Our reforms will ease pensioners’ hardships – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday assured that his administration’s reforms would ensure that Nigerians who spent the “productive years of their lives serving the nation” would not experience difficulties in getting their pensions.


A statement by the president’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said Mr. Buhari gave the assurance at a meeting with Sharon Ikeazor, the Executive Secretary, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) at the State House, Abuja.


The statement said the president directed a speedy completion of the ongoing nationwide verification of pensioners.


“President Buhari stressed that the exercise was necessary because the success of the administration’s goal of putting in place an efficient pension scheme hinged on the availability of a reliable database,” the statement said.


In a presentation to the president, Mrs. Ikeazor said the PTAD management was determined to restore dignity to pensioners by protecting their funds and paying their entitlements promptly.


According to her, in line with the anti-corruption posture of the current administration, the PTAD had put in place measures to ensure accountability, compliance with regulations and zero-tolerance for corruption.

“President Buhari’s Economic Reforms Are Bold” – President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama of the United States of America on Tuesday commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic reforms, describing them as “bold”.

Obama made the commendation when he met with Buhari on the sidelines of the ongoing 71st UN General Assembly in New York.

He said America would continue to offer support to Nigeria in the areas of agricultural development, recovery of stolen funds and the fight against Boko Haram.

He said America would put things on ground to sustain partnership and cooperation between the two countries.

He said: “We discussed broader issues on development and the President is taking some very bold economic reforms in allowing for a flexible exchange rate.
“We are focusing on agriculture and we pledged to offer all the assistance that we can in that area and as the president is trying to stamp out corruption and to recover external funds that may have been illegally obtained and are sitting in bank accounts around the world.

“As he continues to work to see that the security forces inside Nigeria are abiding professional and human right standards, what we have pledged is that we will partner in any way that we can be helpful.”

Obama, who spoke at a briefing after the bilateral talks, said his administration was carefully coordinating additional ways to make further progress in not only destroying Boko Haram but to ensure that the region fully recovered.

He said America was also willing to assist Nigeria to facilitate a reduction of the conflict in
the Niger Delta region.

He said: “America is willing to help in any way it can to facilitate a reduction of conflict in the Niger Delta region, a major oil-producing region, but one that has been mired by a number of militant organisations that have appropriated or siphoned off the oil revenues.

“The President, I think, is wisely heading a delegation to bring varying stakeholders together and try to make progress on that front. We want to be helpful in any way that we can.”

In his remarks, Buhari thanked Obama for the assistance rendered so far in the fight against terrorism, especially in the training of Nigerian military in both hard and software.

He said steady progress was being made towards resolving the problem in the Niger Delta region, which led to economic sabotage on a grand scale.

Buhari Supports Reform That Will Allow Local Government Autonomy

President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will support a constitutional amendment to free local governments from the stranglehold of state governments. Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, said in a statement that Buhari made his position known when he received the leadership of the Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON) on Thursday in Abuja.

He stated that the President told the ALGON leadership that the amendment, when carried out, would better the lot of Nigerians at the community level. He stressed that a constitutional amendment was urgently required to clearly define the relationship among the three tiers of government.

He described the frosty relationship between states and local governments as “very serious constitutional problem.

“The relationship between the three tiers of government is not a very nice one, especially that between the local governments and the states. “The states feel like they own the local governments if they are of the same party. It is worse if they are not. “This is a very serious constitutional problem and unless there is absolute clarity and transparency, the relationship will continue to be exploited against the interest of the ordinary people of the country.”

Buhari advised the ALGON executives to hold consultations with their people and lawyers with a view to presenting a bill that would seek constitutional amendment to free the councils from the stranglehold of the states. He said “this will limit the damage they can do to you. The quicker you do this the better, so that you can help your people much more.”

He acknowledged the request by ALGON for the release of 3.2 billion dollars wrongfully deducted by Federal Government for the final settlement of foreign debts in 2005. President Buhari said the government recognized the judgment debt but the timing of the request for its repayment was wrong, given the current economic situation in the country.

In his remarks, the acting ALGON National President, Alhaji Ibrahim Karaye, presented a six-point demand to the President, which included the repayment of the 3.2 billion dollars debts. He stressed the need to ensure the sovereignty of local government administration in the country.

The ALGON leader expressed the Association’s full support to the President’s programmes on improving security, anti-corruption campaign and economic revival.

Mass Sack Imminent In NIPOST Over Reforms- Report

A radical reform of the Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) in which many of its staff may lose their jobs will soon begin.
But the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, said that there would not BE any retrenchment in the NIPOST, “at least, for now”.

A top federal government official said in Abuja, yesterday, that the new Postal Master General (PMG), Asiwaju Bisi Adegbuyi, had been given directive to reduce, at least, 1000 workers from the agency’s workforce.
NIPOST has a workforce of about 10, 500 and 2, 500 post offices and postal agencies across the country.
The official, who pleaded anonymity because he was not cleared by his superiors to speak on the matter, said that staffers who had put in 30 years, or close to that, in service, and those working in inactive NIPOST post offices would be largely affected.
“We are looking at some of them who are already old and have put in up to 30 years, or close to that, and some of them who are at the offices which are inactive,” the source said.

“At least, a thousand of them may be affected for now, but government would pay them all their entitlement as they exit. It is a reform government must embark upon to bring NIPOST back to real business.”
However, Shittu denied that  the government would sack NIPOST staff, saying: “There is nothing like that, at least, for now”.
The minister, who spoke through his media aide, Victor Oluwadamilare, said: “We are not aware of that. Whoever told you may not be telling you the truth. A number of reforms will take place there but I don’t think the government is thinking of sacking any staff.”

Read More: dailytrust

Buhari Promises Reforms, New Policies To Boost Oil, Gas Income

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday restated his administration’s promise to initiate appropriate reforms and implement policies to boost income from the oil and gas industry.

Speaking at separate meetings with delegations from ExxonMobil and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Company, President Buhari listed the removal of bureaucratic bottlenecks created by multiple government agencies that currently impede the operations of companies in the oil and gas sector as one of the reforms to be undertaken by his administration.

The President said that his government would also give priority attention to the security of oil and gas installations as well as maritime security in its bid to boost national earnings from the sector.

Read More: premiumtimesng