We Are Happy With World Bank Rating – Presidency

The Presidency says the World Bank’s Doing Business R2017 Report, released on Tuesday is an indication that the government’s reform initiatives are yielding positive results. 

Laolu Akande

“The Buhari administration is gratified that the various reform initiatives put in place towards instituting a positive business environment is slowly but gradually yielding some dividends. “Nigeria’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business remains static, halting a falling trend in the past several years,’’ the Vice Presidential spokesman, Mr Laolu Akande, said, via a release issued on Thursday in Abuja.

Akande recalled that the latest report had ranked Nigeria 169 out of 189 countries in the overall Ease of Doing Business rank. He described the ranking as “a positive indication that the focus and tenacity of President Muhammadu Buhari to reposition the nation’s business and economic environment is working and on course.

“While Nigeria’s position remains the same as at last year on the index ranking, it is encouraging that Nigeria has recorded some positive outlooks in four critical areas of the ranking.’’ Akande listed the areas as: Starting a Business; Dealing with Construction Permits; Registering Property and Access to Credit. He noted that the objectivity and reliability of the report coming from an international development institution, lent weight to the milestone recorded in particular on the distance to frontier (DTF) metric.

Akande observed that on the metric, the country’s score improved slightly from 44.02 in Doing Business 2016 to 44.63 in Doing Business 2017. According to the World Bank report, the improvements noted mean that last year, Nigeria’s business regulatory environment as captured by the Doing Business indicators improved slightly in absolute terms. According to the report “the country is decreasing the gap with the global regulatory frontier.

“This is a morale booster for stakeholders involved in the efforts aimed at removing existing bottlenecks in the business environment.’’ Akande declared that the observation by the World Bank was recognition of the bold initiatives and untiring work of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

He said it was particularly achieved through the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

He said Buhari in August had set-up PEBEC, which had an active collaboration with the private sector, “to remove the bottlenecks that stifle businesses and create the right enabling environment and investment climate.” PEBEC has nine ministers, the Head of the Service and the CBN governor as members and is mandated to give progress reports to the Federal Executive Council every month. The council’s secretariat with a team comprising staff from both public and private sector, is supported by knowledge experts and collaborates across ministries, departments and agencies as well as private sector stakeholders to achieve reform objectives.

According to Akande, Buhari is absolutely committed to boosting reform activities so as to continue to arrest the past decline, where the country fell from number 94 in 2006 to number 169 in 2016. He said the reforms would positively project the business climate to an enviable position in the international business community.

“With the reform efforts being put in place now, indications are that in subsequent years, Nigeria will scale up significantly in the ranking,’’ he declared.


Video: If accused Judges should resign, Buhari should also resign over WAEC result – Ebun Adegboruwa

A human rights lawyer, Ebun Adegboruwa, in an interview with Channels TV, argued that the judges accused of corruption should not step aside.

He claimed that according to law, an accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court.

Ebun Adegboruwa also argued that if the judges should resign, Buhari should also resign over allegations about his WAEC result.

Watch video:


We Will Replace Buhari In 2019, Sheriff Vows

Newly-appointed national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ali Modu Sheriff, on Wednesday vowed to lead the party to regain control of the federal government in 2019.

Mr. Sheriff said nothing would stop his party, which lost power in 2015, from ousting the current All Progressives Congress’ administration.

Mr. Sheriff is a founding member of the All Progressives Congress. He defected to the PDP in 2014 ahead of national elections in 2015.

He gave his remarks on Wednesday in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, during a thanksgiving service organised to mark the victory of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu at the Supreme Court.

The court had on February 3 affirmed Mr. Okezie’s victory in the April 11, 2015 governorship election.

Mr. Sheriff, a former senator and governor of Borno State, who was named PDP national chairman on Tuesday night, said the PDP would soon come out with its master plan on how it would defeat the All Progressives Congress from power.

“We are here today, we are starting from here, and we are going to Aso Rock, Insha Allah by 2019,” the PDP chairman said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

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.’’

Buhari Must Get His Act Right In Three Months – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Sunday said Nigerians have a ” new opportunity” in the in – coming administration of General Muhammadu Buhari to make the country work for the better again.
He spoke at his Abeokuta private residence on Presidential Hilltop Estate, when women leaders in the Southwest visited him.
Obasanjo who noted that the new opportunity is God – given, said the “good things” about the next administration is that the man that would head it – Buhari, is neither “a green – horn nor a novice” in governance.
According to him, Buhari was once in the saddle before, even if it was under a ” different circumstance” and would use his experience to navigate the country to the path of right direction.
He noted that Nigerians are quite clever and advised Buhari to be honest and truthful with them, saying he should not do “cover up” or try to play “ostrich” on them.
He said that there is a very high expectations about the in-coming government to sort things out quickly for Nigerians, but also added that there is equally a high level of goodwill locally and internationally in its favour.
The former Chairmain, Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) urged Buhari “not to be frightened” by the enormous expectations and the daunting challenges of the country.
According to him, Buhari should take the right steps within the next three months of being sworn – in when Nigerians are watching and counting to see what would be done to better their lots.
He prayed Nigeria and Nigerians would not miss this opportunity Good has provided to get the country out of a jam
Earlier, the Iyalode of Yorubaland, Alaba Lawson, who lauded Obasanjo for his fatherly role to Nigeria, appealed to him not to refrain from offering quality advice to the in – coming administration.
She said Nigerians are in agonies over fuel crisis, unemployment, insecurity among others and urged the former President not to abandon Buhari in the onerous task to make Nigerians proud again as two good heads are better than one.

I Won’t Discriminate Against South-east, Says Buhari

Promises fairness to every section as zone demands SGF, House of Reps presiding officer.

The President-elect, Gen Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday assured that he will not discriminate against the South-East or any other section of the country, saying Nigeria is his constituency.

He also promised to look into the demands of the South-East caucus of the All Progressives Congress(APC) handed to him recently .

Gen Buhari spoke when he met with the Ohanaeze Ndigbo Caretaker Committee led by its Chairman, Chief Ralph  Obioha. Other members of the delegation include former Anambra State governor, Sen.
Chris Ngige, former Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries, Eze Festus Odimegwu, Chief Onwuka Ukwa, Osita Okechukwu and Anike Nwoga .

Dismissing fears that his incoming administration may work against sections of the country that didn’t vote for him in the last polls, the President-elect said he will fulfil the promise he made during the campaigns to treat every Nigerian equally.

He commended some South-East leaders who, he said, stood for the truth and ensured that residents of the area were fed with the truth.

In his address, Obioha thanked Gen. Buhari for his promise to run  a competent and corruption-free government.

He described as false claims that South-East did not vote for Buhari. According to him, if the Card Reader was allowed to work in the zone, Nigerians would have known that the zone was for APC .

The Ohanaeze caretaker committee boss singled out Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Sen Ngige and Governor Rochas Okorocha for praise, describing the trio as wise men. Apart from the three, Obioha listed prominent Igbo leaders like former Abia State governor, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, Odimegwu as those who worked for the APC candidate.

He said: “We are only a representative delegation and on behalf of the whole house, we wish to mention the outstanding, extra efforts and contributions of H.E Orji Uzor Kalu, Sen Jen Nnamani, Chief Emeka Okwosa, Eze Festus Odimegwu, Chief Enechi Onyia, Sen Offia Nwali and Chief Onwuka Ukwa .

“The three wise men from the South-East, Governor Rochas Okorocha, Ogbonnaya Onu and Chris Ngige are our illustrious sons.

“Your Excellency, as the head of the APC leadership, you are aware that the South-East was a target by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rigging machine which produced an election result that denied the zone of even a single senator and only three non-ranking members of the House. Ndigbo request that you adopt the principle of necessity to give the zone the position of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF)which is your prerogative and in addition, a position of one presiding officer in the House of Representatives “.

Also speaking, Eze Odimegwu thanked Gen Buhari for nominating him into the Transition Committee even when he had not met him before. He said it was a sign that the incoming government will pay attention to merit than other considerations.

Meanwhile, Ngige has dismissed insinuation that the South-East APC caucus was fighting over the SGF slot that is likely to be zoned to the region. He said the zone is working together, disclosing that the caucus’ decision on that will be made known soon.

He said: “We have a caucus, we have a position, when we get to the bridge, we cross it.”