African Leaders Should Pay More Attention To Peace, Development- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday tasked  African leaders on the need to ensure socio-political stability in their respective countries to achieve peace and speedy regional and sub-regional integration in the continent.

Speaking at a joint press briefing with the visiting Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, after a closed door meeting in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Buhari noted that, even though the situation in the ECOWAS sub-region was relatively stable, there was the need to continue to persuade the leaders to pay more attention to security and development.

“The situation in our sub-region is relatively stable but there is the need for us to continue to persuade our colleagues to show appreciation on the efforts the sub-region is doing to make sure that we pay more attention to security and development.”

“I have appreciated very much your efforts and I also congratulate you on your successes. I believe you may even go outside the region, to African Union, so that before the AU meeting we try and persuade the leadership of those countries in our sub-region  to show more patience and accommodation with politics of their countries, President Buhari said.

The President stated that the forthcoming 3rd Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security would discuss some political developments in two countries of the sub-region.

Buhari commended the Liberian leader for handling the affairs of the  ECOWAS diligently and  efforts in stabilising her country.

He added that “I have to very sincerely congratulate you with the way you have stabilised your country and with the small contributions Nigeria was able to make through out those difficult times that you went through.

“And also thank you very much on the way you are handling ECOWAS responsibility.

“We have one or two countries that I believe we will discuss when we go to Senegal today, tomorrow and maybe on Wednesday, in terms of peace and security.’’

In her remarks, the Liberian leader who is also the Chairperson of the Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS  nations,  said she was in Nigeria to be updated on the focus and challenges of the work of the ECOWAS Commission

According to her, the visit is also meant  enable her meet with the entities of ECOWAS, the Commission, the Parliament and the Courts in preparation  for the forthcoming Summit of the Authority  of the ECOWAS, slated for Abuja on Dec. 17.

She stressed the need for leaders in the sub-region to continue to maintain peace and stability to achieve regional integration and economic prosperity.

“I’m glad once again to be back in Abuja. I’m using the opportunity of this visit to be updated on the focus and challenges of the work of the ECOWAS Commission,  to meet with the entities of ECOWAS, the Commission, the Parliament and the Courts in preparation  for the reports I will present at the Summit of the Authority, which will be held here in Abuja, on Dec. 17.

“But,I’m so greatful that while here, I reached out to the President and asked him for the opportunity to call on him to be able to brief him on some of the findings I have had in my two days of consultation with the commission.

 “I also exchange with him  some of the developments in our sub-region, political development; economic development, and to get his wise counsel on how we can ensure that we monitor the situation in  all the West African countries so as  to maintain peace and stability in all of our countries” she said.


Igbos Are their Own Worst Enemies – Orji Kalu

Igbos, who have often blamed the Federal Government for the backwardness in the South East, have been told that they have no one but themselves to blame for their woes.

Former Abia State Governor and businessman, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, said in the recent edition of The Interview: “Igbos are their own worst enemies.”

Kalu said a number of the elite in the region are not only selfish, they also get their politics wrong.

“Let me tell you,” he said in an emotion-laden voice, “there were more problems between (Asiwaju Bola) Tinubu and (Babatunde) Fashola than there were between me and TA (Theodore Ahamefule Orji).

“But it is the discipline of the Yorubas that kept them at bay.

“Igbos have no discipline in terms of politics.

“They are very good traders; they’re good in anything they do, but they don’t understand politics.”

Kalu was referring to the fractured relationship between Tinubu and Fashola in the latter’s second term as governor of Lagos State and comparing it to his own internecine war with his successor, Theodore A. Orji, which led to the extinction of the Progressive Peoples Alliance, the party he founded.

In the interview, described by the Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview, Azu Ishiekwene, as “the political equivalent of the ogbunigwe (Biafran improvised explosives)”, Kalu illustrated his point with a conversation he claimed to have had with President Muhammadu Buhari, who wondered aloud why previous high profile Igbo appointees had done nothing for the region.

Kalu also spoke on the agitation for a state of Biafra and the travails of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu; his relationship with former President Ibrahim Babangida and former Governor Ikedim Ohakim; the recent statement of former Governor Peter Obi; and allegations that while he governed Abia State for eight years, his mother ruled.

In this edition, Tolu Ogunlesi engages Boko Haram leader, Abu Shekau, in an “exchange” of letters by email and Nigeria’s matriarch of Agony Aunts, Bunmi Sofola, gives an insight into what happens to love in a recession.

In one his first major interviews, the Managing Director of Nigeria’s mortgage refinance company, Prof. Charles Inyangete, also shares secrets on how you can make mortgage work for you.

“It’s a sure medicine for this recession,” Ishiekwene said in a statement released on Monday.

Child marriage hinders girl child development – NGO

The Centre for Learning and Educational Development Advocacy Africa (CLEDA-Africa), an NGO, has said that child marriage is one of the major hindrances to girl child development in the country.

Mr Daniels Akpan, its Executive Director, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Tuesday that globally, one in seven adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 are currently married.

“This is even worst in developing countries where one in three girls are married off before they turn 18 and more than 20,000 girls under the age of 18 give birth daily.

“This increases the world population by seven million annually,’’ he said.

Akpan also said that out of the more than seven billion population of the world, 1.1 billion are girls with talents, creativity and full of abilities.

However, he pointed out that culture, religion, tradition, poverty and illiteracy, among other factors, had hindered and limited the full development of the girl child.

As the world celebrates this year’s International Day of the Girl Child, the director called on relevant stakeholders and the global community to strengthen and support girl child progress in Kaduna State and the nation.

According to him, girls are engine of national development and stress the need to promote girl child education in preparing them for a better future.

“This is the best way to stand up for girls’ progress everywhere,’’ Akpan said.

He disclosed that CLEDA Africa had in September trained 150 secondary school girls in Pampaida and Saulawa communities of Ikara Local Government Areas of Kaduna State on vocational skills.

He said that the gesture was to empower the girls financially as part of efforts to encourage them to remain in school.

Akpan called on the Federal and Kaduna State Governments to partner with CLEDA Africa to reach out to young girls and empower them with education and basic skills to live a productive life.

NEMA Reassures On North-east Development

The Director General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi, has reiterated the agency’s commitment to the deployment of natural and human capital to the North-east to ensure permanent peace and sustainable development of the region.
Sidi said in a goodwill message through a representative at a workshop on the rights of civilians in armed conflict organised by Global Rights in Abuja yesterday, that the effort was to restore the past glory of the region ravaged by Boko Haram attacks.

“The federal government is sincerely committed to the deployment of the vast natural and human capital of the North-east in order to ensure peace and progress of the region,” he said.
This according to him would be achieved especially with the current liberation of the vast territories hitherto occupied by Boko Haram insurgents.
The director general who was represented by Alhaji Alasan Nuhu said NEMA had been working with relevant actors in driving the sustainable rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery of the North-east.
He said the indiscriminate attacks by Boko Haram had made civilians vulnerable targets.
This he said, called for conscious evaluation of existing policies to protect the right of civilians.
He maintained that the federal government through NEMA had continued to work towards the protection of the rights of citizens during crisis in collaboration with relevant actors.
He said the agency had set up humanitarian cells and maintained humanitarian corridors in the region to support the affected population.
The workshop provided a platform for discussions and deliberations on protection of the rights of civilians during conflicts.

Read More: dailytrust

Fashola Restates FG’s Commitment To Power, Road And Housing Development

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has restated the Federal Government’s determination to develop stable power supply, good road network and affordable housing for Nigerians.

This is contained in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja by the Minister’s Special Adviser (Communications), Mr Hakeem Bello.

It said that Fashola gave the assurance when he spoke at the African Alliance 2016 Investors Day in Lagos.

It stated that the ministry was determined to achieve results by doing things differently to develop sustainable infrastructure to convert current challenges to opportunities for economic growth.

He was quoted to have decried the problems inherent in the entire power chain, “from distribution to transmission, generation and gas supply, including a cross-cutting liquidity problem”.

The statement said the existing gap of meter supply in the distribution segment of the power chain had created enormous opportunities for local production for estimated three million consumers.

“Local producers or investors are expected to meet a significant local content participation that would help Small and Medium Enterprises supply an estimated three million consumers who needed to be metered.

“Apart from metering, the distribution companies have aging assets: Transformers, ring main units, poles, cables, breakers and so on, some of which are 20 to 30 years old.

“It is a problem on one hand and enormous opportunity on the other hand,” it said.

The statement stated that the ministry planned to complete about 47 transmission projects to deliver 1,000 MW more carrying capacity this year to expand national growth plan.

The statement said that the Federal Government, in spite of low oil revenue, had upgraded budgetary allocation to ensure completion of existing roads across the six geo-political zones.

“This is the first step to sustainability. But it is not enough to budget.

“It is important to implement the budget and use the finances properly.

“We plan to phase 206 roads over three years to ensure completion or substantial progress of existing roads with heaviest traffic and strategic economic significance in each of the six geo-political zones.”

The statement also reported the Minister as saying that an agreed common purpose and parameters must be defined to have a sustainable and affordable housing design that had national acceptability.

The minister disclosed that the Federal Government, in partnership with the private sector, was on a Nigerian housing model that would consider geo-political cultural differences.



Buhari Visits China To Discuss Development Of Infrastructure

The development of Nigeria’s infrastructure, especially in the power, roads, railways, aviation, water supply and housing sectors will form the crux of discussions when President Muhammadu Buhari meets Chinese President Xi Jinping, said presidential spokesman Femi Adesina on Saturday.

President Buhari is due to leave Abuja on Sunday for a working visit to China aimed at securing China’s greater support for Nigeria.

Adesina said in a statement that Buhari would also hold talks with Premier Li Keqiang and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National Peoples’ Congress, Zhang Dejiang during his visit to the country.

He said the visit will enable the President Buhari to focus on “strengthening bilateral cooperation in line with the Federal Government’s agenda for the rapid diversification of the Nigerian economy, with emphasis on agriculture and solid minerals development.”

“It is expected that in the course of the visit, several new agreements and memorandums of understanding to boost trade and economic relations between Nigeria and China will be concluded and signed.

“The agreements include a Framework Agreement between the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and the National Development and Reform Commission of the Peoples’ Republic of China to Boost Industrial Activities and Infrastructural Development in Nigeria.

“Others are a Framework Agreement between the Federal Ministry of Communications and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, and a Memorandum of Understanding between Nigeria and China on Scientific and Technological Cooperation.”

He noted that the President and his delegation will tour the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and the Guangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone to gain more useful insights and understanding of the policies that underpinned China’s astronomical economic growth in recent years, n line with the present administration’s prioritization of economic diversification and industrialisation to boost employment,

The President, whose entourage will include some state governors as well as the Ministers of Agriculture, Water Resources, Transport, Defence, Power, Works & Housing, Industry, Trade & Investment, Federal Capital Territory, Science & Technology and Foreign Affairs, will also open a China-Nigeria Business/Investment Forum in Beijing and meet with members of the Nigerian Community in China before returning to Abuja at the weekend.

Credit: Guardian

US Providing Over $240m In Development Assistance In Northeast Nigeria

The United States says it is currently providing over $240M in development and humanitarian assistance through comprehensive programs in north eastern Nigeria and the broader Lake Chad Basin region.

This is according to the Director of the United States International Agency For Development (USAID) Mission in Nigeria, Michael Harvey, who is in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, on an assessment tour.

He said the tour was to obtain first-hand information on the spending of sister donor agencies operating in war-torn northeast Nigeria and funded by USAID.

The insurgency problem in northeast Nigeria has forced millions of citizens out of their homes with school-age kids kept out of their classes, a situation that had made the USAID intensify its intervention programmes in the affected areas.

The Director of the USAID said the intervention programmes were targeted at Internally Displaced Persons in Borno, Adamawa, Gombe, Bauchi, Taraba and Yobe States.

USAID believes the task of addressing the many issues families in the displaced people’s camps as well as those in the host community are dealing with is overwhelming.

The victims of insurgency in Bakassi, originally from Gwoza Local Council in Borno State are the first to host the team.

They complained of poor living conditions and feeding, which they said had led to malnutrition and other illnesses.

“We need water and drugs and the weather is very harsh here because there are no trees. The sun disturbs us a lot,” one of the displaced persons, Hauwa Bello, told the group.

Part of the intervention plans of the USAID is to identify and empower displaced families preparing them for their return home.

The USAID also encouraged informal community schools assuring them of its willingness to partner with relevant authorities to give as many kids as possible unlimited access to education.

The region had seen over six years of insurgency and terror attacks mostly carried out by members of Boko Haram terrorist group.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Buhari Welcomes Greater U.S. Support For Nigeria’s Security, Development

President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday in Abuja that his administration would continue to welcome the support and understanding of the United States, as it strives to achieve greater internal security and socio-economic progress in Nigeria.

Receiving a delegation led by the United States Secretary of Commerce, Ms Penny Pritzker, at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, President Buhari applauded ongoing American collaboration with his administration on security and developmental issues.

“I remain grateful for the reception accorded me and my team when we visited the United States at the invitation of President Obama.

“We discussed security, corruption, infrastructure, and many other issues.

“We thank America for sending experts to train our troops and providing hardware for our military because we must first stabilise the country before we can move it forward,” the President told the delegation which included the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, and three others.

Credit: ChannelsTv

World Bank Disburses $140m For Community Development In Nigeria

The World Bank yesterday said it was ready to commence disbursement of an additional sum of $140 million (about N30 billion) to 26 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to boost community projects in Nigeria. Already, the sum of $200 million had been disbursed in the first phase of the project.

The project had disbursed US$ 200 million from 2009 to 2014 in the first phase of the Bank’s Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) between 2009 and 2014.

States benefiting the additional financing would need to focus on the most vulnerable households in poor communities in their region.

Other states including Anambra, Kaduna and Sokoto were said to have finalised their resolve to participate in the new financing.

Read More: thisdaylive

Kingsley Ohajunwa: The Certainty Of Growth, The Uncertainty Of Development In Nigeria

The most recent democratic dispensation in Nigeria led by Mohammed Buhari is already thronged with so many expectations. This is owing to the fact that the ruling party came in on the premise of “change” which acts as its slogan also. Whether Nigerians will experience this change is something only time can tell. Sadly however, this expectation of change may just be related to one of the salient words of the topic, “growth”. It is therefore understandable when the words “growth” and “development” are used interchangeably, perhaps the user in this regard may not have known that there is a difference between the two, how much more understanding the magnitude of their difference. For the purpose of this piece attention will be placed on growth and development; the certainty of the former and the seeming uncertainty of the latter, while “change” as a concept and slogan/tool of political machination, especially as used by the ruling party will be treated in a subsequent piece.

Growth basically means increase in size, number or amount while development deals with the sustenance of growth. So growth may comprise factors such as rapid population growth, income inequality, imbalance in multi-sectoral development, environmental degradation caused by growing rate of industrialization, moral, social and intellectual factors which affect our way of thinking amongst other factors. According to the World Bank in World Development Report 1991, “the challenge of development is to improve the quality of life”. Leading development experts Todaro and Smith in a 2003 publication put forward development as being the sustained elevation of an entire society and social system towards a better or more humane life. These therefore suggest a huge difference between growth and development. Two basic indices of development in any society are equitable distribution of wealth and social justice, and balance in multi-sectoral development. These indices alone when expanded cover virtually all human expectations from a purposeful government. However Nigeria may still keep growing without developing.

The simple fact that oil still thrives as the country’s major source of income calls for very serious concern since development centres around people and the quality of the lives they lead. How can individuals in other sectors be said to be fulfilled? What is wrong in developing the agricultural, tourism and automobile sectors while putting in place the single most constant factor which can enable all of them thrive- constant power supply. Let’s also understand that although these sectors are capital intensive, there are individuals who are eager to trade in either of them with their limited resources, thereby reducing crime. We must understand that the growing rate of industries, rise in the number of private universities, increase in the number of security forces recruited and mobilized to fight crime and insurgency, increase in revenue generated from oil export are not in any way signs of development. Nigerians do not expect “milk and honey” to be made to flow from their taps, all that is required are the proper functioning of basic indices which make life worth living.

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

Boko Haram: North East Lawmakers Seek Development Commission

Senators from the North-East states are clamouring for the creation of a North-East Development Commission to rebuild the region following destruction by the terrorist activities of Boko Haram.

The senators vowed to sponsor a joint bill as they lamented the level of destruction by Boko Haram in the geo-political zone.

Speaking in Yola, the capital city of Adamawa State capital also badly hit by activities of Boko Haram, the Senator representing Adamawa Central Senatorial district, Abdul-Aziz Murtala Nyako, said the move was to hasten rapid infrastructural development in the affected states.

“Everybody can clearly see that the North East zone of Nigeria is in serious crisis particularly as it relates to Boko Haram crisis that we have undergone in the recent years and a lot of infrastructure is down.

“Virtually, we have to revamp the entire system and because of this we have decided to come up with the commission almost in tune with the Niger-Delta Development Commission that will lead to rebuilding the region and better its security,” he said…


Teaching History in Schools as Part of our National Development – @Lanre_Olagunju

Evil, they say, prevails when good men fail to act; but there seem to be a kind of evil that doesn’t readily come to mind when we flaunt this saying. It is the evil caused by good men who lack basic knowledge about the past. From the way Nigeria falls repeatedly into cycle of errors, it is obvious that Nigerians collectively are yet to learn anything substantial from history. If we have, we haven’t acted upon the lessons that history provides.

The entire nation seems to be united at this point for true change, but this change certainly is a long term one that’d require a clean understanding of our history. So we know where we are as a nation, where we are heading, what to do, and how to do it better.

It is difficult to understand how as a nation we think we can come close to sustainable change without the knowledge of history – forgetting that time past is part of time present, and time present is part of time future. If we must discover sustainable ideas and solutions to our national issues, educated Nigerians who analyse discuss and proffer solutions need to engage more with the past.

Sadly, our educational system has been seriously lagging behind in this regard. If this generation is ever going to break out of this cycle of failure, ethnicity, scarcity mentality and mediocrity, we must first understand the forces that birthed these problems. Else, the change clamoured for would remain a wild goose chase.

The time to revisit this long abandoned human-centered recipe which is fundamentally needed for growth and development is now. That Nigeria has undyingly remained a giant by mere name-calling is a sign that we lack a perfect sense of our potentials as a nation, which perhaps might be reawakened by a sense of national consciousness. It would always remain a daunting task to attempt searching for what is not known. Young Nigerians with the zeal to sincerely see the nation experience true transformation are daily increasing in number; in fact many are on the path to re-writing the nation’s history. But I am afraid we will suffer from collective amnesia as we blindly grope into the future without a guide post of precedence to shape our different course in the respective area of influence we have chosen. How well can one re-write history that is not known?

The social media which has successfully played a key role in social-economic awareness among many Nigerians will not essentially cover up for the lack of history or the knowledge that it provides. No it won’t! As a matter of fact it will only amplify it, given that social media is a platform which amplifies knowledge or ignorance.

Studying Nigerian history in schools as a compulsory and fundamental academic requirement and discipline is very vital for the country’s development at this crucial point – if the country is serious about genuine development. At all levels, our schools seriously need to re-introduce the Nigerian History into curriculums. History is consciously used to inspire nation building in many developed nations, and this places a huge gap between the advanced nations and under-developed ones.

It’s a common slogan that the Nigerian educational system doesn’t breed young people for national transformation. Well, the problem might not be with the school. The real problem might be that, many people in the schools – both the students and teachers – are not aware of the country’s real problems. Hence, the whole essence of the school falls as a waste in the long run.

Motivational speakers and revolutionaries inspiring change amongst the upwardly mobile Nigerians need to know that mere motivation focused on awakening the can-do spirit is not enough. Young Nigerians need knowledge of the past. The past is not a dead past, basically because that past is still living and taunting us as a nation, sadly that past is still in our present.

When we pay more attention to our history, maybe we would clearly see that Nigeria in the real sense of it is yet to be a nation even after 100 years of amalgamation. Maybe with full knowledge of hindsight, we would now realize that we can’t keep seeing this country from the prism of tribalism and religion just as every generation including the present one has mostly done. Perhaps with knowledge, we would clean our hot tears carefully and then move beyond the lamentation that Nigeria was founded based on a business and selfish interest of the British, until we move beyond that, setting out to calve out a dream we can call the Nigerian dream might remain difficult.

Lanre Olagunju is an hydrologist turned freelance journalist and blogger, he is an alumnus of the American College of Journalism. He is @Lanre_Olagunju on Twitter.

Obasanjo Hands Over Report On Strategic Devt Plan To Buhari

Signs that ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo subtly amassed support for the election of General Mohammadu Buhari as the Nigeria’s next president and also wants him to succeed in office became evident Thusday when he handed over a report of a strategic development plan to Buhari.

The reports contained templates that would assist the incoming government to rapidly achieve its objectives of taking the nation a notch higher.

Buhari and Obasanjo

Top on the list were Education, Power sector, Economy, Security and Infrastructure.

The development followed a research work embarked upon by the Centre for Human Security of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library on major social challenges facing Nigeria 4 months ago.

The event which took place at the Buhari Support Organization, BSO’s office in Abuja featured the chairman, governing board of the Centre for Human Security of Obasanjo Presidential Library, Professor Akin Mabogunje, who was incidentally the chairman of the committee, former Minister of Finance and Committees vice chairman, Dr. Kalu Idika Kalu who present volumes of the report to Buhari and Dr. Christopher Kolade who headed the power committee.

Speaking to Journalists at the end of the brief ceremony that was held behind closed doors, Mabogunje said the report contained policy documents that would help the president-elect restructure Nigeria, revealing that Buhari was full of thanks for the documents.

He said: “Centre for Human Security of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Liberary has being working on a number of critical issues for the development of this country and they have now sent a delegation of those who’ve been involved with the preparation of those policy documents to talk to the president-elect and get him to appreciate what is being done to help his administration. That’s why we are here.

“We’ve looked  at education, security, economy, power and Infrastructure. Those are the areas we’ve made recommendations and which we hope the new administration will be able to work on.

“He (Buhari) was very happy that we’ve been thinking about how to help him hit the ground running and he expressed his appreciation for what we’ve been doing.”

Giving details of the reports, Dr. Kolade explained the long, medium and short terms goals of the report.

According to him, the strategic plan hoped to raise the country’s power generation to 10,000 MW within a short period of time.

Expanding thoughts on the development also, the Buhari’s media spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu said “the whole idea was that Obasanjo set up his own think- tank with the aim of carrying out a study on challenges facing the country in five key areas of Education, Power sector, Economy, Security and Infrastructure.  The study was commissioned four months ago so that the outcome will be made available to the incoming administration after the election.”

He also stated that the president-elect expressed gratitude to Obasanjo for their kind gesture, however regretting that the outgoing regime of president Goodluck Jonathan had not done anything close to that.

“An appreciative President-elect expressed gratitude to Obasanjo and his team, describing their intervention as a great impetus for the incoming government.
Buhari regretted that the out-going government that is supposed to give him tips on how to take-off has done nothing so far.  He thanked the Obasanjo for their gesture, assuring them that his incoming administration will be needing their advice as time goes on”, Shehu said.

Mallam Ahmed Joda, chairman of Buhari transition committee refused to speak in his capacity as the transition committee chairman when asked by Journalists to make input.

“I am here not in the capacity of the chairman of the transition committee. I am here because I am a chairman of one of the committees of the centre that consider security issues at the Obasanjo centre for human security”, he said.