has to say about the president’s visit to the US. Culled from Punch;

Precisely 59 days after President Muhammadu Buhari assumed power, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party on Sunday listed many ‘sins’ the Federal Government under the President had committed and said Buhari’s government lacked direction.

Among the sins of the Buhari’s government, the PDP said, included alleged failure by the President to achieve anything meaningful during his just-concluded US trip and alleged maltreatment of Patience, wife of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

At a media briefing in Abuja on Sunday, the PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said events after Buhari’s visit to the US indicated that neither the President nor his party, the All Progressives Congress, had learnt anything from the trip.

Metuh said, “Now that the visit has come and gone, our fear is that nothing whatsoever has been learnt or gained.

“What we continue to receive as a nation have been embarrassing disagreements, accusations and counter-accusations, blames and denials on very important issues due to lack of tact and skill in the management of state matters by the APC-led administration.

“It is disheartening that rather than secure any sort of tangible gain for the fight against terrorism, which has lost steam under the APC watch, with insurgents, who were pushed to the verge of surrender by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, now surging back and spreading into the country, we get nothing but exchanges and disagreements between the Presidency and their American hosts.

“This is not only embarrassing but also a worrisome indication of crass ineptitude in the handling of international affairs on the part of the present administration.”

He urged the government to settle down and face the business of governance and the fight against insurgency with every sense of seriousness, especially given Buhari’s promise in his April 2, 2015 CNN interview to end the scourge two months after his inauguration.

Reacting, the All Progressives Congress, said that the PDP would be unable to provide any worthwhile opposition to the Federal Government if its spokesman continued to issue empty statements.

‘’Today’s statement is the most tortuous yet by the PDP and, honestly, sounds more like a compendium of beer parlour gossips and side talks than a serious criticism of a sitting government,’’ the APC said in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

‘‘To be in opposition does not mean you have to constitute yourself to a nuisance by rushing to the press with all sorts of hot air statements. It is the quality, rather than the frequency, of your interventions that makes you relevant as an opposition in a democracy,’’ the party said

Metuh meanwhile also criticised the statement made by the President while in the USA, in which he was quoted as saying that he would administer the country on the basis of the voting pattern in the last general elections.

He also said that the business community in Nigeria and across the world noted what he described as the disgraceful treatment allegedly meted out to some Nigerian bankers and captains of industries by Buhari during his US visit.

While agreeing that the President has the right to decide those to be on his entourage on such an important official visit, he nevertheless said that the way Buhari allegedly shamed and walked out Nigerian businessmen had sent a wrong signal to international investors and posed great threats to inflow of direct foreign investments into the country.

“These Nigerian businessmen were rejected by their President only for them to be valued by other Presidents of African nations who led them into a meeting with President Barrack Obama in their own countries on account of their investments in those nations,” he added.

Metuh also said that his party noted the alleged embarrassment caused by the absence of an economic team for healthy and informed discussion at the meeting with officials of the US government.

He said that whereas President Obama came to the meeting with a formidable team of experts and key federal officials, President Buhari had in his entourage some APC governors, who, he said, owe salaries and billions of naira in debts.

This action, he said, robbed the nation the benefits and gains of the discussions.

Metuh said that since the President had insisted on running his government as a sole administrator, making important decisions on national affairs without recourse to relevant statutory arms and organs of government, the PDP was being compelled to demand that the administration publish its expenses since assumption of office in May, in keeping with its much harped stance on transparency.

“We make this demand because since the APC took office, the nation’s financial system in the absence of statutory functionaries has been enmeshed in confusion, controversy and fertile atmosphere for financial sleazes,” he added.

News also reaching US says Metuh also alleged that his party was in possession of information that the Presidency acting alone, has gone into discussions with the World Bank for a loan of $2.1 bn for purposes unknown to Nigerians.

He asked, “What is the loan for? What are the terms and who are those working the papers? Who are the people to decide on how the money will be spent? Is it true that the $2.1bn loan is meant to pay back huge contributions for the APC Presidential campaign expenses?

“If truly this government is transparent, it should come out clear on this loan as well as publicise details of its expenditure in the last two months.”

The opposition party’s spokesperson also condemned what he called the recent humiliation of Patience Jonathan at the Port Harcourt airport, where he said the ex-President’s wife was refused access to the protocol lounge based on “an order from Abuja”.

He said this was not the case when Jonathan was in power, during which he said all former Presidents and their spouses had unhindered access to the protocol lounge.

Metuh refused to take questions after the briefing.

No Governor Got Bailout For Workers’ Salaries – Oshiomhole

Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has said that none of the 36 state governors had received his state’s share of the N713.7bn bailout fund from the Federal Government.

The fund is a relief to cash-strapped states, many of which owe workers salaries.

Oshiomhole, who disclosed this to journalists shortly after a reception in honour of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, at Sabongida Ora, in Owan West Local Government Area of the state on Saturday, explained that while he was unaware of any disbursement, there were conversations going on between the governors and the Federal Government.

He added that President Muhammadu Buhari had been “extremely positive” in recognising that he did not want to preside over a country whose workers were not paid.

He said that the President was also concerned about the expenditure of the states as well as measures aimed at the effective management of their resources.

The governor said, “It doesn’t matter who is responsible for it; but at the end of the day, it is simply not acceptable to have a situation in which about 13, 14, 15 states for two, three, four, five, sometimes, one year, people have not been paid. He (President Buhari) is angry over that and he is ready to work do-able programmes to deal with that and then, going forward, to look at the structural issues in the expenditure pattern of states, because, you see, nobody ever has enough.

“The basic law of economics is that resources are scarce in relation to our wants. So, who gets what done has to be a matter of creativity, of priority and of proper costing and project management.

“So, I think the good news is that the President is there to stand by us in finding solution beyond cash giving. Nobody has gotten any one dime. But there is always a time lag between when you conceptualise a solution, when you think through it, when you reach a conclusion and when it begins to manifest.

“So for now, no governor, no government has gotten any one naira under the bailout. But the hope is there. The President is determined and we are all working to see that it is done in a way that it benefits the target group, which is that no Nigerian worker should go home at the end of the month without getting a positive alert from his banker.”

Oshiomhole, who was part of the delegation to the United States last week, described the outcome of the meeting with the US President, Barack Obama, as a demonstration of commitment to the development of Nigeria as Africa’s most populous nation.

“I think in the history of our country, Americans have not shown that amount of worth and I was with the President when he visited President (Barack) Obama and we were all present at the conversation and I have not seen an American president talking in the manner that President Obama did.

“I mean, when a President says to you, ‘In the next 18 months, use me; get us to do any of the things. We will go as far as you will allow us to go.’ We recognise that if Nigeria’s problems are solved, the African continent will be stable and if we can fix Nigeria, we would have fixed Africa and he (Obama) recognised that if it goes the other way round, there are also huge challenges for the continent.”

He added, “It is like politics is not different from business; it is about perceptions. If the world, using President Obama’s language, believes correctly that our President is a man of integrity; then all things become easy. Leadership is about integrity; once the people cannot trust you, it does not matter what your intentions are.

“But if they trust you, they are more likely to follow you through challenges and to claim ownership of public policies that you need to introduce in order to deal with the problem that confronts us.”

Source –

Why I Am Keeping Quiet — Goodluck Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has opted to remain silent despite the barrage of questions requiring answers from him by not just newsmen, but Nigerians in general on his handling of the nation’s affairs.

Jonathan said he will, for now, rather remain silent.

According to his spokesperson while in office, Dr Reuben Abati, the former president has asked him to tell those seeking to speak with him, especially newsmen that he is resting.

In an article entitled: “The phones no longer ring,” Abati, the Special Adviser on Media to Jonathan, said he has had to deal with barrage of requests for interview with his former boss.

He, however, said Jonathan had told him to inform those making the requests that he is resting.

In the article in which Abati appeared to be at pains as to the stoppage of the numerous phone calls that he got while in office, but most of which he did not attend to, he explained: “Today, the phones remain loudly silent, with the exception of calls from those friends who are not gloating, who have been offering words of commendation and support.

“They include childhood friends, former colleagues, elderly associates, fans, and family members.

“And those who want interviews with President Jonathan, both local and international – they want his reaction on every development, so many of them from every part of the planet.

“But he is resting and he has asked me to say he is not ready yet to say anything.

“It is truly, a different moment, and indeed, ‘no condition is permanent.’

“The ones who won’t give up with the stream of phone calls and text messages are those who keep pestering me with requests for financial assistance.

“I am made to understand that there is something called “special handshake” and that everyone who goes into government supposed to exit with carton loads of cash.

“I am in no position to assist such people, because no explanation will make sense to them.

“Here I am, at the crossroads; I am glad to be here.”

In the opening paragraphs of the article, which was earlier published by this news website, Abati said: “As spokesman to President Goodluck Jonathan, my phones rang endlessly and became more than personal navigators within the social space.

“They defined my entire life; dusk to dawn, all year-round.

“The phones buzzed non-stop, my email was permanently active; my twitter account received tons of messages per second.

“The worst moments were those days when there was a Boko Haram attack virtually every Sunday.”

EFCC Invites Kingsley Kuku Over Alleged Embezzlement Of Amnesty Funds

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC have invited the former special adviser on Niger Delta matters to ex President Jonathan, Kingsley Kuku, over allegations of embezzlement of hundreds of millions of Naira meant for amnesty programme.

Mr Kuku alongside two of his aides are expected to be at the headquarters of the anti-graft agency on July 28th.

The EFCC had on July 22nd invited and interrogated a former special assistant to President Jonathan on Schools and Agricultural programme, Baraka Sani over allegations that she diverted money meant for agricultural programmes initiated for schools by the former administration. She was however released on administrative bail after she pleaded that the officials allow her return to their office with some documents that will help in further investigations.

I Will Work Very Hard To Sustain Goodwill Of Nigerians – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Washington, United States, said he would work very hard to sustain the goodwill his government had received at home and abroad. The President was answering a question after his address at the United States Institute for Peace. He was asked how he intended to leverage on the enormous goodwill being enjoyed by his administration and meet the huge expectations of the people.

He said despite his perceived slowness and the reality of lack of resources, he would work very hard “so that people will see and believe that we are trying and can deliver and hopefully become less critical.” Buhari acknowledged the huge challenges confronting his administration such as the crash in the price of crude oil, its theft, and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta, hostage taking and insecurity in the North East.

He restated his determination to sustain the goodwill by working very hard. “And I believe I will succeed.” Earlier, the President said “despite our current challenges, Nigeria’s commitment to good governance, anti-corruption, democracy and security of lives and property remains firm.

“Similarly, I must reaffirm that despite the current challenges that we face domestically, we are ready and willing to face our duties – fixing Nigeria’s problems as formidable as they are the responsibility of Nigerians.’’ According to him, international community can only assist, but the hard work belongs to Nigerians and their government.

“I will, as President, lead from the front, but all Nigerians, including the opposition parties, civil society organisations, business and religious leaders, public servants, labour unions, the youths and professional associations, all have important roles to play to get our country back on a sound economic footing’’, he said.

Former US Secretary of State for African Affairs, Amb. Johnnie Carson had described President Buhari as a “very humble and strong personality with enormous integrity and commitment to good governance and uplifting the lives of the citizenry.’’

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Carson moderated the interactive.

– Source –

Bayelsa Women Protest Dismissal Of Ex-Militant Pilot Trainees

Scores of women from Niger Delta on Tuesday staged a protest against the dismissal of 13 youths being trained as pilots by the Lufthansa Airline Training School, Frankfurt, Germany.

They said the youth were disgraced out of the school due to the alleged refusal of the Federal Government to pay the Amnesty training fees and scholarship grants.

It was learnt that the 13 ex-militants undergoing the training were last week sent away from the institution over non-payment of fees.

Other ex-militant youths from the region have also been sent packing by their various institutions in South Africa, Russia, Germany, Ukraine and European countries.

The protesting women, from some coastal communities, during their protest, who marched to the office of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital,  said President Muhammadu Buhari should be held responsible if there was a resurgence of violence in the Niger Delta.

They warned Buhari that as mothers, they were already feeling the heat and the gathering of disgruntled youths in their communities, saying the government’s refusal to pay the training fees was creating serious tension.

One of the protesting women, Madam Ebiere Ankiomete, warned that though President Muhammadu Buhari’s actions so far had given more hope to the people of the region, but his refusal to appoint a substantive Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Committee to liaise with Ministry of Finance to pay the training fund was a serious concern to them.

She said, “If the appointment is delayed till September, the Amnesty beneficiaries in institutions abroad would have been denied approved trainings.”

Addressing the aggrieved women, President, LPCDI, ex-militant commander, Pastor Reuben Wilson, appealed for calm.

He called on Buhari not to allow the PAP to disintegrate owing to starving of fundings to meet the aims and the objectives  of the peace offered to ex-agitators  in the region to pave  the way for harmony and smooth operation of oil production.

Wilson said, “The passionate appeal comes on  the heels of avalanche of complaints received by the indigent parents of the Amnesty beneficiaries, home and abroad, that their children and wards are currently experiencing hardship due to  lack of funds for the programme.

“President Buhari should not lose sight on the germane issue that brought about the PAP and save it from total collapse.

“Mr. President, we use this medium to remind you and the good people of Nigeria of promises to the people of Niger Delta about positive changes. Nigerians have since voted you into power because they need change, but from what we have seen so far, we have reasons to doubt how soon, if at all, the change will come.

“The peace we are enjoying in the Niger Delta area today is because of the Amnesty Programme initiated by President Umaru Yar’Adua because he had the interest of the Niger Delta people at heart.

“You will also recall that as a result of the Amnesty offer, the country went from producing 900 barrels to over 2million barrels of crude oil per day.”

Wilson said the parents who were infuriated at the attitude of President Buhari administration, since more than one month of assuming power, wondered if his words at inaugural speech of strengthening PAP was just lip service and deceit.

He said the truth was that anybody who meant well for the people of Niger Delta would not delay the payment of the Amnesty monthly stipends for a period going to three months now.

“One Million Barrel Of Stolen Crude Was Being Sold By Some Former Ministers Per Day”- President Buhari

President Muhammadu  Buhari Tuesday in the United States vowed that his administration would trace the accounts of individuals who stashed away ill-gotten oil money, freeze and recover the loot and prosecute the culprits.

President Muhammadu Buhari 

Reacting to questions from members of Nigerians In Diaspora Organization (NIDO) in the United States and Canada at the Nigerian Embassy in Washington DC on the third day of his visit, the President lamented that “Corruption in Nigeria has virtually developed into a culture where honest people are abused.”

According to him, “250,000 barrels per day of Nigerian crude are being stolen and people sell and put the money into individual accounts,” adding that the United States and other developed countries “are helping us to trace such accounts now.

We will ask that such accounts be frozen and prosecute the persons. The amount involved is mind-boggling. Some former ministers were selling about one million barrels per day. I assure you that we will trace and repatriate such money and use the documents to prosecute them. A lot of damage has been done to the integrity of Nigeria with individuals and institutions already compromised.”

Citing the example of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), President Buhari said unlike what obtained during his tenure as Federal Commissioner for Petroleum under military regime when the NNPC had only two traceable accounts before paying oil proceeds into the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), “now everybody is doing anyhow.”

The President, who expressed skepticism on the existence of oil subsidy, said if subsidy was removed, transport, housing and food prices would go out of control and the average worker would suffer untold hardship.

While agreeing that the “economy is in an extremely bad shape,” following 16 years of bad government by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which ran down the oil refineries and had the “treasury in their pockets,” he said the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration would fulfill its three-pronged campaign manifesto of providing security, turning around the economy with a major focus on youth employment and fighting corruption. According to him, agriculture and mining would receive priority attention as faster job-creation avenues for the teeming unemployed youth, adding that some foreign investors had agreed to take advantage of the immense business opportunities in Nigeria.

President Jonathan when asked if the Federal Government (FG) would agree to negotiate with the Boko Haram insurgent and terrorist organization to pave way for the release of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls, replied that the FG would only negotiate if genuine and confirmed leaders of the militant sect came forward and convinced the FG of the current conditions of the girls, their location and the sect’s willingness to negotiate. “Our objective is that we want the girls back, alive and returned to their families and rehabilitated. We are working with neighboring countries if they will help,” he said.

On when he would form his cabinet, the President, who observed jokingly that the question was chasing him around the world even to the point that at home he had been nicknamed, “Baba Go Slow!”, noted that not even the PDP during all the years it ruled the country ever never formed a cabinet within the first four months. “I am going to go slow and steady,” he assured, as he called for patience to allow the new administration “put some sense into governance and deal with corruption.”

President Buhari promised that his administration would at the right time tap into the enormous talents available amongst members of NIDO especially as consultants while their requests for voting right in 2019, a Diaspora Commission and opening of new consulates in parts of the United States and Canada would be looked into.

The President had earlier met at the same venue with a group of young professionals in the United States and assured them of his government’s resolve to fight corruption, remain steadfast and invest heavily in education which he said was the answer to taking the youth out of poverty and ignorance.  The youth in their huge numbers took turns to express their best wishes for the President and the country.


Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media & Publicity)

Relocation Of Boko Haram Inmates Hatched During Jonathan’s Govt —Ekwueme

Former Vice President of Nigeria in the Second Republic, Dr. Alex Ekwueme has said that the plan to bring Boko Haram detainees to Aguata Prisons in Ekwulobia, Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State, was hatched during the former President Jonathan’s administration, but was resisted and protested against by the people which made the past administration to drop the idea.

Dr Ekwueme

Speaking with newsmen at Aguluzigbo, Anaocha Local Government Area of Anambra State during the end of tenure Thanksgiving Ceremony of Chief Victor Umeh as APGA Chairman, Chief Ekwueme said,  “I am aware that the plan of bringing Boko Haram detainees to Aguata prisons in Ekwulobia came up a while ago and there was reasonable protest to the then President Jonathan against it and he dropped the plan.

I was out of the country when I heard that Boko Haram detainees were brought to Aguata Prisons in Ekwulobia, Anambra State. I started wondering how the idea of bringing them to the South East and my local government area came up again after the people thought the matter has been rested.

I am sure the new President must have seen the records and proposal and decided to  implement it, but since there was initial protest against the relocation of the detainees to the South East, I’m sure President Buhari will do something to assuage the feelings of the people of the South East,” he said.

On the alleged delay in appointing ministers, Chief Ekwueme said he cannot start passing judgment now on the President because “every leader has his leadership style, everybody will not approach that exalted office with the same style. You have to watch and assess each person based on his style. The important thing is that we get the right result.

Another important thing is that we have peace, prosperity and unity, and better quality of life as Nigeria attains her God given-position as a great nation and leader in the comity of nations.

“So, I wish the President well in running the affairs of Nigeria. I cannot start assessing his performance now, it is too early,” he said.

– Source –

Start The Corruption Probe From The 1999 Government Till Date, PDP Chieftain Challenges Buhari

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and an aspirant in the 2016 governorship election in Edo State, Mr. Matthew Iduoiriyekemwen has insisted that if President Muhammadu Buhari must embark on probing the activities of past regimes in the country, he must not probe former President Goodluck Jonathan alone but extend it to 1999.

President Muhammadu Buhari

Iduoiriyekemwen, who spoke with Vanguard on Tuesday, in an interview in Benin said that while he welcomed the decision of the Buhari administration to probe Jonathan, it should not be a way to discredit the former President’s government.

“There is nothing wrong in probing. What is wrong in probe is when it becomes witch-hunt. Yes, we are in a democratic regime, if President Muhammadu Buhari wants to probe the activities of past regimes, he should look at what has been happening in this country from 1999.

“There has been a lot of maladministration and corruption, there has been a lot of stealing and wasting of government resources and if he wants to probe, he must extend it to 1999 till date,” he said.

Charge Jonathan’s CSO To Court Or Release Him – Lawyer

Andrew Itsekiri, the lawyer of Gordon Obuah, former President Goodluck Jonathan’s chief security officer, has asked the Director General of the SSS, Lawan Daura, to either charge Mr. Obuah to court or release him without further delay.

Mr. Obuah is being detained by the State Security Service although the service has yet to officially speak about the arrest.

In a statement, Mr. Itsekiri said Mr. Obuah is held without a charge and his continued detention by the SSS is placing life-threatening strain on his health. He said Mr. Obuah, who is diabetic and has a serious case of high blood pressure is being “sadistically” denied water, food and life sustaining medications. Continue…

Mr. Itsekiri also said family members and friends of Mr. Obuah have been prevented from seeing him.

Mr. Itsekiri explained that Mr. Obuah’s ordeal began a week before he was detained by the SSS. He said Mr. Daura told his client to report daily to the SSS headquarters for questioning over an allegation, the nature of which was never disclosed to him.

He said he was eventually detained last Thursday after he showed up at the SSS office for the daily questioning. Mr. Itsekiri explained that before Mr. Obuah was finally detained, Mr. Daura had asked him if Mr. Obuah wanted him to personally investigate him or delegate a junior officer to do so.

Since the news of the arrest and detention of Mr. Obuah broke last week, the SSS has yet to issue a statement on why he is being held.

Premium Times

How Cameraman, Police Saved Lives From Damaturu Suicide Attack

But for the extra vigilance of a cameraman and police officer at the scene of a suicide attack that killed eight persons at the outskirts of Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, yesterday, more lives would have been wasted if one of the injured suicide bombers had succeeded in igniting a handbag filled with more bombs.

A group of suspected Boko Haram suicide bombers yesterday came in a convoy of two vehicles, a Toyota Highlander with a Bauchi State number plate -and a Ford Galaxy mini bus marked 2B 2108 and approached from Maiduguri towards Damaturu.

But police officers at the checkpoint stopped the two vehicle, as they curiously noticed the car leading the convoy with a strange tourists number plate. Upon interrogation, the visibly dishevelled
looking passengers claimed to be foreign diplomats travelling from Maiduguri to Damaturu.
Dissatisfied with their conduct, the police officers insisted on taking them to the station for proper interrogation.

But within seconds, the Toyota Highlander went off in massive explosion and flung most of the passengers out of the jeep in their dismembered form. Only the female passenger survived the explosion with an injury on her waist.

Four of the passengers inside the jeep were killed instantly alongside the three police officers who were closed to the jeep.
As more security operatives, aid workers and journalists arrived at the scene, the injured woman was seen on ground lying almost lifeless, as she intermittently called for help in Hausa language.

A camera man who was filming the injured woman that was moving suddenly sighted her trying to drag a reg handbag in front of her. But the cameraman quickly alerted a nearby police officer over the bid of the woman to hide the handbag under the veils she was wearing .
“As we sensed she was up to something sinister by trying to conceal the handbag under her veil, we immediately sensed she was trying to detonate bombs hidden inside the handbag”, said a police officer who sought anonymity.

“All threats to make her hand over the handbag proved abortive. So one of our men had to fire a shot at her from a distance in order to disarm her.
“And to our dismay, when the bomb experts from the Explosives Ordnance Department came and carefully opened the bag, we found five unit of live mortar explosives inside the handbag. It took extra care to defuse the explosives, because it is capable of causing massive destruction”.